Fossils, Caves, Copper and its 'Ruddy Gore'
By Shane Wasik
By Simon Freeman
Swimming through cobalt blue-white passageways with vision limited only by the power of our dive lights, the expanse of tunnel disappears ahead into a liquid infinity. The railway tunnels of Australia’s longest water-filled cave have become legend amongst cave divers both at home and overseas. We have come to see them for ourselves. Not just to look along the kilometres of submerged limestone, but to attempt a journey to the known end of the cave and just possibly…beyond. more
The grey-white marble passage finally ends at nearly 160m with another abyssal shaft dropping into the blackness! Rick and Dave alternately push the deeper section of the cave laying 6mm line from an improvised reel; the dives leap frogging to 157m, 160m then finally Rick’s astonishing, record breaking dive to 177 metres.more
In New Zealand’s South Island region of Nelson the river running underneath Mt Owen has carved its way through the karst limestone and quartz laden granite to erupt from its base forming the Blue Creek resurgence.more
It all started in 1990 when I was shipwrecked on Atiu in a ship called the Edna. I was 19 and hitching my way across the Pacific, and it was all quite an adventure...more
To film a body-recovery at world-record depths, nothing short of a bulletproof housing is needed. Experienced divers and engineers told me shooting video at 271m was near impossible. They doubted a camera would survive the immense pressure (28–29 bar) warning, ‘The pressure will crush it, it will implode and injure someone’.
Crystal clear water, stark rock and undiscovered passageways make for great cave diving. Unfortunately in most endeavours there is usually a down side, and in this case it was the water temperature - a cool 7° Celsius.
Descending into the pure blackness of a 271m water cave in South Africa was enough to give Australian technical diver Dave Shaw a world record. But when he found a body at the bottom of Boesmansgat Cave, in the Northern Cape, he vowed to not only plumb the depths again but to retrieve the remains.more
Climbing bus sized boulders in a cave beneath the Earth’s surface wearing a tight fitting rubber suit is not an experience that is had on every dive. more
Just south of Tallahassee, Florida, hundreds of depressions and karst windows (surface openings into caves) breach a huge limestone region that geologists call the Woodville Karst Plain. It stretches over 1,166 square kilometres, from Tallahassee’s south side into the Gulf of Mexico, and holds seven of the state’s 27 first magnitude springs (those with a minimum average flow of 245 million litres per day). One of these, Wakulla, has been a magnet for underwater cave exploration since the 1950s, when students from nearby Florida State University first penetrated the mammoth vent of the spring. Wakulla now represents the Everest for the world’s best technical divers.more
Some of my most interesting adventures have not been planned, they have just... happened. Matiana cave, near Munda was one such event. It began in Jervis Bay, Australia, a friend told my wife Lyn and I of a cave he had heard about on his recent trip to Munda in the Solomon Islands. It wasn’t for the untrained and the local divers were untrained in cave diving techniques. They had enough knowledge to treat the cave with great respect and were staying out. In their early attempts to enter the cave, silt near the entrance had been disturbed, rolling down behind them and causing much angst on their exit.more
Cave diving in the Riwaka Caves, Nelsonmore
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