May 062014
Restrictions in Olwolgin Cave

About the cave Olwolgin Cave is well on its way towards having more underwater passage than any other cave in Australia. With miles of intersecting tunnels, crazy rock shapes, dark water and white silt, it’s a photographer’s playground. About the dive As you saw in the video I posted last week, we had a lot of fun on our first dive of the trip. With nearly three hours in the water and lots of footage in the can, I wanted to move back to photos for the subsequent dive. We also moved from Upstream Olwolgin to Downstream Olwolgin, leaving the breathers behind and strapping on sidemounts instead. The tunnels here are bigger, and with only one diver to hold strobes [read more…]

Apr 272014

About the site I dived Olwolgin in 2010 and again in 2012 after the Downstream section had been discovered and while it was still being referred to as Unamed Cave. Even now, at a point where the Upstream areas of the cave have been dived extensively and finding additional passage is less likely, swimming through the twisty tunnels is an exercise in optimism. Dark water beckons from under scalloped limestone, just asking to be checked. The rock shapes here are beautiful. About the dive I’ve been out on the Nullarbor doing some filming up on the high plains, and it was nice to have a few days to play once the work was finished. Unlike my last trip out here, [read more…]

Jul 232012
Ag's Dreamtime Tunnel in Unnamed Cave

About the site Unnamed Cave is the most recent major discovery in Australian cave diving. Out on the Roe Plains in the West Australian desert, the massive tunnels discovered so far are still going kilometres from the entrance, with teams going out over the coming months to continue exploration. The cave was first dived last October on a trip led by Paul Hosie of CEGWA. Discovered half way through the expedition, the group spent the last few days chucking in as much line as possible before they had to return to civilisation. One of those divers was Brian Kakuk of Bahamas Underground, who worked with Agnes during the National Geographic shoot in the Bahamas in 2010. On his final dive, Brian [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…]

Aug 012011
Haloclines in Olwolgin Cave

About the site I’ve already talked about a couple of photos I’ve taken of unique features in the Roe Plains caves, including the Black and White Raft Room and the hanging roots. Cave diving in the Roe Plains provided the biggest photographic challenge I’ve experienced thus far – taking clear pictures in a graduated halocline. Haloclines occur where salty and freshwater meet, creating a mixing layer. Unlike the Mexican caves on the Yucatan Peninsula, the halocline in the Roe Plains caves runs at every level of the water. This means it isn’t possible to swim above it, and any diver movement through the cave mixes water of different levels of salinity. For those who haven’t dived in these conditions before, [read more…]

Jun 272011
Hanging Roots in Olwolgin Cave

  About the dive Olwolgin Cave is located on the Roe Plain, Western Australia, not far from Burnabbie Cave. As I posted previously, the Roe Plains caves are quite different from the white walled, blue water, big tunnels of the better known Nullarbor Plain caves. The first thing you notice is the yellowish tint to the water (but not to the walls) and the narrow, twisting, multilevel nature of the cave. With the water level close to the surface, tree roots from the desert above intrude into areas of the cave. However, the Roe Plains cave also have unique salinity characteristics. Instead of a single halocline with a distinct mixing zone between layers of fresh and salty water, like might [read more…]