TAG (Tennessee) trip

FW sumpdiver@cavediver.net

5/26/2004 1:42:00 PM

May 22-23 TAG Spring and Sump Diving Trip

Friday evening we did a quick trip into Snail Shell cave. It is a "river cave" or also called a "wetsuit trip", with water on the floor most of the way. It is anywhere between ankle deep, and full swimming. It served to get us used to the cold water :)

Saturday we met for breakfast, then went to a spring near Nashville TN. It is on private property, right behind the owners house. He has made the area around the spring look like a little park. Marbry and "MM" had laid almost a whole red DiveRite reel of line the previous week (about 300'). They are new to the "virgin cave diving" thing, so they didn't have knotted line. TJ and Forrest went in first, to lay a parallel knotted line, and survey the first part. We knotted 1000' of line, and put it onto an old wire spool. If it is put on tightly enough, it can be laid straight from the spool. Unfortunatly it was too loose, and spilled off. Marbry told TJ and Forrest to go ahead and lay all the line they had, about 600'. Steve had an air leak, and had to abort. Marbry and "MM" went to the end of the line, but didn't add any. The max depth was 19'. Temperature was in the high 50s and visibility was about 7 feet. The passage was about 10' wide, and about 5' high.

Saturday afternoon we went to check out a sump inside a cave west of Murfreesboro. It was only about 100 yards inside the cave. Some hauled tanks in wearing shorts. Forrest went through the sump, and found dry cave after about 80' of sump. The sump was about 5-7' wide, 3' high, and vis about 3' (much less on the way out). The sump ended in a room about 20 feet wide with a steep clay bank into the water. Ceiling was at least 15'. It looked like it got much bigger, but it was hard to tell without climbing up the bank. Forrest didn't want to check the dry section out alone, so he went out to report. They decided to save this one for another day.

Sunday we went up on the Cumberland Plateau, to a nice natural spring. This one had never been checked, so we decided to have a look with minimal gear. TJ stuck his head in, and found an opening that looked big enough. Steve made the first push, but didn't go into the hole TJ had seen. He ended up in a tight section, and left the reel. TJ then went in and continued laying line. He actually circled around and almost came out in another section of the head pool. Marbry went in after TJ, but spotted a lead off to the left, and put in a "T" with arrow, and ran out most of his reel. He left it in and came out to report. Every one was low on gas at this point, so we went for more gas.

TJ and Marbry went back later, and laid out a total of around 1000' of line (still no knots or survey). They said the passage was as much as 40' wide, and 7-10 feet high. The max depth they saw was 11'. Temperature still in the high 50s.