How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Weeki Wachee Spring

What a great summer it was. I was able to do far more diving than I ever expected and was able to hit some new systems (Weeki Wachee Springs, Alachua Sink, etc) and spent time in more familiar systems. The most important of all these dives were the ones at Weeki Wachee.

This year I was honored to be a part of the Weeki Wachee Springs 2007 Exploration managed by Karst Underwater Research. I won't go into too much of it here as the link to the exploration says it all. That page lists the 4 major exploration dives that were done as well as numerous links to media coverage that this exploration has garnered. However, it doesn't go into the grueling 30 or so other dives that were made to stage gear, survey, video, or simply familiarize team members with the violent entry and exit procedures. Eventually, toll was taken on everyone's gear but for me, my dry suit and my wet suit got excessively beaten up. However, Steve Gamble was able to work his magic on both.

I was happy to get my "dry" suit back and get back to not shivering after 100 minutes or so. However, I learned some valuable lessons about overheating, nutrition, hydration and cramping.  Given that I sweat like no human should (I have been told it is either because I am 1) in shape or 2) out of shape -- we won't ponder those choices) I have learned that water alone is not what I need to keep my body functioning. I need sodium as well (hmmm...I guess there is something to sports drinks). So now I am taking sodium tablets while out diving.

Now on to my beloved calf cramps that seemingly only occur while swimming out of siphons...We all know potassium is what we need to help us from cramping. So I got some potassium supplements and wondered why they only give me 3% of my daily allowance and I can only take one a day. Well, unlike things like vitamin C, potassium is fat soluble vs. water soluble. Apparently that makes a huge difference if your body can squirrel away things and eventually cause you to overdose on them.

OK, back to diving. The Florida Caves & Cavern List continues to grow with more systems and more information and maps for existing systems. Take a look and let me know what you think.

Here are some events that are coming up in the caving community: