Diving in the Lot

Tony has been diving in the Lot this week. Here are some pictures from Pou Meyssen – a 2400m round trip with canals and dry cave at the end.

Necessary supplies (tin of shandy for scale)


Pou Meyssen entrance


Dive base, post dive. A frog lives by the ladder!

World’s longest underwater system

The world’s longest underwater system has been created by the joining of Sac Actun, in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, with Dos Ojos, by divers of the Proyecto Gran Acuifero Maya. The divers have found evidence of early human occupation dating from 10,000 – 12,000 years ago, along with the bones of elephants, giant sloths, bears, tigers and prehistoric horses. There is a brief write-up in the Guardian – seeĀ https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/17/worlds-longest-underwater-cave-system-discovered-mexico-divers-gran-acuifero-maya or for Spanish speakers there is better detail in El Pais: https://elpais.com/internacional/2018/01/16/la_serpiente_emplumada/1516119767_618043.html?autoplay=1

The exploration website is at https://granacuiferomaya.com/2018/01/15/la-cueva-inundada-mas-grande-del-mundo-forma-parte-del-gran-acuifero-maya/

Diving in Cwm Dwr

Over the last couple of months I’ve had an opportunity to make some potentially interesting dives in OFD. I was lucky enough to have the sumps downstream of The Confluence as having been dived only a couple of times previously back in the Noughties. The water encountered here is not, I think, the same as that which sinks in downstream OFD2; but I expect that this section of passage will be an inlet to the main flow.

The main activity has been underwater digging, but of such a shallow and benign nature (strong flow whips away silt within a matter of seconds) that it is very nearly a pleasure! In terms of kit, this is a twin cylinder site, the appropriate clothing is a wetsuit and diving vest (both Warmbac) with neoprene gloves as a little luxury. The best thing about this is that the carry in through Cwm Dwr in a wetsuit is actually quite comfortable through the crawls and boulder choke, even after a bit of rain. A bonus is that I’m learning the optimum route through this section of cave.

Thanks are due to various SWCC members for putting me on the trail, and also – and especially – to those Imperial College stalwarts who made the first carry in for me!

The Ario Dream

“The Ario Dream”, Paul Diffley’s film about exploration in the Picos, will premiere at the Kendal Film Festival on Sunday 19th November, 9.30 – 11.00 in the main theatre.

See the trailer here: https://vimeo.com/234550815

Northern Caves III – out now

The long-awaited guidebook to the Three Counties and the North-West is launched today – this is the geographical area of the old Volume 3. Congratulations to Sam, Beardy, and their army of helpers!

Rediscovery of Knight’s Templar cave

The rediscovery of a sandstone grotto in Shropshire, found in true Alice in Wonderland fashion down a rabbit hole, has been widely reported. An underground series of arches and chambers have been excavated in soft sandstone and are believed locally to be an ancient temple used by the Knights Templar, although Historic England says that the excavation is more recent, possibly early nineteenth-century, and that the grotto has been used in recent times for “black magic ceremonies”.

See the full story at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-39193347. Photo: BBC

That time, when the words don’t need to

As Google Translate would have us believe!

-560 in Banka Cave, Sneznya System, Abkhasia. Dina Pimanova, Yulia Yatsusenko and Tony Seddon. Photo: Andrey Shuvalov