DISCOVERIES

[linked to the article: The Return to the Hinatuan Enchanted River Head Spring]

In the spirit of discovery, we did manage to document a previously unknown occurrence at the Hinatuan Enchanted River!

At the spillway area of the spring to the river, the rocky bottom there seemed warmer than most—our computers recorded a 1-2 degrees of temperature increase denoting obvious thermal activity that creates the thermocline.

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[ At this time, it is questionable as to what this would be of use to the ordinary surface-swimming tourists. Definitely, this will be an excellent 3 meter deco stop after a long cave dive! – Doc ]

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We also observed a fair amount of fish schooling close to the warmer area, making a meal of the abundant green algae growing on the submerged timbers and rocks.

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Check out this video of the Fish Life in Hinatuan River.

We spent the last day checking out several idyllic islets and diving a site that was open to the Pacific Ocean.

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It was interesting to note that at 16 meters, the sandy bottom exhibited sand ripples and we felt the ocean’s gentle and rhythmical surge even at that depth.

Doc Amores:  Debriefing Session with Mayor Viola

We reviewed our findings, aided by still photographs and videos. Mayor Viola thinks that the obstruction of the cave could be caused by recent earth-moving development in the area – roads, parking lots, etc. He thinks that this could be caused by collapse of communicating vents to the cave by filling in of surrounding pits –- remnants of sink holes.

(In separate discussions, Ferdinand mentioned something about the past amihan season being severe, with flooding of areas around Hinatuan and Enchanted River).

I propose that Mayor Viola make a decision as to whether we leave the cave alone or plan on a clearing operation. If a clearing operation is planned, we can form a cave diving team to accomplish this.

For the long term, the LGU can create a special land-use plan of the area. This can be bolstered by sworn statements of the local people who witnessed the silting of the water coming out of the spring three days after the pit filling operation in the area.”

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