After having swam the Mainland and Sweet Surprise tunnels a few times, I had still not done the crossover tunnel, which connects the two. Circuits aren’t necessarily all that appealing to me, I’ve only done one of them outside of training before today, but Allen has been talking this one up to me for a while, so I went along with it :). After meeting up with Rob Culbert and Allen Beard at Cave Excursions East for some tank fills, we headed to Ginnie Springs to sign in and get to diving.
Because swimming in the Devil’s cave system just plain sucks, the plan was that we would all 3 scooter to the Sweet Surprise jump, and then swim the rest of the circuit, returning to main line to grab scooters with assistance of the flow. We would each breathe a stage to breathe during the DPV portion of the drive, drop it at the jump, and swim on back gas (we had all swam at least half the circuit before this dive to verify gas). The swim would be from about 2400ft to 4000 (ish) where there’s a T, and the left side leads to the “crossover tunnel” which heads towards mainland. Once we hit mainland, the flow would be at our backs and the rest of the trip would be a breeze. Due to the small nature of the crossover tunnel, they allowed me to lead since I hadn’t seen it before, and limited visibility was to be expected from diver traffic. This tunnel is very pretty, with surprisingly little damage given how small it is. After the crossover tunnel, we arrived at Mainland, which is my favorite area of the cave to date. Unfortunately, there was substantial river intrusion, so even my 21w HID didn’t produce the beautiful blue glow I’ve grown accustomed to seeing. Once out of Mainland, we coast from 3000ft to around 2400 where our scooters were waiting, ready to spare us from any more swimming!