CUEVA DEL HUMO

February 13, 2013

Adam Haydock Cueva Del Humo Puerto Rico
 We actually had a chance to sleep in a couple extra hours today due to the fact that we got a hotel room, two beds and closer to cave country in PR so we didn’t have to drive so far. We met up with Tom Miller, Jeff Kruse, Katrina Kruse, Richard, and Bro at a pastry shop near the Rio camuy. We were really excited to see these two caves because I have heard they have large passage rooms and we are going into a section of cueva humo that is not well visited. We enter the property and the landowners were a bit upset that we had a lot of cars with us but we were able to smooth that over with them. We quickly got out of their way and started our traverse around a ridge bend into the forest and down the sink hole. We walked up on cueva evaporada and it was breathing fog.  It was
beautiful to see the entrance of the cave system but we went to the other side of the sink hole where cueva del humo is. This entrance was just a little bit smaller but it must have been hundreds of feet from the bottom of the lip to the top. We all enter the cave and switchback down to the bottom of the monster system and when we finally get down we look back out and you can see the headlamps of other members making their way down to the main passage. Once at the bottom we would shine our light on the ceiling and thousands of bats the size of small gerbils fly hundreds of feet up above our heads. At times it looked like the ceiling was morphing into some kind of sci fi phenomena as you heard the wind move from their wings along with the squeaky communication these amazing creatures had. At times you can feel the atmosphere change a little or feel a slight breeze from the bats flying around. Cricket sounds echoed in the lower sections of these cathedral rooms that are able to fit 15+ story buildings. I pondered to myself how the bats could feel our light shining on top of the ceiling which would start this mass movement of bats down the passages. 
 
Hundreds of bat flying around Adam Haydock inside Cueva Del Humo Puerto Rico
We started our climb up into the main hallway passage as we passed ancient flowstones possibly hundreds of thousands of years old. Everything was gigantic in this cave and I could only imagine how nature created these massive rooms. We continued down the main passage with a carbon dioxide meter and went down slopes over some water, into a more massive room and continued to traverse down this monumental passage.
Cueva Del Humo
 
  The guano was thick and at some points it may have even filled pits inside the cave and created bridges to get from one side to the other but we could not confirm that. We came to a restriction that had multiple pits and a Tyrolean traverse set up. The problem with this set up is that it has been there for over 20 years, most of us didn’t have vertical gear, and if the rope were to break we would tumble down one of the 25 foot pits which would not been going to be injured for me in Puerto Rico at the bottom of a pit. Not having my vertical gear and my own rope I opted to not continue and nobody else wanted to go first either. So we turned around back out of the cave enjoying the geology of the cave and all the inhabitants. Some sections you can take a step and worms would pop out of the ground after each step and other places we found scorpions lurking around under rock shelves. We climbed back out and went over to cueva del evaporada.
Adam Haydock at the Entrance looking out from inside Cueva Del Humo

FLICKR: http://www.flickr.com/photos/exploration-worldwide/sets/72157633267906293/

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