More French cave diving reports in French (follow links to PDF files)
Other French cave diving links:
VIDEO: French exploration team on National TV
November 2005 :
Jerome Meynie ultimately has overcome obstacles to explore the end of Port Miou cave, France. At an ultimate distance of over 2 Km Jerome succeeded to explore the dauntingly huge power cave below 150 meters depth. A difficult task in itself, Jerome additionally succeeded to return with water samples from the bottom at the request of the city of Marseille.
Jerome relied on Submerge scooters for his dive.
More details will be available at: www.snoopyloop.com
Rodney and Suzie from Submerge assisted during previous attempts outlined: HERE
LONGEST CAVE DIVE IN CENTRAL BRAZIL
In September 20, 2004, Brazilian cave diver Gilberto Menezes accomplished a solo penetration of 6,400 meters (21,000 ft) in the upstream sump of Bananeira cave, state of Bahia in Central Brazil. The dive lasted 11 hours 23 minutes and was stopped in going passage. The Bananeira sump starts 400 m inside the cave and comprises a narrow passage 3 m wide and 2 m high in average with silty floor.
Although the water is warm (c. 25ºC) visibility is never more than 3 m being only 1.5 m during the 2004 dives. The underwater passage is generally shallow in the first 3,500 m (25 m maximum depth) becoming gradually deeper until a short loop at around 6,000 m penetration brings the depth to 50 m. The dive was stopped in the ascending portion of the loop at 20 m depth.
In his longest push two Submerge Inc. UV-42 scooters (specially adapted with 65-amph @ 24-volts NiMH batteries enabling a total range of about 10,000 m per scooter!) were used. The dive used conventional (open circuit) apparatus and a total of 33 tanks were either used or were in place at the sump during the longest dive. Trimix 25/50 was used from the surface to 25 m depth (up to 5,800 m penetration), Trimix 16/70 was used from 25 to 50 m in depth (from 5,800 m to 6,400 m penetration). Nitrox 70 was used for decompression from 12 m to 7 m in depth (3,000 m to 1,800 m penetration) and pure oxygen was used at 6 m depth (1,800 m penetration) and 3 m depth (1,500 m penetration).
Gilberto Menezes is the Brazilian most active cave diving explorer, having now logged 35 solo dives over 150 m in depth at 4 Brazilian sites, including a 274 m (898 ft) deep dive at the gigantic bell-shaped pit of Lago Azul and a 220 m deep dive at Lagoa Misteriosa. The Bananeira cave project started two years ago and up to now Gilberto Menezes has logged 43 dives in the sump totaling over 170 hours of diving time. Diving is restricted to a few months during the dry season. The water in the Bananeira sump comes from neighboring Padre cave and it is estimated that at least 1.5 - 2 km of sump remains to be explored until a connection is made. The project will be resumed in 2005.
Gilberto Menezes would like to thank Rodney Nairne of Submerge Inc. for supporting the project and making available the extra long-range scooters. Tom Mount and Jim Lockwood provided training and information on DPV diving and Dr. Bill Hamilton helped with decompression tables. Thanks is extended to Augusto Auler for pointing the potential of the site and to local farmer Nogueira for helping with field work logistics. IBAMA-CECAV provided diving permits.
I thought that you would like to know that we have finished for this year the dives at Banana Tree Cave, here in Brazil. The scooters worked perfectly again.
I can't hide how satisfied I am with them. The experimental UV-65s with NiMH battery packs have proved their range. We ended this year with a maximum penetration at this spring of 6400 meters (over 20,000 feet) and unlike other divers that have needed to use a fleet of 4 or 5 scooters for a similar distance dive, with the UVs only 2 scooters were needed to go this distance.
(Note from Submerge: Gilberto did not rely of the scooters for his safe return. He had staged enough reserve gas to swim to the exit in the event of a double scooter failure, even without having to breathe from his back mounted reserve cylinders).
We were plagued this year with very low visibility, which made scootering very difficult. Even in these very difficult conditions the range provided by the scooters were phenomenal. A dive with a total distance traveled of 9000 meters (29,500 feet) on one UV-65 was made and it still pulled strong at the end of this dive. But I knew the UVs would not let me down.
We have made quite memorable dives on these units. They are great exploration tools. The 15 minute run at 500 feet (152 meters) at Blue Lake on a UV-18 is one of those dives I will never forget. We made a few other deep dives at this site, eventually doing the deepest so far at 616 feet (188 meters).
I haven't had the opportunity to return there or we certainly would have done even deeper scooter dives, as they appear to be indestructible. They have also been very helpful at Mysterious Lagoon where it has helped explore some deep side tunnels.
At Mysterious Lagoon the deepest we took the UV so far was 170 meters (557 feet).
It has also proved valuable at Ceita Couré Spring where the UV-18 has been 153 meters (500 feet) deep twice. And I could mention more examples.
So, the UVs have been deep and far inside caves.
Some could argue that "nothing beats been there done that".
Well surely for the UV scooters you can say that they "have been there and done that".
There are several good scooters on the market these days. If the Aquazepp is the BMW of scooters, surely then, the UV scooters are the Corvette of them all.
Best regards and keep the good work
Underwater caves are closed sites in Brazil and permission to dive them is granted by the IBAMA-CECAV, the Brazilian governmental agency that studies, protects and controls caves.
Feb 2005, Emergence de Bourne, France: Xavier Méniscus extended the exploration by an additional 680 meters/2200 feet to 3700 meters/12,210 feet using Joker rebreathers and Submerge UV-42 and UV-26 scooters.
December 2004: Source de le Marnade, France:
Xavier Méniscus extends on the exploration
of Frederic Badier, (121 meters, 1996) and
Jerome Meynie (Aquazepp, depth 132 m, 2003)
to 136 meters with Submerge UV-26 scooter.
Cave history and info courtesy of www.plongeesout.com
Video of Marnade, 2003 Rodney, Suzie and Edoardo Pavia.
Britannic expedition 2003
click to open full size image
Edoardo Pavia on the Britannic, 2003
Italy - Rome
An expedition was safely and sucessfully conducted to the Britannic. Funded by a British television company, a documentry on the Britannic, exploring the ship and the events surrounding it's loss will be completed in 2004.
The now famous wreck diving ship Loyal Watcher was the base of operations for a team of very experienced wreck divers, organised by Carl Spencer.
All dives were conducted on fully closed circuit rebreathers with 40 to 45 minute bottom times and 5-6 hours in water. Maximum depth is 117 meters, with most dives in the 100-110 meter range.
The site is in a busy shipping channel with ships that can draw 18 meters of water. The Greek government controls the site and requires that the divers do not leave the site; all decompression must be completed attached to the wreck.
The owner of the wreck was very pleased with the results of the dives. All goals were acheived, safely.
Divers reported that lines laid by previous expeditions were still on the outside of the wreck, once deep inside it was apparent they were where no diver had finned before.
Several different brands of deep rated scooters were used on the expedition, including 2 Submerge UV-18 scooters (note 2006: Carl Spencer now dives a UV-18 with video mount for deep wreck documentation).
July 2003: A team of Australian divers extend the exploration of Cocklebiddy Cave, Nullabor Western Austalia. Cocklebiddy cave is over 6Km or 20,000 feet penetration, with 2 sumps to pass and is more than 90% underwater. Team members used a combination of original and custom UV scooters. This is an Australian record, and possibly world record for the longest non-continous sump/cave dive.
Cave info here.
May 2003: Dr Jerome Meynie diving with a UV-26, extends the exploration of Goul du Pont, France by a distance of 300 meters, all at depths exceeding 120 meters/400 feet to a terminal depth of 178 meters/587 feet.
To our knowledge, this is a European and world record for the amount of line laid below 120 meters in 1 dive.
click here for more info
July 2003: Also in Europe, 2 Swiss cave divers with a fleet of 6 UV-42 scooters have recently returned from a successful trip. Using 2 UV-42 scooters each on their maiden voyage, dives up to 2Km/6600 feet at 80 meters/260 feet were completed with dive times up to 9.5 hours. Redundant fixed ratio semi-closed rebreathers were used.
Result: the cave still goes!
News form Mexico: Protech divers who have 5 UV-26 scooters.
Sergio found a new way of deep ocean wall diving while taking his Silent Submersion scooter out of Casa Cenote riding it through the tunnel that connects the cenote with the ocean, through the shallows and shallow reef into the deeper water and then on to the wall. The decompression is done when coming up the wall and back into shallower water following the reef, back through the tunnel connecting the ocean with the Cenote. The equipment is rinsed when coming back into Casa Cenote, exiting there.