Oct 292012
3D mapping the pillar in Tank Cave

For those CDAA members who attended the talks associated with our Annual General Meeting over the weekend, you will remember JDZ’s introduction to some new cave mapping techniques. Cave explorers are familiar with counting knots in the line and noting depth, direction and azimuth all the way home. Dive complete, you exit to dry land, translate your scribbled notes for entry into a computer program and check out the stick map of your progress. This time consuming exercise has been the only way for your average diver on a budget to produce accurate maps of our underwater travels. Beyond being time consuming, errors can creep into a survey over time. This is especially true in complex caves with multiple branching [read more…]

Oct 252012
Cave diving through history: Cocklebiddy Cave, 1979 (Part 2)

Without delay, here’s the other half of the photos from the 1979 Cocklebiddy expedition. These were taken by my dad, Peter Rogers, with a Nikonos II and 35mm lens bought the previous year, a toshiba underwater strobe and a land strobe in a home made perspex box used as it had a remote trigger sensor in – advanced technology! Captions below each photo. Alan Grundy and Peter Rogers on the surface of the entrance lake, pre-dive. Orange fenzies and orange tanks…a cave photographer’s dream. Alan Grundy poses next to the stage tank. Given the length of the first sump, this steel tank was left on the line some way along. Given it was a (very negative) steel, and there wasn’t [read more…]

Oct 222012
Green water in One Tree Sinkhole

About the site One Tree Sinkhole is near some of the other famous holes in the Mt Gambier region, and gets dived regularly. The caves in Mt Gambier may not be as extensive or as decorated as those in Florida or Mexico, but the large and impressive sinkholes are truly world class. I’ve shown a few shots from Picaninnie Ponds and Kilsby’s Sinkhole which both have incredibly clear water. The clear water means sunlight and rays deep into the water. The less-talked about sinkholes in Gambier aren’t so clear. On the greener side of the fence there are a few shallower caverns, like Two Sisters, Earl’s Cave and Goulden’s. The deeper holes include One Tree, Ela Elap and Little Blue, [read more…]

Oct 182012
Cave diving through history: Cocklebiddy Cave, 1979 (Part 1)

In addition to my usual Monday photo posting schedule, over the coming weeks I’m going to share some more historical cave diving photography with you. With my cave diving photography I’m following in the steps of my Dad. With a Nikonos II and later a Nikonos V, Dad documented the exploration cave diving out on the Nullarbor through the 80s.  He was part of the 1982 and 1983 push dive teams in Cocklebiddy, the trips on which Toad Hall was discovered and the third sump dived for the first time. Cocklebiddy held the world record for the longest cave dive at the time, and the expeditions out there were using cutting edge techniques and technologies. As trip photographer, Dad captured [read more…]

Oct 152012
Diving in Niggle Cave, Camooweal

About the site I talked about the trip to the water in Niggle Cave two weeks ago, and promised a follow up post on the diving. Niggle Cave is located in the Camooweal region of Far North Queensland, near the border with the Northern Territory. The dry caving effort required to get down to the water level is significant, but with the underwater sections being largely unexplored there’s a lot of incentives to do so. With permission from Parks and the blessing of the local traditional owners, we spent some time expanding the limits of the known. About the dive Joel and Ryan spent a day rigging the cave and carrying a lot of the gear in, but after checking [read more…]

Oct 082012
Pot bellied seahorses under Mornington Pier

About the site I’ve spent a lot of time talking about my recent trip to Camooweal Caves over the last few weeks…so here’s something a little different. With the 2012 Underwater Festival shootout running through September, when my gear finally made it back from Queensland I was keen to get in the ocean. Learned items, and there were so many times I travelled around Europe like