Day three in the Yucatan’s netherworld: We once again drive into the forest south of Merida in search of a cenote that we’ve been told holds extraordinary treasures deep inside.
When we arrive, we are stunned to find that the opening is the smallest we’ve seen yet – it’s barely the size of a well, or a large manhole. Our crew sets up ropes and pulleys, we strap on our harnesses, and, with great caution, are carefully lowered some 60 feet to reach the pitch-black water.
We grab our lights to illuminate the bell-shaped cavern and drop to 110 feet to explore the vestigial clues of how the ancient Maya lived, prayed and died. We discover more tantalizing artifacts in the 40- to 50-foot range.
When we surface, we learn that we had a topside visitor while we were at depth. Evidently, a Maya priest had stopped by to wish us a safe dive, And, whether it was due to his benediction or not, we all did. More to come...