I love the community down here.
A short interaction in the parking lot yesterday reinforced that, reminded me of yet another reason I love living here.
At the very end of this one particular line there’s a short gap into one of the sketchiest bits of cave.
By the time you’re getting to the end of the line you’re already swimming through this ultra-crumbly stuff where it’s not like your exhaust bubbles knock free some dust when they hit this ceiling... they knock free basketball-sized chunks of jagged limestone. Which then fall through the halocline you’ve been swimming through to the extremely silty floor. And guarantees a limited viz exit. Which slows you down. Which means more bubbles knocking free more death from above.
But that’s not the sketchy part. The sketchy part is after the gap at the end where you’re also in a series of major restrictions. And the line is run like shit. At one point two lines actually touch. In a restriction. Above your head. In zero viz.
It’s pretty terrible.
I’ve been under the impression, however, that it’s totally worth it because there’s a wonderful room back past all that which has been on my to-do list for some time.
Yesterday I bumped into a fella I know. Not well, not like we hang out, but we see eachother around all the time. He’s another local instructor and guide, but one who has been here teaching and exploring and living and breathing these caves for decades.
He was headed to that room that’s been on my to-do list and I commented on the crumminess along the way.
“That’s not where it is,” he explained, “No, no. It’s terrible back there. Don’t go there.”
He could have just as easily left it at that. He was working, he’s the one who put in years of dives in that system finding the room, he had absolutely no obligation to involve me in his day beyond a friendly “hello.”
Instead: he took detailed notes on every hidden jump and directional change on exactly how to get to that room. Which he shared with me after the dive. Drew an equally detailed stick map. So detailed that if I can’t find it I should probably consider giving up scuba diving altogether.
We also talked about another cenote that he occasionally uses for certain types of training for a while.
No jealous protectionism. No hoggish belief that “that other guy” needs to be locked out. No jaded boredom with cave diving as “just a job.” The generosity of knowledge and joy for the sport that this person who has been at this for so long was such a delight to behold.
We left off with some hopeful plans to find a day we both have off when we can meet up with a mutual friend to go for a dive.
I love the community down here
I’m not gonna say there’s no bullshit. Of course there is; it’s not all kumbaya and rainbows every single day. The community is made up of people and where there’s people there’s bullshit. But it ain’t as bad as you hear about in some places.
In my experience, for the most part, it’s a bunch of people, from a varied international background, sharing a passion for an activity they all love.
A lot of really great folks.