Posts Tagged ‘cebu caves’

The fabled beast of Casili Spring emerges!

The fabled beast of Casili Spring emerges!

“Holy Mother!!” — I cringed, turned my head away and shut my eyes as a snake-like form lunged from the dark mouth of the Casili Spring and slithered towards me.

“If this thing decides to bite me, I’m just darn out of luck!”, I thought as the serpentine creature came within kissing distance.

Thankfully, it was not hungry or in a biting mood since Doc and I finned away unscathed from our first encounter of the fabled freshwater eel that the spring is named for. “Casili” after all is the local word for eels that thrive in rivers and springs.

The approximately 1 meter/ 3ft eel of robust girth (size probably gained from feeding on tadpoles and toads) was seen again observing us from the muddy ledge of the Gold Mine Chamber. It must have been attracted to the lights because it approached within touching distance. Its curiosity sated, it left and the only evidence of its presence was the disturbed silt of the path it took and a blurry picture taken by a shaky hand.

We left Cebu at dawn (4AM) for this trip since our objective was to conduct a dive at Casili and then proceed to Tabuelan to check out Gumbang Spring with Niel Jarina of ACE Cebu ( he joined us on the 3rd Casili Spring Exploration) guiding us to its location.

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Niel and Doc having a nice breakfast of hot pork soup courtesy of our support member, Eric.

I told Niel later about the eel and offered to catch it for him so he can add it to his pet collection — he declined.

Photo by Niel Jarina

Photo by Niel Jarina

A few good rainy days brought in much needed water for the spring and we were delighted to see the pool turn back to a healthy and clean looking color. The river bed was still dry though.

Photo by Niel Jarina

Photo by Niel Jarina

Doc and I used the same amount of tanks  and gas percentage for this trip and we soon realized that we have finally reached our gas limitation upon reaching the last tie-off at the depth 35 meters inside the Gold Mine Chamber. We only had a few bars of air to spare before turn-around time.

Making most of what can be done in the decreasing window of opportunity to extend the exploration line, I swiftly tied a continuing line and we moved on to get a few more meters of area explored. Barely 10 minutes later, Doc signaled for us to turn back and I looked at the nearest wall for a spot to tie-down. A saw a rock jutting from the wall and it was then I realized that directly beneath it, the bottom has dropped sharply beyond what our lights can illuminate.

While I was busy tying to the rock and cutting the tie-down line from the reel, Doc took a peek into the darkness and later tells me that there is definitely another chamber that lies beyond. Back on the surface, we asked Niel to name this chamber — he christened it “The Black Hole”.

Well then “Black Hole”, we look forward to exploring you on our next trip.

Casili Diagram-6th trip

The 6th Casii Spring Exploration Diagram

From the look of things, the next explorations will involve multi-tank staging an additional 2 or more tanks of air to extend gas turn-around time. The procedure will also include staging the 50% O2 at 21 meters to allow earlier gas switch for the expected longer decompression requirements and O2 staged at 6 meters. 6 or more tanks per diver will be required.

The 6th Casili Spring Exploration was conducted on the morning of November 28, 2012.

MAD Logo

The MAD Cavers undertook the first ever Casili Spring Exploration on August 23, 2011 and discovered a new cave system!

Bernil, Doc and Alec

The exploration was very promising and we will definitely visit the area again very soon to extend our line. The mouth of the cave starts at 10.5 meters and water temperature is a cool 28 deg Celsius. A good amount of large freshwater shrimps live near the cave’s entrance.

Casili Spring- Underground River Outlet

Joining us as support diver on this epic first trip to Casili Spring is Advanced Diver, Alec Toting.

More details will follow and we will publish a full report of the dives right after the planned second visit.

For the meantime, here’s a video made by Doc of our 1st trip to Casili.

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