Random Jottings

It's not my cup of tea but what an achievement!

I don't see the buzz in cave diving, but in joining up two systems and exploring 216 miles of passageways......wow!

I am fine in diving in an 'overhead' environment but like to limit that to wrecks and maybe quarry workings the size of Hodge Close, so the desire to join up two large cave systems meaning that you could be an hour or more away from an exit simply does not float my boat!

That is not to say that aquatic spelology doesn't pique my interest and I find the books written by the late Sheck Exley are gripping, the problem is the environment, you will probbaly see that I wrote 'late' when I was referring to arguably the greatest cave diver of all time, well you know where he died? Yup in a cave..........

As an aside I would recommend his book 'Caverns Measureless to Man' as a great reader for divers and non-divers alike, arguably one of the best books written which involves diving, ever! Ok the title is 'borrowed' from the poem by Coleridge....... In Xanadu did Kubla Khan....but it remains a great read, the only problem is that it is out of print and second hand copies are difficult to get hold of as it is such a good read.

Anyhow a group of divers set up a task force, the Gran Acuifero Maya project, to try and extend the range of two cave systems and try and link them up, with the Sac Actun System being the big brother of Dos Ojos System which no longer exists as it has been 'gobbled up' with the larger system name taking precedence.

These expeditions take a huge amount of time and planning with large quantities of support divers ferrying kit into the cave system, acting as the aquatic porters leaving 'dumps' of breathing gases for the divers who are making the 'big push' to extend the known limits of the cave system.

I have attached a link from the BBC web-site on this achievement which will take you to a video clip, the thing to bear in mind is that whilst the cave appears brilliantly lit in the photos and videos once your light goes out it is dark, as dark as the darkest thing that you could imagine, a black cat on a moonless night has nothing on the pure blackness you would encounter. There is simply no natural light and you really are blind, possibly one of the reasons I am not keen on 'proper' cave diving as I am truly at ease being a long way from natural light, twenty meters and five minutes I can stand but 'hours' following a line, no way!

http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-latin-america-42718626/longest-underwater-cave

I am sure that those wannabes out there with side mounts and helmets are salivating at the prospect of visiting Mexico to dive in some of this cave system and I wish you 'bon chance', just don't come north for open water dives with your bloody paraphenalia!

Dive safe

RichW

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