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Views of Weeki Wachee
16 May 2009
Last week's dives were more training related, so there really isn't too much to talk about. The real news is the video that was shot a couple of weeks ago by Liquid Productions. It is breathtaking! The beauty of Weeki Wachee never ceases to amaze me. The colors, morphology and features are unlike any I have ever seen.
In the collage of pictures below, you are able to see the beautiful striations in the cave wall, a diver inspecting speleo-crobes along the cave wall and some views of support divers removing gear from the cave after a mission dive.
Images are Copyright © 2009 Karst Underwater Research. All rights reserved.
Weeki Wachee 2009 Exploration Season: Week 7
3 May 2009
This was the first week where we need to have 3 days of diving. Needless to say, we accomplished everything we needed to. A special thanks to Scuba West for making available some gear after one of our divers blew a neck seal on their dry suit. That simple act allowed us to capture video of the clean up dive which would have otherwise gone uncaptured. The clean up dives always have some moments we wish we could record. The high definition video for all of our dives this year has been performed by a new 2009 sponsor - Liquid Productions, LLC.
After successfully placing all necessary scooters, scuba cylinders and video equipment in the cave Thursday night, the team entered the water Saturday at approximately 4:40 pm. Our plan was to film the cave using four divers. Two of the divers would be piloting Silent Submersion UV-26 scooters with attached Silent Submersion Death Ray 200W HMI lights for primary lighting. The two videographers would be piloting Silent Submersion UV-N-37 scooters with dual Salvo Diving 50W HID video lights for lighting. The high definition video was to be linear footage into the cave with two parameters: 1) not to exceed approximately 2000’ of linear penetration and 2) be back starting decompression no later than 90 minutes. An additional goal of this dive was to to perform another radio location.
Unfortunately, the dive plan had to be changed to one of our contingency plans (the picture to the left shows the team discussing contingency plans) as one of the videographers compromised their dry suit neck seal at approximately 160’ in the middle of Event Horizon. This diver was safely escorted to the surface by safety divers with all but a chill from the flooding in their suit. Luckily, the diver was able to return to the water during the clean up dive to video the clean up dive in the the cave, the fissure and the spring basin.
After some period of time, the team entered the Helm’s Deep section of the cave, dropped a fresh battery pack for the radio location transmitter, then scootered down to the right side of the room. The team circumnavigated the room to the left and was was able to successfully video many of the formations on the floor and the walls in this area. Upon arriving back at Helm’s Deep, the team moved the radio location transmitter from its previous location to about 100’ further into the cave and activated the beacon.
Sadly, it was later determined that the beacon either malfunctioned or was accidentally turned off during low visibility. We were not able to successfully locate the beacon. We will continue to test this area until we get a solid radio location.
As always this would not be possible without our sponsors, the staff of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park and our volunteers. A huge thanks to all of our volunteers for making this one of the most complex dives thus far a complete success, all divers exited the water safely and over $100,000 in equipment was successfully returned to the surface.