The 5th Casili Spring Exploration 2012

Posted: December 8, 2012 in Cebu Explorations
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Kermit the Frog- Its Not That Easy Being Green

The image of Kermit the Frog singing the song “Its not that easy being green” hopped to my mind as soon as we saw the water of Casili Spring. It was colored algae-green and was over-run by a healthy population of freshly hatched tadpoles.

Western Cebu was experiencing a drought and the water that seemed to flow endlessly from the spring has stopped.

Does the water look a little green to you?

Does the water look a little green to you?

The river bed that gave us a challenge in our previous trip was bone dry.

Where's the water?

We were scheduled today to get stuck right here–now, where’s all the water?

Yep, you'll be itchy after your dive..

Yep, you’ll be itchy after your dive..

The phenomenon had us scratching our heads and our bodies (in anticipation of being itchy after a dive in the less than clean, standing water).

When did this happen? Spotting the elderly caretaker of the site, we eagerly interviewed her. She told us that the water stopped flowing almost a month ago and the last time she saw this happen was  back in ’85 (1985). At that time she said, they had 5 months without rain and the result was similar to what we were seeing now.

It took another 5 months of rain before the continuous and heavy flow returned, she added.

Undeterred by the current situation, Doc and I got ready to follow the trip’s objective– locate the deepest point of the cave and lay some more line!

I would've smiled if it was bit more clean..

I would’ve smiled if the water was bit more clean..

Armed with the knowledge and experience we built up from our previous trips, managing 3 tanks into the MAD Gate and down the Snake Crawl was not so hard anymore. Staging our 50% gas at the bottom of Snake Crawl, we donned our 2 side mounted cylinders and followed the line we laid from the 3rd expedition (conducted on Sept. 2011) which was tied down at 30m.

In the Snake Crawl..

In the Snake Crawl..

Surprisingly, the visibility was good as we went further and deeper in to the cave. We had none of the white-out that plagued us throughout the 4th expedition. Reaching the end of the tie-down, I knotted a continuing line and we proceeded down the Mantaga Sanctum Canyon.

Our descent was quick as we followed the limestone wall down to the cave’s muddy bottom. Maintaining neutral buoyancy to avoid a silt-out,  we  hovered a few inches from the muddy floor and checked our computers’ displayed depth– 40 meters. We have definitely found the deepest freshwater cave in Cebu!

I laid the line a bit further and followed the bottom to where it gradually inclined upwards. Adding an additional 30 meters to the line and at a depth of 35 meters depth, we arrived at another expansive chamber! ( We named it “The Gold Mine Chamber). A jutting rock on the bottom provided me a fine tie-down spot and that was where the line was wrapped and the dive was turned.

Before heading back, I paused to look at the walls of the new chamber we discovered and the cave’s tunnel heading off further, its end way beyond the reach of my lights and I thought happily, “We’re not going to finish mapping this one anytime soon”.

5th Casili Spring Exploration Diagram

5th Casili Spring Exploration Diagram

“The Gold Mine Chamber”.  And why do we call it as such? It’s a play on words—“My Gold or The Gold is Mine” because in all our explorations, the locals always think we are in the area to scour for hidden treasures or for the fabled Japanese gold bars.

The 5th Casili  Spring Exploration was conducted on October 10, 2012.

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