Oct 212014

Elk speed record

After a trip over to Eurotek to talk about Elk River, and a couple of cancelled trips where for various reasons we didn’t get in the cave, it felt like it was time to go caving rather than talk about it. Our last trip into the cave was a push trip back in winter, where high water levels led to a sporting trip home back up the waterfalls. Steve and I laid some line and we also used a lot of tanks. Too many to carry out in one go – some of those empties were still in the cave. So this trip was to both retrieve the empties and replace them with full tanks for next month’s push trip.

Pulling packs up the pitch

As you can see from my choice of lead photo, the most exciting this about this trip was the time it took. After a good start into the cave just before 9am we made excellent time down to Uncle’s Aven. Getting changed from dry caving gear to wet caving gear is still the slowest part of the trip, but even that took less than an hour. We headed into sump 1 with two 12L tanks and a 7L in tow, and off down the cave. The above picture was taken after Tim and I identified the empty tanks in the cache at the end and bagged them up for exit. Turnaround time at just 2pm! Exciting stuff.

We know that the time sinks on our Elk runs are the periods of changing gear rather than the periods of moving through the cave. This trip was definitely helped by not having to change from sump diving gear to cave diving gear and large tanks at the end (and back again). Not having to sit around for 90 minutes while push divers work their way through sumps 5, 6 and 7 helped us out too. The photos show the big camera was left at home in favour of the pocket-able Lumix. And 14 trips over the last year and a half mean we’re all pretty familiar with the best track down the streamway.

It was great to be back at Homeleigh at a reasonable hour and to relax in the prospect of not having to go back in Baby Berger on Sunday morning to fetch the rest of the gear. The next trip will be another resupply, and then a push dive…fingers crossed for sump 7 finally coming up into some dry space.

Oct 172014
Diving the Lot - the Cregol

This was the best dive of the trip. You’ll have to excuse me for adding far too many photos to this post because I just can’t choose between them. Duncan and I headed off to the Cregol with our rebreathers while the rest of the team headed for Landenouse (which requires ropes to get in to). Unfortunately they ended up diving back at St Savaeur again due to divers at Landenouse, while Duncan and I had a brilliant day at the Cregol. The Cregol has an entrance restriction into the small and short first sump, followed by a large-ish dry chamber and a deep second sump. The second sump meant [read more...]

Oct 142014
Diving the Lot - Ressel 2

Ressel 2 seems to be a good back up plan for divers in the Lot when the parking at the Ressel is full of minivans on your arrival. The dive is similar to the Ressel in that it starts in a river, stays shallow for the early parts and then jumps down a deep shaft. However the vis was not as good and the cave walls a bit darker – I can see why this is the number 2 cave in comparison. After swimming across the river upstream into the gentle current we found a rock or two to sit on and waited for Georg to find the entrance. On [read more...]

Oct 102014
Diving the Lot - St Georges

Fontain de St Georges was one of what I was expecting as a “typical” Lot cave – large tunnels with dark and slightly milky water. The vis was average at the beginning but cleared up as we progressed down the tunnel. From the large entrance pool it heads straight down to 30m depth before getting larger, clearer and gently sloping up. With Ken off to Tolouse to fetch Forrest and Tom packing up for his trip home to Germany, I only had three models in the water. This made handling the murky water in the larger tunnel easier, as I could get the divers closer to the camera without cutting [read more...]

Oct 072014
2015 Calendars for Sale

I’m going to interrupt my current tales of France to let you know that I have just put my 2015 Calendars on sale. There is both a cave version and an ocean version, and both are beautiful – the photo above is August in the cave calendar. The photo pages are A4 (approx 12″ x 8″) with the dates grid below. This year prices are just $30 per calendar plus $5 postage in Australia. International postage is $15. To order send me an email at liz@lizrogersphotography.com with your postal address. I accept payments by PayPal, also to liz@lizrogersphotography.com Here’s a slideshow of the calendar pages in the caves calendar. If you’re [read more...]

 Posted by at 10:00 am
Oct 032014
Diving the Lot - St Saveur

St Saveur is a large, straight, dark tunnel that heads straight down into the depths. I knew beforehand that this would be a relatively short dive as within a couple of hundred metres the cave is down well past 60m. Georg also mentioned before we got in the water that the vis can be quite different above and below the 13m mark. The very large entrance pool was relatively clear so I was hoping for much clearer below. Unfortunately it was not to be, and we moved into the dirty water underneath. After an initial gravel slope there is a “restriction” which you can see in the first photo here. [read more...]