Apr 302012
Hanging Roots in Olwolgin Cave II

About the site Olwolgin Cave is located on the Roe Plains, south of the escarpment that curves across above the Great Australian Bight. Unlike the Nullarbor Caves above the escarpment, where the water table averages 100m below the desert, on the Roe Plains the water table is only 10m under your feet. This makes for much easier access. On the other hand, there aren’t the spectacular dolines that punctuate the Nullarbor and act as great big signposts of cave formation. Olwolgin Cave is shallow, up to 14m deep, has small, twisting passages in multilevel formation and a greenish tint to the water. From my dives here in 2010 I’d admired the massive hanging root formations. As I mentioned, I didn’t [read more…]

Apr 292012

This week marks twelve months since I began posting weekly photo articles on this site. In that time I’ve been lucky to visit caves and dive sites across Australia, and it’s been great to share some of my favourite shots. In recent months I’ve dived Jenolan and McCavity Caves in New South Wales, finally achieved sunbeams in the Shaft in Mt Gambier, and travelled to the Nullarbor and Roe Plains to dive virgin tunnels. I’ve also just returned from a trip to tropical Papua New Guinea, courtesy of Lissenung Island Resort and the Underwater Festival. My latest photos from this trip have just been uploaded, and can be seen here.   My posting schedule of a weekly article hasn’t quite [read more…]

Apr 162012
An orientation dive in Unnamed Cave

About the site Unnamed Cave lies under the Roe Plain in the West Australian desert. Unlike the caves on the Nullarbor Plain above the escarpment in the same area, the Roe Plains caves have the distinct characteristics you can see in the photo above – tinted green water, long shallow tunnels with tempting leads off each side and extreme scalloping of the limestone walls. Unnamed Cave was discovered last October by Paul Hosie of CEGWA, and the initial few days of exploration were carried out by Brian Kakuk, Ken Smith, Richard Harris and Grant Pearce. Paul did the first push through a particularly nasty restriction and after 90m or so, the cave opens up to the very large passage you [read more…]

Apr 092012
rEvo training in Kilsby's Sinkhole

About the site Over the Labour Day long weekend in March, I joined students and instructors for a dive of their rEvo rebreather course. After the initial training dives in Goulden’s Sinkhole, the rEvo courses had moved on to the much more photogenic Kilsby’s Sinkhole where these shots were taken. Following the successful morning dive for both student buddy pairs and their instructors, I jumped in with afternoon sunlight streaming down. By this time of year we’ve progressed from summer into autumn, and it takes longer for the beams of sunlight to hit the bottom of the sinkhole in the morning. The stairs cut through the high rock walls allows spectacular beams to hit the water later in the day [read more…]

Apr 022012
Panning shots on a drift dive

About the site The Heads of Port Phillip Bay are one of the more dangerous stretches of water in the world for shipping. A combination of huge tidal flow through the narrow entrance, wind conditions and the prevailing south westerly swell from Bass Strait can create incredibly unfriendly conditions in this small area. Even if the conditions are acceptable for diving outside the Bay, it can be impossible to transit the Heads to get to these dive sites. With nasty waves in the Heads, the attention turns to dive sites within the Bay. These include Pope’s Eye, a rock annulus in the middle of the bay, South Channel Fort and Chinaman’s Hat to play with the seal population. Lastly, parts [read more…]