By Tom Iliffe, Director, Marine Biospeleology Lab - Texas A&M University at Galveston
June 11, 2011
Our team arrived safely in Bermuda, each with numerous bags and boxes of diving equipment and other luggage. Fortunately, Graham Maddocks of Triangle Diving met us at the airport with his flatbed truck which was soon filled to the brim. We moved into a large three bedroom cottage overlooking the north coast of Bermuda and got to work unpacking and sorting wet and dry suits, regulators, rebreathers, buoyancy compensators and other miscellaneous odds and ends. Waterproof Diving Suits, Shearwater Dive Computers, and Dive Rite Technical Diving Equipment generously supplied us with much of the equipment that was needed to make this expedition successful. With the help of local diver Gil Nolan, we traveled back and forth from our cottage to Triangle Diving. Having lived in Bermuda for 11 years, I was well familiar with the island. As recently as this winter, my wife and I spent three months in Bermuda house sitting for several local families and even staying in a house that was over 300 years old. It was during this time that I made preliminary preparations for the upcoming expedition. Staff members of the Bermuda Aquarium and the Bermuda Department of Conservation Services have been most helpful in providing us permits with permits to not only stay in Bermuda, but also to bring our equipment through customs into the country. Conversations with Canadian geologist Steve Blasco provided insight into prime locations to sample and well as strategies for carrying out this work. With the wind blowing and the seas a bit stormy, we decided to make our initial dives into some of the island’s inland caves – more about that later.