The following is a true story, only the names have been changed, to protect the guilty.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Davy Jones' Locker

This is not the entrance but it's similar and nearby
 Davy Jones' Locker was a term used by sailors of yesteryear as a euphemism for death at sea and the watery grave that awaited them below. It also happens to be the name given to the sump at the end of the cave I explored over the Thanksgiving weekend. With a name like that I had to check it out!
This isn't it either, but that blue water that goes forever looks really cool

The entrance is somewhere close to here 
Four of us joined in the fun on a cold miserable day, missing was the guy who set the whole thing up, Mr Guzman. On board was Mr Seaton, Mr Fino and my right-hand man Super Stee. It may have been a cold, windy, day on the outside but it could have been July or August once we made it inside, since the temps remain the same no matter the season. To make things a little more interesting this was also a wet cave, with very few dry sections.
Mr Fino, just inside the entrance

Mr Seaton right at the point when the water starts to make you squeal 
This was a unique trip to be part of, the cave has not been explored since 89' or 90' when the area was in a drought, much like today. I believe less than ten people have been back to the terminal sump known as Davy Jones' Locker. There is only 800 feet of known passage most of which is underwater on all but the driest years. Although the water level made the trip doable without dive gear, we still had wet suits and were in water no less than knee deep a majority of the time. There were also areas where the murky depths were much further than our toes could feel, and we were swimming.
Thats' my foot and the "Locker" lies just 15 feet below

Break time!
When we got to the back of the cave, I was first to chimney up a wide slot that rose from the water so I could peer down into the sump on the other side. On the wall to my left were two bolts used to lower the cavers and dive equipment. Below that I could see the remains of the divers' life line tied to a horn just above the water line. From my angle, it looked like the water might be low enough to make further progress, but we did not have ropes, or harnesses, and the old bolts were shoddy and rusted anyway. Chimmneying down would be easy with a nice crash landing into the deep water.Getting out unassisted by a rope would be a very different story since the bottom was belled out much wider than a person could span.Needless to say, I didn't attempt to go further.
One of the few, above water-line areas

Dry land, ......relatively
After everyone checked out the sump we had a little break, lounging about in the frigid water before we headed back. We also took time to check any other side passages that might have promising leads, we found none. Future trips will have to be soon, before the water has a chance to come back up in the spring. The first group of explorers thought there might be a vertical passage leading from the other side of the sump access. Currently, the plan is to go back and see if this is true.
Low head-room!

1 comment:

  1. Sweet! I wanted to go farther when we were there in August, but we didn't have wet suits. We only went to where the water started (50-70 feet in? I'm a horrible judge of distance). It's neat to see pics from farther in. Did you guys walk all the way out there on the trail?