Calaven de la SEOUBIO
Exploration d'avril 2006 :
par Mike Thomas
|CALAVEN DE LA SEOUBIO, Herault, France GPS N 18.104.22.168 E 003.50.52.0
DIVER: J Beal
SUPPORT: M B Thomas, A Judd
The divers rigged the entrance pitch and lowered three sets of diving equipment down the pitch and eight 7l cylinders. JB was then persuaded to dive sump one to inspect the downstream cobble choke. The idea being that whatever size JB dug the hole through the choke the rest of us would fit with ease! The choke was found to be nearly open but with a broken line and our digging bucket firmly wedged in the hole. JB did a little clearance work to get through the choke with ease then returned to base to collect a line reel to repair the broken line. Once done all divers returned to surface.
All divers through to the end of sump 5 using 7l cylinders, then MBT kit and a set of 3l cylinders were carried to the terminal downstream sump. MBT then set off into the un-dived terminal sump in reasonable visibility. The sump was passed after 60 meters at a depth of –6.9 meters. After a 30 meter swim in a deep canal ending at a two meter waterfall the diver continued for another 20 meters to a narrow rift taking the full flow of the stream. The diver then returned to base. The sump upstream of Sump 7 was then inspected using a mask and light but was found to be very low and uninspiring, progress could be made with a lot of work beating off roof projections. The team then exited the cave to search for a slim diver.
After recruiting KH as the slim diver and CRH as extra underground grunt for the sherpa team several jobs were planned for the day. Two sets of 3l cylinders were to be transported to the end, JB and JSTW were to Radio Locate in the end region of the cave, Also the ongoing rift passage at the bottom of a five meter pitch was to be rigged and explored. Three members of the Greek Caving Club Speleo, were to watch the divers depart Sump one then join Malc Foyle on the surface to learn the art of radio location from a man who had lessons from Brian Prewer two weeks before! Unfortunately a small altercation with the Farmer who was blaming us for damaging a fence and allowing his cows to escape changed the plan a little. After CRH did a stirling job of calming the farmer down and arranging for the dive team to rebuild the fence that was nowhere near where we were, we were allowed one more trip into the cave to remove gear for this trip! As JB and JSTW were the first divers to leave base and so unaware of the ensuing drama with the farmer they continued to the end to make contact with the topside team. For the rest of the divers the sherpa trip to the end quickly turned into a pushing and survey trip. Once minimal kit had arrived at the terminal sump MBT dived through sump 7 with a single 3l cylinder and KH dived through using two 3l cylinders. The divers then surveyed down to MBT previous limit were KH was inserted into the rift and quickly found the way on by climbing high. The divers then continued exploring and surveying for another fifty meters swimming another canal to reach sump 8. This was passed by MBT free diving and was less than a meter long. A further 25 meters of cave was explored to a small pitch needing at least a hand line. The divers then returned to dive base at Sump 7. After JB and JSTW successful radiolocation work JB then dived to survey sump 7 and have a look at the new stuff. While this was going on JSTW and AJ attempted to get down the five-meter pitch into the ongoing passage, but problems with rigging and time forced us to leave this for another trip. All divers returned to the main chamber and a mammoth pitch hauling session took place until well past dark ‘o' clock. A return is planned once the problem with the farmer is smoothed over! Any one wishing to visit the cave please contact MBT regarding the current situation for access.