Monday, November 1, 2010

kaitlyn on vacation, part 4: diving the cenotes

Before I post Kaitlyn's latest, some brief background (mainly for my dad's benefit). Kaitlyn is a wardrobe supervisor. I think maybe Dad thinks this is someone who tells frumps how to shape up. In fact, it means she has degrees and background in theatrical costume design, and now spends her working life with traveling Broadway shows. It's fascinating, and it suits her well. She's also very good at it. It's also very hard work, fast-paced and often packed into a crazy small space, so she spends her vacation doing things like this:

Dove the cenotes today. Magical. One of the best diving days of my short diving career. Imagine a cave system, one of the biggest underground river caverns on the planet stretching for hundreds of miles, all flooded with water as clear as glass that you can float through. Everywhere you look are fossilized shells embedded in the walls, giant stalagmites jutting up from the floor and piles of broken stalactites scattered all over the ground like the bones of an ancient creature. I literally forgot I was diving and felt more like I was floating through air. Want to look at the top of that stalactite? Done. Just drift on up. Want to look at the piles of stalactites on the ground and then visit the next cave? Done. Turn on your light and swim through the cave wall.

We surfaced in a cave where the bottom was all a pool of water and the dome of the cave stretched overhead about 15-20 feet in the center, like being underneath a giant rock bowl. It looked like something out of a jungle movie scene with ropes of vines hanging from the ceiling and one round hole in the very top emitting light and sun and some plants. I expected to see Indiana Jones poke his head into view and let the monkey scamper down one of those vines, perhaps followed by spears from angry natives.

Another cave was called Points of Light because the ceiling of the cave was pierced, also creating a pool inside a rock dome with sunlight lancing through the ceiling in round rays dancing all over the water. This cave is accessible to swimmers without dive gear but you have to know exactly where you are going to find the short swim through route. If you know where you are going, it’s about 10 feet and you can hold your breath until you surface. If you don’t know and you take the wrong route, it’s about 500 feet and your chances of making it are remote. And scary.

There was no animal life except for a few catfish in the outer pools so it was all about stuff. Boulders, giant rock formations, fossilized shells, stalagmites that looked like they belonged in Carlsbad Caverns, hundreds of stalactites all over the ceilings and long cavernous swim throughs. LOVED it. Actually made me consider coming back to certify in cave diving so I know better what I’m doing.

Dove with 2 guys from Canada – Dave and Dorian -who seemed like young former frat boys who had graduated college and gone on to lucrative careers with plenty of money to buy expensive gear and fund their playboy attitudes. Nice enough but perhaps slightly entitled? On the way home, Dorian started teasing that they would have come to Mexico earlier in the month but Dave was a bit tied up.

Dorian: what kind of trouble was that exactly, Dave?

Dave: mmmbmbmm

Dorian: Hm, didn’t quite hear that. Jail, you say?

Dave: *silence*

Dorian: for 4 days? Wow. Must have been bad. What was it for exactly?

Dave (giving in): marijuana

Dorian: How many plants? 2000 I heard?

Dave (with a big sigh): 2100 actually. But technically they weren’t mine since I’d just sold the place.

Turns out our friend to the north, Dave, has been making quite the living as a pot grower for the last decade or so and just sold a “start up operation” grow house consisting of an old barn and 2100 plants when he was busted by the cops. He said it was far from his biggest grow house (“me and one other guy managed 8000 plants at one point”) and even though Canada has lenient drug laws, they “wanted to make an example” of him so they arrested him and he sat in jail for 4 days. But he’s convinced he’ll beat it and his girlfriend Karen, a legal assistant (conveniently), interjects with “Pot should be legal. I mean, what’s the big deal.” I agreed but said that since it is illegal, that makes the legal situation a bit tricky, right? That caused a moment of silence in the back seat followed by Dave saying “Kaitlyn, are you a cop?”

No Dave, not a cop. Just following an interesting story and living in an episode of Weeds, apparently.

1 comment:

K-Dad said...

What a great read -- thanks, Kaitlyn and Kateri! And thanks for setting me straight about wardrobe supervisors...I've met (and worked with) a few of those on the local level, so my hat's definitely off to you for filling that role in much more demanding circumstances!