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Auteur Titre: Wakulla jonction Date
Oncle Tom From:
[] On Behalf Of Todd Leonard
Sent: domingo, 29 de Julho de 2007 2:37
Subject: [gavinscooters] Big news from Turner

Greetings from Wakulla County...

The WKPP accomplished one of its long-term objectives today, when Jarrod
Jablonski and Casey McKinlay connected the Leon Sinks cave system to the
Wakulla Springs system.

Details will be posted in the coming days, but a few highlights of
today's dive include:

- 1,220ft of line layed
- connecting line tied in at 11,200ft
- bt=250min

As I write this (9pm), John Rose and David Rhea are at deco in the
basin, following their setup dive to 10,500. JJ and Casey are at deco in
the 40ft trough just inside the entrance restriction.

Basin viz is only a few inches right now, which is an impediment to
shuttling large amounts of gear past divers decompressing on the line.
Now that they're on the log at 20ft and spread out a bit we're made the
most of the space, and have all the scooters, breathers, and most of the
bottles back on the surface.

A few more hours to go...

- Todd
2007-07-29 21:56:50

The long awaited physical connection between the Wakulla Springs and Leon
Sinks cave systems was established Saturday, July 28 at 12:20pm.
Approximately 11,200ft downstream of Turner Sink Jarrod and I entered a
massive room with floor to ceiling relief of 120ft+ and wall to wall
distance in excess of 100ft. The floor was 300ft+ and the line was
positioned on the left side of the room. I held the line while Jarrod
scouted a large opening on the right wall behind a large silt bank. A few
minutes later he returned and with a calm sort of confidence indicated it
looked reasonable for perhaps the first of several attempts to locate the
incoming R-Tunnel from Wakulla. The map indicated it was in this general
vicinity somewhere but what would it look like? Would it be passable? All
good questions with nothing taken for granted after the last 450 minute
excursion to the end of the line where the cave shut down. I switched on the
video camera and 50wt light as Jarrod tied in and headed for the dark spot
on the wall. The tunnel looked reasonable and quickly turned left around a
corner and into another massive room with openings right and left. Too many
options in my opinion as both anxiety and anticipation began to build. With
a fresh stage plugged in and 2 extras clipped off we were committed to
spending as much time as necessary to find the way. We made another left
into a medium sized room that did not look good as I held back to look at
the large, dark opening to the right. Too many left turns already. I was
concerned we would end up intersecting the Turner line in some sort of loop.
Jarrod backed up and went right into another massive room and the tunnel
began to take shape. We took another right as Jarrod wrapped on a huge rock
center conduit and continued on. This was good, keep making right turns.
It was difficult to check the compass on my left arm because holding the
camera steady with the scooter took both hands. I started thinking out loud
that the line was here somewhere. Perhaps over the next rise or around the
next corner? Where was it, the anticipation was killing me. It would be
tied off on the right wall at a corner with a large rock outcropping and it
could not be much farther unless the survey was totally off. As we rounded
the next corner and looked at the right wall I saw something that did not
look natural hanging down from a rock outcropping. It was a loop of line.
If there was a blue arrow on the other side of that rock with "Wakulla
Springs" on it we had done it. The arrow was right where we had left it a
month earlier on the 600min, 24,000ft ride from the Wakulla entrance. After
17 years the WKPP had finally connected Wakulla Springs to Leon Sinks. The
team would be pleased. I could feel the pressure that had been building
over the years begin to release. It was a good day for the WKPP.

It is difficult to put into perspective the amount of effort it took over
the past 17 years as an official project to accomplish this goal. In
addition to the WKPP, there were many well know explorers going back another
50 years that have helped piece together the mystery of Leon Sinks and
Wakulla Springs. There also existed some amount of skepticism as to whether
it was even possible to connect these systems. Would the cave shut down?
Would the cave come shallow? Was there a sinkhole somewhere? Would the
cave ever clear to allow exploration? Would we have the team and
capabilities to support the effort? In the end, it came down to a favorable
weather pattern, a great team, good data and a willingness to push hard and
accept the abuse from brutal exposure after brutal exposure. What is most
notable to me this season and last was the process by which we targeted this
section of cave, used the data, effectively dealt with each setback and
continued to push onward. Had we not decided to push into Wakulla in
September of 2006 when conditions were horrible we may never have confirmed
clear water in A-Tunnel past the O intersection. Having that piece of
information resulted in the second dive which confirmed the loop and
isolated an area of interest around 7,000ft. The importance of survey data
and using the data to further narrow down areas of interest was the primary
reason behind the decision to return to Turner this month as opposed to
another brutal and riskier push from the Wakulla side. Good data, good
people, good plan, good decisions and the rest, well, WKPP cave diving

There are so many people to recognize that I am not sure where to start.
The team extends beyond the official WKPP roster including support at home,
Halcyon production staff, GUE staff, Florida DEP, Todd Kincaid and his team
at Hazlett-Kincaid, Gene Hobbs, Dr. David Doolette, Tallahassee
Hyperbarics, Wakulla Park Staff, Dale S., Extreme Exposure staff, Anthony
Rue and the video team, Corey Smith, David Rhea and the photo teams, Mark
Garland for coming back strong, John Rose for sticking it out, Sankey,
Gavin, English, Turner, Scarabin, Irvine and last but not least my dive
partner Jarrod Jablonski. It is difficult to explain at times but we both
suffer from an inability to know when enough is enough. Fortunately that is
exactly what is needed to explore in the WKP.

I look forward to communicating the details and sharing the photos and
videos as they become available. Thank you all for your support.


Casey McKinlay

Project Director

Woodville Karst Plain Project
2007-07-30 23:10:58
Gruissanot J luc Coucou Jerome . Tu peux resumer ,j'aimerai comprendre un peu et surement pas le seul...
Merci .
Amitiés j luc .
2007-07-31 13:59:15
pooor lonesome oinoi La jonction en images :
2007-07-31 15:38:10