Since my charter was canceled on 4/22 due to weather I decided to make the best of the weekend and headed up to Vermont and dive with Matt/Lea at Esperanza. They were already planning on going up there anyway but it was sort of a last minute decision for me. Matt/Lea drove up Friday night but I had a bunch of stuff to pack and organize so I drove up Saturday morning at 5AM.
We decided to enter and dive from the open water portion instead of the air shaft since Matt/Lea are still tweaking their gear configuration on their fancy new JJ rebreathers. Matt bought an oversized cart for lugging our bailout. It was certainly a lot easier than lugging bailout/deco bottles through the woods.
On Saturday 4/22 we did two dives, mostly staying on the West Deep line and North jump line. We entered from the open section, tying off in the left side (west side) of “coffin” and ran a primary reel to where the other cave entrance sign is before tying off to the end of West Deep near the North jump line. On first dive we tied a jump to the North jump line and swam around the column. This was actually the first time that we tied into the West Deep line from open water. We’ve always either tied into the Shallow Line or North Line from open water or entered from the air shaft.
The visibility was pretty bad on both dives, likely due to all the rain and snow melting. I don’t think we had more than 20ft although I’d say average in most spots was a milky 10-15ft. Not ideal but certainly better than the ocean this weekend. I didn’t bother with a camera/video on either dive. Surprisingly, there was actually a decent amount of ambient light at the end of the West Deep line if you looked out of the corner of your eyes. I pointed this out to Matt/Lea since I don’t think they ever noticed it before. Since we knew diving again on Sunday we left the primary reel tied in.
On Sunday we opted to do one longer dive since Matt/Lea wouldn’t have to re-pack their scrubbers and we could head home a little earlier. We entered in from air shaft swimming West Deep to Moonscape until the Moonscape line Tees into the North Line. We turned around at the Tee junction and swam Moonscape back to the end of West Deep and collected the primary reel that we had tied into from open water on Saturday, exiting from open water section and completing our mini traverse.
Unfortunately at some point in open water I lost the primary reel from my butt d-ring. I think it may have happened near the stairs when I was unclipping bailout bottles. I’m going to have to do a couple dives in open water to look for it at some point.