Erik Brown, Team Blue Immersion
Kris Harrison, Sirius Diving
NEWS JANUARY 2013: Erik Brown from Team Blue Immersion is in Yukatan exporing the caves/cenotes withe Kris Harrison. Follow on this page blog and pics. On the attached picture Erik is about to dive the Tajma Ha, a cenotes 26km south of Playa Del Carmen. Batcaves, hundreds of stalactites and stalagmites. You can even find hidden fossils in this system. Beautiful haloclines create interesting mirror-like effects, as divers penetrate the layer of salt water, which is below the freshwater.
Kris Harrison @ www.siriusdiving.com, TDI Cave Instructor Trainer
Jonas Samuelsson @ www.blue-immersion.org, TDI Full Cave Instructor/PADI Cave IT
Gal Avital @ www.bansdiving.co.il, PADI Staff Instructor/TDI Full Cave Diver
Think of the cenotes as the metro in London or New York. An enormous spiderweb where the cenotes are the stations and the ‘rivers’ are the tunnels connecting them. One difference between the cenotes and the above mention metros is that the cenotes in Mexico is many 100 times larger than any metro constructed by man.
It’s said that only 15% of the cenotes are discovered and exploration divers like Kris Harrison, Sirius Diving, is one of the cave divers that are diving in this area with the goal of discovering the other 85%.
Members of Team Blue Immersion had the opportunity to dive with Kris during a trip to cenotes.
The Peninsula of Yucatán is notorious for its rocky terrain and its calcareous soil upon which there are no rivers, hills or plains. Therefore the river channels that meander across the region continue hiding underground, forming an immense network of subterranean channels and water deposits. These become exposed to the exterior as the walls sustaining the underground tunnels collapse, thus forming circular openings commonly known as “cenotes”.
El Eden Cenote: also known as Ponderosa is situated 3 km south of Puerto Aventuras and 25 km sound of Playa Del Carmen. A large and beautiful cenote, it is like a swimming pool in the middle of the jungle. Large rocks covered by mosses and plants on the bottom of the cenote are home to a variety of fish. The rooms are large and the main part takes the diver alongside the nearby cenote Coral Garden. The halocline on this dive is out of this world. Lots to explore and many connecting cenotes.
Tajma Ha: This cenote situated 26 km south of Playa Del Carmen. Large stalactites and stalagmites decorating this beautiful cenote. Minimum 7 cenotes and 7.5 km (!) of connecting rivers between them!
Cenote Dos Ojos and The Pit
Location Quintana Roo, Mexico
Depth 119.1 meters
Length 81.539 kilometers
Discovery November 1987
Number of entrances 28 Cenotes
Dos Ojos (from Spanish meaning “Two Eyes”; officially Sistema Dos Ojos) is a flooded cave system located north of Tulum, on the Caribbean coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. The exploration of Dos Ojos began in 1987 and still continues. The surveyed extent of the cave system is 81.5 kilometres and there are 28 known sinkhole entrances, which are locally called cenotes.
Dos Ojos lies broadly parallel to and north of the Sac Actun cave system. Dos Ojos has remained in the top ten, if not the top three longest underwater cave systems in the world since its discovery in the late 1980s. Dos Ojos contains the deepest known cave passage in Quintana Roo with 119 metres of depth located at “The Pit” discovered in 1996 by cave explorers who came all the way from the main entrance some 1,500 metres away. The deep passages include the “Wakulla Room”, the “Beyond Main Base (BMB) passage”, “Jill’s room” and “The Next Generation passage”.
Dos Ojos is an anchialine cave system with connections to naturally intruding marine water and tidal influence in the cenotes. The coastal discharge point(s) of this cave system have not yet been humanly explored through to the ocean, although large volumes of groundwater were demonstrated by dye tracing to flow towards Caleta Xel-Ha, a nearby coastal bedrock lagoon.
The name Dos Ojos refers to two neighbouring cenotes which connect into a very large cavern zone shared between the two. These two cenotes appear like two large eyes into the underground. The original cave diving exploration of the whole cave system began through these cenotes. The Dos Ojos underwater cave system was featured in a 2002 IMAX film, Journey Into Amazing Caves and the 2006 BBC/Discovery Channel series Planet Earth. Parts of the Hollywood 2005 movie The Cave were filmed in the Dos Ojos cave system.
More pictures, videos and updates will follow the coming week as Team Blue Immersion is exploring more of the cenotes.