January 24, 1999

Today Wakulla Park Superintendent Sandy Cook (left) gave a tour to Fran Mainella (right, foreground) who is the Director of the Division of Recreation and Parks. In the middle, Patty Mortara steps into the shot from her job preparing for the divers' arrival in the decompression chamber. In the background, Jill Heinerth steps out of the communications box where the tenders communicate with the divers who are inside the chamber [photo ©1999 Barbara Anne am Ende].

John Zumrick prepares his rig for his dive into C Tunnel with Paul Heinerth. The two are setting reflective waypoint buoys and running the digital wall mapper, but the team will have to return another time and set the radio location coils. The existing coils are currently deployed in other parts of the cave (three deep in O Tunnel and two in B-Tunnel) [photo ©1999 Barbara Anne am Ende].


Rich Hudson works a come-along winch to align the transfer capsule when it mates with the main decompression chamber. Paul Heinerth and John Zumrick are inside the white personnel transfer capsule (PTC) at this moment (pressurized to 80 feet). As soon as the seal is acheived, Paul and John will enter the horizontal chamber on which Rich is kneeling [photos ©1999 Barbara Anne am Ende].

After divers arrived back from their missions, a support crew has to haul their gear to the trailer. First the MK5 rebreathers must be downloaded so the decompression schedule can be determined for the chamber. In this photo, Steve Hudson (left) and Rick Stanton (right) bring John Zumrick's rebreather to shore to be downloaded. Steve is the president of PMI (Pigeon Mountain Industries) and has been a great friend of the USDCT over the years. On our expeditions to Mexico (where the deep caves grow) we are dependent on PMI rope more than any other single item. On the Wakulla 2 project PMI rope is used for several purposes. In the photo above, white 11 mm PMI is used to secure the barge to shore and orange 5/8 inch PMI is used for moving the PTC horizontally over the moon pool where the Ingersoll-Rand winch lowers the PTC on a steel cable. We also use it for PTC alignment (anti-spin) lines in the water; gear recovery; and, later, for lateral bell transfer to deeper ingress depths [photos ©1999 Barbara Anne am Ende].

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