June 15, 2016 Cenote Doggi To find this Cenote completely…

June 15, 2016

Cenote Doggi

To find this Cenote completely ignore the directions in Steve Gerrard’s book, The Centotes of the…

Instead, drive south on 307 to Muyil. At the entrance to the ruins reset your odometer and proceed slowly for .7 to .8 km. Turn right onto a limestone road that borders a rancho on the left (road parallels the fence line) and follow it past a left fork. Continue for perhaps ¼ mile where you will come to a 90 degree turn to the left. There is a gated rancho directly on the right. The wooden gate is painted brown and locked.

Follow the road left for another 100 yards and the Cenote is at the end of the road gated and sealed off by a chain link fence. You have paid 200 pesos and obtained the key from ProTec. There is a large Palapa left of the trail that leads to the hole. Pool is down and right with line starting on the back right side above the water line.

We were warned about break-ins so we were careful not to bring any valuables with us. We left the car open, with the glove box open, and did not experience any problems.

Doggi is amazingly beautiful. The dives are highly complex in a smallish setting where the diver will be crossing over the line often in spaces where it is difficult to turn and communicate with your partner. The cave is fresh so you will be following knotted line with jumps that are very close to the main line and T’s that are acute so you could jump without knowing it if you are careless. Carry a lot of cookies and mind your navigation.

Dive 1: We followed the main line through a labyrinth of stalactite studded rooms. You will come to the first T in about 8 min. T right and continue to a second T (acute)–the continuous line does right–so we T’d right. We continued until 46 minutes before we turned.

Dive 2: We jumped left at the first T and followed this line until it ended at about 30 minutes.

Have fun. Enjoy the video.

June 14, 2016 Don Lucio Compilation of two dive days at Don…

June 14, 2016 Don Lucio

Compilation of two dive days at Don Lucio

At ProTec pay 150 pesos per person admittance fee and get the key to the gate. Drive south of Tulum on 307 for about 7 miles. Watch for Rancho Loma Linda (red sign) on right side of road. Pass this rancho (Chan Hol) and begin watching the left side of the road (slow down). About 1 km south of Loma Linda look for a sign, Rancho Pax Chen. Turn left into a driveway just pass the Pax Chen sign. The gate is chain link on one side and wood on the other. Drive into the rancho. Pass by the buildings on the left and proceed another 50-75 feet until you are next to a palapa (left side of car). Park here. There is a faint trail by the palapa that leads into the cave which is sort of back and right. There is a red sash hanging by the mouth of the cave.

Take a back-up light and a prepped tank and enter the cave. Careful of the bats. Move in, and right somewhat until you can see the pool in front of you. To avoid the mud, hug the left side of the pool staying on the limestone. You will see the cave line on the left side of the pool and you should be able to look down into the actual entrance.

Don Lucio is a fresh cave and is in the process of being explored so be very careful to carry and use a lot of cookies. Some jumps come very close to the main line–close enough that somebody unaware could jump unknowingly onto another line.

The main line is an awesome dive with several smallish restrictions, low ceilings and highly decorated. Careful movement is a must.

Twenty to twenty one minutes in on the main line there is a jump to the right off an arrow marked, “Ich Will”. We followed the passage to a T and turned. The passage to the T is small, fins extended, head sideways type movement–the visibility was bad for the second and third diver and zero for a large section coming out. I loved this dive because I love small cave.

If you are lucky you might get to meet Don Lucio. He is a great guy and very friendly.

June 14, 2016 The beta on Xulo: a really cool cave. Travel…

June 14, 2016

The beta on Xulo: a really cool cave.

Travel south from Tulum on 307. Pass through Muyil. On the latter half of the big turn to the right, slow down. Look for the mannequin stuck on a broom handle (painful). Turn right and follow road into the Cenote. Park next to the building on left. There is a bit of shade if you park close to the building. Watch out for the medium sized, red fur dog because he pisses on your gear, tires, tanks, etc. 200 pesos to be paid on site.

The Dives: After the first 50 feet or so you bounce from 30 feet to 4-6 feet under a bell and then back down to 30 feet.

Main line: Medium to big rooms that eventually goes smallish at 70-75 feet of depth. Fun, but just ok.

Awesome dive #1: Take the first Double arrow jump to the right. Smallish, bedding plane, stalactite pass-throughs back to main line. Reverse or continue right on main line to the Double arrow Caterpillar Jump. Jump left to amazingly good, smallish bedding plane, stalactite pass-throughs to a T. T right ends at a restriction that only Mauro has been through–maybe I should say has slithered through.

T left for more awesomeness.

Awesome dive #2: Pass the first two DOUBLE arrow jumps and go directly to the DOUBLE arrow Caterpillar Jump. Jump left. Go to the T (40 min approx). T left and continue to thirds. Your gas may be good enough to reach the Caterpillar connection, or not. If not, the dive is stageable meaning that there are safe places to leave your tanks without damaging the cave. Smallish low bedding planes, some breakdown, bits of sideways, stalactite pass-throughs, etc.

Feel free to use my map.

Chan Hol: The saga to find this hidden gem. Our story starts…

Chan Hol: The saga to find this hidden gem.

Our story starts with simple directions. Kim Davidsson (owner ProTec) had recommended Chan Hol, and rightly so–it’s a beautiful cave. So we did what any sensible person would do, we read Steve Gerrard’s guide book. We noted that there are two sets of directions in his book: One set tells the reader to turn right after the second big bend in the road 7 km south of Tulum. Firstly, the second big curve is almost 12 km from town not anywhere near 7 km south of Tulum.

In the second description the directions say 11 km south of Tulum “after the big bend.” Well, there are two big bends between Tulum and the Cenote, Chan Hol.

On day one, we actually drove to the correct Cenote. There is a sign: I can’t pull a picture of the sign in to my blog so Google image Loma Linda, Del Los Mucuyes.

We drove up to the house and asked if we were in the right place: Cenote Chan Hol. The individual working a table saw said no. When I asked him (Donde esta, Chan Hol?) where we could find Chan Hol he shrugged. So we left and motored toward Tulum stopping in all the driveways that we could find between Rancho Loma Linda and Tulum. At this point we gave up and spent the day at Caterpillar.

The next morning we obtained a new set of directions from another diver. He said, “Drive south of Tulum 10 or 12 kms until you come to a big tree right on the side of the road.” Ironically we counted three big trees on the right side of the road and got to visit some cool driveways before ending up at the sign described above, again. We drove into the rancho and parked. I walked up to a different person than the man we’d seen the day before and politely asked if he could direct us to Chan Hol since we were certain we were in the wrong place.

He raised his eyebrows with a questioning look in his eyes and waved, he said, “This Chan Hol.”

“Donde esta,?” I asked, looking around.

He pointed across his lawn to a wooden table.

And that’s when I saw the faint trail leading over to a white wall, bending left and down into the darkness: Chan Hol.

Needless to say the dives were magnificent. Large, white passages with amazing formations. Huge rooms. Really cool and worth the two days of navigation.

In the interest of other divers who want to dive Chan Hol here are the directions: From the Pemex/Extra (Extra is like a 7-eleven) on the south end of Tulum drive 7.2 miles past the SECOND big bend. You will see a huge tree on the right side of the road. (To emphasize: it is 7.2 miles from the Pemex to the parking spot in Chan Hol based on Google maps.) You will see the sign indicated above just past the tree. Turn right into the driveway, pass through the gate and go right. Park near the wooden table(75 feet). The Cenote is to your right: look for the faint trail that parallels the limestone wall. There are steps into the water. Racking up is easy. The line starts on the back wall slightly right with a red arrow. The cost is 200 pesos per person.