Blue Hole Summer 2016 Roadtrip Diary

Here's a final update for my 2016 journeys up to Tennessee and to Blue Hole!

Dates Plans Comments
May 24th and 25th, 2016 Tuesday and Wednesday roadtrip made Despite the early visit -- I haven't been up there during May in several years -- the water was tolerable and we didn't have to use wetsuits! (I was worried about that.) Water flow was great, water was quite clear and there was cloudless sunlight both days.
I only got a few pics and one video; see below for links. Great to meet Cody and James, plus Marcus, Ross and Craig up there. (The latter three are rafting guides.)
June 7th and 8th Tuesday and Wednesday roadtrip made! This was a pretty awesome visit. The sky was very clear both days and I'm paying for it with a pretty righteous sunburn, but the water was clear, there was never a ton of people there at any one time, and I met a lot of cool folks and loaned out a lot of masks. Great to meet Garret and Holt, Michael and his group, Noah and Waylon, and Daniel and the guys from Moldova.
Pics from the first two visits are now posted publically on my Facebook profile here. (It should be visible to all.)
Vids are now posted here! My only complaints about my Fuji underwater camera are that the lens is too far to the left (easily blocked by an errant finger) and the microphone is too "hot" or loud underwater, so turn the volume down.
June 14th and 15th Tuesday and Wednesday roadtrip made! Pics from this visit are now posted here!
June 21st and 22nd Tuesday and Wednesday roadtrip made! This was a great trip in every way -- great weather, warm, clear water, and some really awesome people.
Pics from this visit and the one before are now posted here on my FB profile.
Vids are now posted here!
July 5th-6th Tuesday and Wednesday roadtrip scrapped due to blown tire, and rainy weather up in TN I'm glad I stayed back in Georgia on Wednesday, as a big storm knocked the power out at the house for several hours.
July 13th and 14th Wednesday and Thursday roadtrip made! This was a pretty good trip, not quite as awesome as June 21st and 22nd but still good. The weather was about perfect on Wednesday and great on Thursday until a strong storm came through at around 4:30. Although there were a lot of church- and other groups present -- around 150 youngsters on Thursday -- the tunnels area was never completely overrun. Great to hang out with David, Israel and Colin on Wednesday and a lot of people on Thursday whose names I didn't get...and really cool to meet up with my friend Randall, one of the awesome Clevelanders who first showed me Blue Hole in all its raw pre-Olympic glory back in 1994!
A nice, long vid showing some kids swimming in the tunnels is posted here.
July 26th and 27th Tuesday and Wednesday roadtrip made! This was a pretty awesome trip, too! While there were some desultory thunderstorms that passed over both days, they weren't severe and we just weathered the storms by getting out of the river for a while. The water was almost dangerously warm -- 88F by the end of the day on Tuesday! -- but pretty easy to spend the entire day in the water. Lots of really cool people, including Anthony and Colby, rafting guides from Raft One who were there both days, Cody and Sage, a cool kid with an even cooler name: Ripken (named after Cal Ripken), and Nate and John, who I'd met before. Nate had brought his scuba gear and -- for the second time -- let me use it in the deeper part of Blue Hole. VERY cool and a lot of fun. Pics from this visit are now posted publically on Facebook here.
Videos from this visit, Colby and Anthony trying out my snorkel-masks, Colby and Anthony using my snorkel-masks in the tunnels, and Me snorkeling down the shallow section to Nate and John, have been posted to the 2016 Youtube playlist.
August 10th and 11th Rescheduled Wed. and Thurs. roadtrip made! Aside from some clousy weather, this was an excellent trip. With school back in session in many districts there were no large church or school groups to contend with, and the area was never too crowded. There was a lot of cloud cover but no significant rain despite dire forecasts, and the water was a refreshing 80-83F, more comfortable than the 88F sauna two weeks ago. Talked to many cool people, including Bryan and Zak, "Ghost" and Seaver, Kagan, Brooklyn, Brittany and Tony, Geoff, Eden, David and Joshua, and Nate and John (Nate didn't bring his scuba rig this time, though). Very cool times and Joshua and I closed the place down at 8:15 pm on Thursday after some great times.
Pics from this visit are now posted here on Facebook.
Videos from this visit, from behind Ocoee #2 Dam on a rafting day, Ocoee #2 Dam and the rafting put-in, snorkeling thru tunnels and into the deep section of Blue Hole, and Geoff, Eden and David swimming thru the tunnels, have been posted to the Blue Hole Ocoee 2016 Youtube playlist.
August 16th One-off Tuesday roadtrip made! My friend Jason and I both had the day off, and since he can't come up to Blue Hole for a two-day visit, I figured we could make a one-day trip up so he could get there once this summer. Great weather with lots of sun and refreshing water at about 83F. Saw a few familiar faces including Anthony and Nate, and some new ones including Matthew and Zeeshan. Pics from this visit are posted here.
August 23rd and 24th Tuesday and Wednesday roadtrip made! This was going to be the last trip of the season unless it stayed really warm into late September (it did), and it was a great time. Relatively quiet both days with no large groups, as you'd expect this late in the season. Weather was a bit cooler and less humid on Tuesday and clousy and more humid on Wednesday, but it never rained and the sun came out just in time for my friend Nathan's arrival on Wednesday, and he brought his scuba rig. Cool to see 2016 friends again including rafting guides Anthony and Nate (different Nathan), Geoffery, Eden, David and Josh, and new friends Sean and Randi. special shout-out to Josh for coming out late in the day on Wednesday because he'd promised he would...without a suit and intending to wear long pants in the water. We closed the place down in style.
A video of Geoff, Eden and David in the tunnels is here and pics from this visit are posted here.
August 30th One-day Tuesday roadtrip made! Went up for a quickie one-day visit right before DragonCon and ProgPower USA since the weather has stayed warm. I've posted a video here, but since I only got two new pics, I added them to the previous photo album on Facebook here.
September 13th One-day Tuesday roadtrip scrapped With the weather STILL warm I was going to try to go up again, but I got sick the day before (the "ProgPower Plague") and had to cancel. :(

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Index to all diaries, photos and videos! | Current Summer Roadtrip Schedule

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