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Friday, September 12, 2014

CENOTE JAILHOUSE “The Muknal Siphon Area”

16Q 0448796 UMT 2232419
N°20 18.832” W° 87 48.985”

The land owner is Jose Ismael Poot Cahuich.    The maximum depth is 124 feet/37.5 meters.

This cenote is located in a surface drainage area that was once surrounded by barb wire to keep cows from falling in.  The land owner has cleared most of the jungle surrounding the cenote and has constructed a stone wall on the south side.  There are two equipment tables available along with QRSS map on display under a glass frame underneath a papala roof to protect it from the rain.  There are stone steps along the pathway to the water.


The basin is clear water from late October to early April and usually brown algae water the rest of the year.  Once a group of cave divers enter the water the basin will usually turn to muck.  The permanent line begins tied to a log at the surface on the left side from where you enter the water.   Follow the string into a small opening (not a restriction) and immediately the line turns right down a steep slope of organic slit debris.  If not gentle with your buoyancy you will make a mess. At a depth of 40 feet/12.2 meters there will be a permanent “T” intersection with two white arrows pointing back to the surface.  To the right is the upstream section of the area.  To the left is the downstream area.  Swim about 250 feet/76 meters and you find two offshoot lines on the right side.  The offshoot line that heads to the right is a shortcut to the incredible deep saltwater line.  The offshoot line to the left is another shortcut line and will take you to the beginning of the saltwater area.  Jump across and swim right about 100 feet/30.5 meters and then jump left 50 feet/15.2 meters and you enter the beautiful Swiss Siphon passage.

There are no bathroom facilities.

This cave was connected into the massive Ox Bel Ha cave system by Steve Bogearts on March 28th, 2011 with the help of Bil Philips.  (Read story in the Exploration Chapter)

There is a beautiful cartography map of this cenote and the surrounding area drawn by Jim Coke and is available through the Quintana Roo Speleological Survey.
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