Dove Orange Grove today. The basin itself is very very tannic and visibility is only 5 feet in most parts until you get to the cavern. It clears up very quickly once you hit the overhead. It may be tough finding the cavern for someone who's never been there before. You can cheat and follow the sampling tube from next to the stairs down as well, just don't touch. There's a temporary line from OW to the gold line marked with an orange arrow pointing to the exit. It doesn't appear to be a line left by someone, but I may be wrong.
We followed a team of three in by about 10 minutes and attempted to give a team of two a head start into the cave so we wouldn't be on top of each other, but apparently they got lost on their way to the cavern and were just tying in as we got to the tree everyone ties off too. We worked slowly to give them a little more time ahead of us. We never want to be up another team's butts. The viz up until about 600p was pretty horrendous(we'll get to that in a minute), but once the team ahead of us turned their dive, the cave was air clear and great. There was slight bit of flow, but barely noticeable. This was only my third dive in OG and there was no appreciable flow on those dives.
Now the rest is addressed to the team of two ahead of us. If you were at OG and aren't sure if I'll be addressing you, then PM me and I can id you but I won't here. I am not even close to a perfect diver or claim to have tons of experience. I don't judge other divers because I know we're all always learning and all have bad days. I'm not even bothered by or addressing you because of your head high trim which lead to you continually finning up silt. For all I know you could have had to fly down to dive and had to borrow or rent tanks leading to bad trim. I completely understand because my transition to doubles and then to sidemount had plenty of poorly trimmed moments as I learned. I'm not frustrated that your team was slow because many would say my dive partner and I are slow.
What I am absolutely flipping annoyed by is your continual habit of every third fin stroke placing your hand into the clay bottom. I was the second diver in my team and was a good ways behind you but counted 5 times you put your entire hand into the clay bank to steady yourself. My lead diver counted WAY more than 5 times. There is absolutely no reason to place your hand up to the wrist into the clay everytime you change direction or have to hover. I did notice when we got closer to your team you politely used one finger. Thanks for that. Then when your team decided to turn the dive, you completely lost it and your entire side went into the clay. Not a little, alot. There is absolutely no excuse for what we saw. If you're that uncomfortable in your kit, call the dive and practice in open water. I know it's not that you're oblivious to what you were doing because topside you laughed and commented that you hope you didn't silt it out too bad. You did.
Again I am not the type to typically come on here and badmouth someone because I'm not perfect and know I'm still a junior cave diver. The reason I post this is because I don't think you realize that you're taking other people's lives in your own hands when you do that type of diving. Both my buddy and I after the dive said that on the way in the cave we considered calling it on safety because you were silting so badly. We didn't because it was manageable. Once we passed you we thought the worst was over. We never expecteed to come back out in less than 5 foot of viz. I don't know what happened after we passed you, but we were continually prepared to exit holding the line with touch contact. I shouldn't have to do that because you can't not stick your damn hand in the clay banks. Find a friggin rock somewhere. So next time think of others and not yourself.
But I digress.