Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cueva Mucara

We were invited by Ron (SEPRI) to assist in surveying Cueva Mucara and to do our first 60 foot ascent/descent into the underground realm. Of course we were very excited. We used our ropes on our mango tree and did some practice but have really only practiced a couple other times. So we packed up all our equipment and drove the 2 hours to Aguas Buenas. After driving up some windy residential roads we arrived at a private home owner's house. They allowed us to park. They had a couple nice dogs and some beautiful horses. We got all the equipment together and wandered to the cave area.

And wander we did. If we weren't with Ron and Bro there is no way we would ever have found the cave or known it was even there. We wandered through a meadow, along a hillside, then up slightly after getting to the big bamboo clump (so we wouldn't miss it). Then we saw a little 4 or 5 foot hole in the hillside and that was it! Who would know? We turned on our lights and entered. We crawled a little and then came to the shaft we would soon be rappelling down.

Previous cavers spray painted this warning/invitation on the wall. When we were in Akumal Mexico there were Peligro signs when diving the caverns lead to the underwater cave portions. I took this to be an invitation screaming "come in come in"! This too was a gigantic "come in" sign! The shaft was truly a precipice and Ron made sure we did not go close to the edge yet.

Where the roots came from I do not know - they kind of looked like water lines.

Is Ron looking into the eye socket of a giant stone head? Nope, just preparing to secure the rope for our descent. (I think it looks like a creepy head.) First he found a way to secure himself so he could safely attach the descent rope. The rest of us (Bro, Jose, Jeff and myself) put our harnesses on and checked each other to make sure we were rigged correctly. We also reviewed how to use the rack before our descent - we all had slightly different types. All this was with only our headlamps of course since it is dark in a cave.

Bro (one of the most experienced guys) went down first to check things out. After that Jose went down and then me. Jeff had the camera (I have no where to put it) so he came after me with Ron coming down last.

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