August 30th 2013
A few months ago we heard about a sump located near Playa Del Carmen that was inside somebody’s private land and most likely not explored. At that time we went on a day of dry caving exploration just to see the cave, find out how long it would take to get to the water and how difficult it would be to bring all the gear in.
Turns out it was only a 200 feet walk through the jungle from the highway to get to the small entrance into the dry cave. Once we were in the cave it was roughly about 200 to 300 feet walk inside the cave. Beautifully decorated with speleothems everywhere, sometimes it is big enough to stand upright with a couple of spots where we had to squat to get through while being very careful not to hit the stalactites with our heads.
It was obvious that somebody had already been doing surveys of the dry cave since there was a line lying on the ground and markers were placed everywhere.
We followed the line until we got to a “T” intersection, from there we went left and the line led us to the water.
This time we only brought masks and snorkels just to get in the water and see if there were any leads and plan to get in with full cave diving gear for further exploration.
Here is a video from that day:
Cave Diving Exploration Starts:
Needless to say we did find some leads and after a couple of months, finally, yesterday we went back in with side mount cave diving equipment, a Reel full of knotted line and a slate with a compass for gathering the data after the line was laid.
With more that enough helping hands it was easy to get back to the water.
Even though we had seen some leads the first time we went in, I was still a bit pessimistic about how far the cave would go. I was thinking to myself “it’s just gonna go for a few feet and close on its self…”.
Little did I know… As I do my primary tie off in open water, I start dropping inside the cave to 15 feet for my secondary tie off and reference for my safety stop on the way back. At this point the cave kind of lighten up, there was tannic acid on the surface which made the water murky for the top 5 feet but now it was back to the typical crystal clear viz that you get in the Mexican caves.
I looked around to figure out which way I wanted to go and it seemed like she only wanted to keep going deeper down. I went to 45 feet and found myself by the side of a huge collapse, probably the one that made the entrance into the water possible, and it looked like I could swim around it fairly easily. I looked down and saw the cave get slightly smaller but continue so I figure I check it out, at this point I was at 53 feet, as I approached the narrower part I could see a big room on the other side with Halocline, tied off and went in staying close to the left side wall. Here I thought, ok, this is it… End of the cave…
Not so soon… I see the cave go down a little deeper, check my computer: 64 feet. I laid a 60′ shot down to 75 feet, then went another 20 feet in and then she decided to go up on a 75º angle (Not the ideal profile). I went up to 33′ where the cave ended, still with lots of time to take my notes on the way out.
This is what the line looks like. Blue numbers are depths in feet and yellow numbers show the distance from the open water.
There are a bunch of other leads that will need to be checked, explored and surveyed soon and we’ll keep updating our progress on this new and exciting project.
You can also find us for updates on this and other projects we are involved in on our Facebook page.