James Garrett's Blog

Ginnie Springs Photoshoot

To test my new FLX Extreme, Philip and I decided to head to Ginnie Springs, so that he could play with his new camera and housing as well.  I won’t say much about this one, as the photos speak for themselves.

Posted 7 years ago at 1:30 pm. Add a comment

Photo Shoot with Becky Kagan Schott of Liquid Productions LLC

Tonight I finally had the opportunity to go on a photo shoot with Becky of Liquid Productions LLC, something I had wanted to do for a long time.  Andreas was my buddy for the shoot, which worked well, as we had tons of time with a single stage and back gas since we’ve both dove Devil’s quite often.

This was my first shoot with a professional photographer, and I was very impressed.  I had worked with Becky before when I was Vice President of the UCF Dive Club, where her and her husband David gave a presentation on shooting video and photos underwater, as well as the Weeki Wachee exploration footage.  Becky did an excellent job on the surface explaining the complex shots that she had planned, and also with directing “on the fly” underwater after we completed the staged shots.

Posted 7 years, 9 months ago at 9:26 am. Add a comment

Scootering Devils – Mainline to the Insulation Rooms

After getting off work, Jeff Marchand and myself decided to head over to Ginnie Springs for a quick dive and some camping.  Since this was our first scooter dive with the camera, we kept it simple and went mainline to the Insulation Rooms.

Devils Ear to the Insulation Rooms from James Garrett on Vimeo.

Posted 8 years, 2 months ago at 5:34 pm. Add a comment

Devils – Sweet Surprise

Breathing Gas– 32% Backgas / 100% Deco
Max Depth– 104ft
Avg Depth– 85ft
Visibility– 75ft
Water Temp– 72F
Dive Time: 72min

Notes:
Met up with Stacey at Cave Excursions East to get fills and then headed off to Ginnie to do a quick dive before the super bowl.  Our original plan was to hit mainland, but another team was already in there, so we cut it back a bit and just went to Sweet Surprise.  According to Forrest Wilson here, Sweet Surprise got it’s name because Dale Sweet discovered it, even after it had been missed by other explorers.

To get there, simply scooter in on a stage until about p2100 and then look for a tunnel that looks like it “goes”.  The jump line is cut pretty far back here.  We made it back to the first T, which is the turtle tunnel and takes you to Mainland.  Due to recent rains and flooding, viability was poor for the Devils system.

Posted 8 years, 9 months ago at 4:33 pm. 1 comment

Devil’s – Hill 400

Breathing Gas– 32% Backgas / 100% Deco
Max Depth
Avg Depth
Visibility– 150+ft
Water Temp– 72F
Dive Time:

Notes:
After diving with Brian in the AM, I had a surface interval and then met Ryan and Sam to do a quick run down Hill400.  This was Sam’s first time off mainline Ginnie, so we covered the dive plan and were in the water.  Sam ran the primary, and had an interesting time due to the fact that the NACD conference visitors had left 5 primaries already in the system, which left very few good tie off spots.  The two of them would lead, and I would scooter along behind them, as I’m still trying to gain scooter hours.  I had a stage bottle that I would breathe, and reserved all of my back gas to ensure that I had enough gas to swim out sharing gas, since scootering out wasn’t an option with only 1 scooter between the 3 of us.

Ginnie Springs -- Devils Ear to Hill 400

Posted 8 years, 11 months ago at 6:30 pm. Add a comment

Devil’s – To Mainland…or not….

Breathing Gas– 32% Backgas / 100% Deco
Max Depth– 101ft
Avg Depth– 85ft
Visibility– 150+ft
Water Temp– 72F
Dive Time:

Notes:
Met with Brian to do a dive to Mainland.  The plan was to double stage on the scooter ride there, dropping the first stage at stage bottle rock (about p1800), and then breathe the second stage all the way to Mainland.  From there we would use limited backgas to see whatever we could, and then head back.  Unfortunately I got a little ambitious, and jumped about 10ft too early into a low, silty, and probably better off side mount passage.  One thing I learned, make the OTHER guy lead in a siphon, a single errant fin kick blitzed the viz, and we were both left on the line for the exit. Once we returned to mainline, viz was about 10-15ft, but still enough to get on the scooters and try to speed up the exit.  Viz cleared around the Insulation Rooms, and by the time we were getting to the Maple Leaf, no evidence of our error was left (whew! I thought we were going to read about ourselves on CDF or TDS!).

Posted 8 years, 11 months ago at 12:30 pm. Add a comment

Devil’s – To the Scraper

Breathing Gas– 32% Backgas / 100% Deco
Max Depth– 104ft
Avg Depth
Visibility– 150+ft
Water Temp– 72F
Dive Time:

Notes:
Met with Jeff after he got off work at Ginnie and headed to the Devil’s area to gear up.  The plan was a simple scooter mainline dive here, nothing fancy.  We would scooter until it became too small, drop the scooters and start swimming.   We hit our turn pressure around the scraper, all in all a pretty uneventful dive.

Posted 8 years, 11 months ago at 11:00 pm. Add a comment

Devil’s – To the Insulation Room

Breathing Gas– 32% Backgas / 100% Deco
Max Depth
Avg Depth
Visibility– 150+ft
Water Temp– 72F
Dive Time:

Notes:
Met up with AJ and Stacey late in the afternoon.  Stacey is quite frankly much better on a scooter than either of us are right now, so we had asked her to give us pointers, and guide us in the right direction to become more proficient on DPV’s.  Since she takes weekly water samples in the Insulation Rooms, we would tag along during this dive.  AJ and I lead during the dive so that Stacey could observe us.  Getting into Devil’s Ear just isn’t fun yet, I’m doing better, but still need work.  We made it to the Insulation Rooms, which was a new experience, as the jump line here is tied off to the ceiling, and scooters are great at floating as well as catching flow at the same time, so once again, as with any new thing in diving, very task loading.  While it’s not the easiest place to run a reel with a safety/stage, please don’t just throw your scooter or stage bottles in the clay where you jump off mainline, the damage is very evident from people doing that at this particular location. Anyways, back to my story….we got the scooters clipped off and headed down the passage, stopping for each of us to cookie the T and then following Stacey to the area where she takes her weekly samples.  On exit, AJ and I had decided to alternate towing each other, which Stacey said we did well.  However, we do need to work on OOA drills, as the additional task loading of the scooter made for a way to eventful drill.  Once again, deco was minimal (I’m starting to love the Gavin for that!).

Posted 9 years ago at 3:30 pm. Add a comment

Devil’s – Maple Leaf

Breathing Gas– 32% Backgas / 100% Deco
Max Depth
Avg Depth
Visibility– 150+ft
Water Temp– 72F
Dive Time:

Notes:
Left Telford, got a quick fill from Extreme Exposure, and headed to Ginnie to meet Gibby and Jeff.  Jeff had a hose leak, so he had to sit out the dive.  Gibby and myself continued on, but the main goal of this dive was to play with 30w HID video lights that a friend loaned us and get some cool video.  I haven’t had a chance to put it together, but when I do, I’ll post it on here.

Posted 9 years ago at 6:00 pm. Add a comment

Devil’s – To the Heinkle and then Hill400

Breathing Gas– 32% Backgas / 100% Deco
Max Depth– 106ft
Avg Depth– 85ft
Visibility– 150+ft
Water Temp– 72F
Dive Time:

Notes:
Met up with Jeff Marchand after he got off work and finally got to take the new Gavin Standard into a cave after spending several hours with it in open water.  We had decided to go somewhere that was very open, and the mainline section of Ginnie fit the bill, with the added bonus that we had already swam this entire area of cave, most of it multiple times, so we had a solid idea on how much gas is needed to swim out from that far back.  The first thing I noticed is how fast the cave comes at you on a scooter.  It’s VERY task loading keeping up with a buddy, the scooter and the line….and also enjoy the cave.  Getting through the lips on the throttle scared me, so I decided to swim it…WOW does the flow really catch a scooter in this area of the cave, and with the safety bottle on the other side of me, getting through the lips was no fun!  Once through the lips, we established communication again and got back on the throttle.  I found myself constantly on and off the throttle, as I’m paranoid of getting too high and hitting cave.  We made it to the Heinkle in about 27 minutes, and turned the dive there, not wanting to stretch gas for the first cave/dpv dive.  On exit, we stopped at Hill400 since we had built up reserves, recalculated our gas math, and tied in a spool.  The cruise down Hill400 went quickly, and we were at the p1000ft arrow before we knew it.  Since Whitney was waiting on the surface, we decided to turn here before deco got too long and left her bored out of her mind.  Deco was < 10 minutes, which was awesome seeing as how we had just covered 3700ft of Ginnie, a dive that would have required about 40 minutes had we been swimming!

Posted 9 years ago at 11:59 pm. Add a comment