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Three divers to 320' on 9/24/2016
Posted by Dan Wright
on 9/25/2016, 8:04 am
On Saturday, September 24th, three divers, John Eells, Bob Thomas and I all descended to the bottom of the known Tilly Foster Mine to 320', with Jonah Klein in deep support to 200'. We had two topside in support in addition. Objective: send up a liftbag from the miner's arch support at the bottom, so we could do a direct descent to 320', rather than continue to do a two stage descent as we have been doing, to save time (and deco). The two stage process involved placing bailout tanks and deco tanks on a gear line hanging off of the buoy over the 190' tie in on the Monte Carlo, the bottles on the gear line included O2 at 20' and 50% at 70' primarily, and two tanks per position, and my second battery canister/controller for the DUI Blue Heat drysuit heating system. At 190' we would leave additional bailout and deco tanks (again two there), then all bottom divers would carry two AL 80s with bailout good to 350' and 240'. John, on open circuit, had all his deco bottles staged as I mentioned and carried a sling bottle of 12/70 tri-mix to breath down first, then of course his doubles had 12/70. Objective achieved, the liftbag was deployed successfully from the top pf the arch at 310', and tied off on the arch, and Jonah switched the lift bag with a buoy once it hit the surface. Our second objective, and I knew this was a bit tricky, was to fish a heavy nylon line under the arch (buried in silt) using a wooden beam (actually a 1" x 2" x 8' baton strip), thread that under the narrow arch, and a buddy grabs it once it erupts from the other side with the line tied to it. Of course, this turned out to be a near zero visibility exercise immediately. I could push the beam through, but all three of us tried to dig in and grab it from the other side, but no one could locate it, yet. We left the beam, line in position for the next attempt, but the beam is definitely jammed well under the arch, and in fact the lift bag is tied onto that as well as an existing downline and sash weights. Jonah mentioned that when he pulled up on the upline, it was definitely firmly anchored. Great work by the entire team, I don't know of a liftbag being sent up from a depth of over 300', those Jersey uplines are the way to go!
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