Reel Practice in Jackson Blue Cave

September 1, 2008

Sunday night and Monday morning, we were glued to the Weather Channel.  Hurricane Gustav was heading for New Orleans, but we weren’t sure if it might deviate east toward us or not.  On the drive down through Alabama on Sunday, we encountered several of the outer rain bands and high winds from the storm, but the radio talked about Gustav heading west of New Orleans.

Monday morning we headed over to the Sheriff’s Office for the passes and the key for the park.  Being Labor Day, the park gate was already open and life guards milling about.

Penny’s Full Cave class begins on Thursday, so the objective today was to have her focus on “take offs and landings”….. running the reel into and out of the cave.  It seems like the previous two times we’ve been here, I’ve done most of the line work.

The first couple of attempts were amusing, but I swore to Penny that I would exercise extreme patience and let her work through any incidences without undue assistance from me…. I was in the rocking chair and breathing compressed air under a rock ceiling, so I was quite happy! 🙂

Our dives were short, to maximize the reel work we got in, but we still went back and got more gas so we could get another dive in.  By the time we got done eating, it was getting late, and the park was getting ready to close.  They locked us in (but we had a key), and we had the place to ourselves.  Since it was getting darker, and we had to park on the far side of the park while the swimmers were around, we opted for one last dive in Jackson Blue, making it a longer one.

We had just a hint of daylight left as we exited the cave, and finished loading up in the dark.

…twas a nice first day of diving the Millpond!


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