Friday, September 30, 2011

Exploring the Unknown

Some human beings have a strong drive to explore the unknown. Without this drive our civilization would progress very slowly if at all. This is one important characteristic that will need to be programmed into our imminent creation of silicon based Sentient Intelligence. Although not all humans share this drive and unfortunately for me my fear limits my drive to push ahead too far into the unknown. I’ll only go 180’ deep in cold dark water, I didn’t like being more than 1000’ from the entrance cave diving, I don’t like to swim more than a few hundred yards off shore without a boat, and I don’t like to rappel more than 60 feet. Saturday's adventure was a small push into the unknown. It all begins with a phone call from Tom of course. He is one of those hold outs who doesn’t have a DVR so our conversation had to be short because The Office was on TV. He basically said "let's go look for some new vertical passages Saturday." I usually like more info than that but since the passages were unknown that was impossible. Katrina, Diana, Tom, and I started off by exploring a well -known cave for a couple of hours. After that we got off trail and started searching the jungle for caves! The first pit was found. I tied the rope onto a tree and Tom was the first one down. No luck, the pit was choked with rock and mud only 20 feet in. We continued looking around and found this. I tied a rope to a small tree and went in to check it out.  I squeezed my big head through a little opening and saw that the cave kept on going down. I was still on rope and I called Tom over. He climbed down to where I was and I continued down. I tried to shimmy over to a horizontal ledge but it was too steep and if I slipped I would have pendulumed over and slammed into the other side. I climbed back up and we re-rigged the ropes for the next drops.

Here Tom is descending the first rope. In the next picture he is rigging the 100' rope for the next drop.

Katrina changing over to the next rope and in the picture below she is on the last rope.  We used all the rope we had.  We are going back this weekend to map it and the results will be published in December's Espeleorevista. We also have to collect our ropes!

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