Lot, November 2009
After we (Tim and Oli) had some bad luck in the Ardeche at the end of August, we wanted to go to the Lot again in late autumn. This time Robin was also with us, Manu and Peter wanted to arrive two days later. The announcement for this trip was: Have fun and see what happens.
Unfortunately, we had but also this time not so the right wire to Petrus us so it had not rained for weeks until our departure day, and when we arrived, also the bad weather arrived...
But first we have not spoiled the fun, and are, as so often, accommodated in the Domaine de Gayfie. For us simply the ideal cave diving base camp, centrally located and especially the cars including equipment always close to the house.
On the first day on site, we drove to the Ressel to dive in and found that the Cele was as low as we had ever seen it. This promised a nice slog with the D20 RBs on the back to wade through the river to the cave entrance. Scootering in the river was out of the question, the deepest part was a bit over knee high....
Fortunately, Petra and Stephan and from Team Koelakant were on site, who gave us a helping hand.
Finally arrived at the cave entrance, we checked our equipment again, let our pulse calm down a bit and dove down. As planned, we first hooked up the scooters directly behind the entrance and leisurely floated to the second 'T' over the deep route. Once there, we set a cookie and headed back to our scooters. Since we were leisurely on our way, just under an hour was now up.
and then the ride with the propeller scooter started. Tim with a Suex ADV 42 and Oli with a Gavin Longtube. As the cave had hardly any fill, the turbid river water was standing in the first 50 to 80 m of the entrance area, which did not make scooting any easier. Only from the fall the water cleared up and gave visibility up to 15m.
After about 10 minutes we reached our cookie at the second 'T'. There we unhooked our scooters again and rafted to the shaft. Actually we only wanted to have a look down, but the attraction was too big and finally we had a 15/55 with us just in case... ;-)
So down we went and from 36m we put the TMX and went to the bottom of the shaft. The visibility cleared up even more here and we floated a few more meters into the deep area of the cave. We decided to postpone the further advance to the next day and returned to our scooters, drove to the first 'T' and turned into the shallow passage, drove through it and closed the loop by collecting our marker in front of the shaft again and chugged relaxed now for the third time through the deep passage out of the cave.
Back on the surface above the cave exit we hung our stages and scooters from a washed up tree and waded out of the water again. Our pensioner tables, which we had already used for rigging, were still ready and so we could quickly free ourselves from the heavy luggage. After a hearty snack at the car we started to put away our equipment and drove back to the base camp.
Since it had rained the whole first night on site, but on the first day even the sun came out again and everything remained dry except for a small shower, we were actually in good spirits for the next few days.
Unfortunately our hope was for the cat. In the evening it started to rain very hard again and the next morning it still poured quite decently.
Since Manu and Peter wanted to arrive that day, after breakfast and a short discussion of the situation, we first made a phone call and informed the two of them about the current situation.
Then it went off. We still didn't want to admit that we had bad luck again. The plan was to dive the Cabouy, because we had heard on Sunday evening shortly after our arrival from other divers that there would be excellent conditions. Once there, we found that the spring pool was overflowing very badly, indicating a strong flow in the cave. In addition, it was still raining continuously and the sky held no hope for improvement.
The check dive that followed showed it: the flow was really strong, but still manageable. However, the visibility was so bad that you could hardly see the nose of the scooter anymore and so we broke off again after a few minutes.
Another call to Manu and Peter, who actually wanted to travel to photograph, and the learned from their course (see previous report) to apply and deepen, encouraged the two, who had already brought quite a few km behind them then to turn back ...
Tim and I went thereupon only times to foot the short way to the Pou Mayssen around us at least from the outside times the hole to look at, since Oli did not know this yet. Also we use the way around to Beratschlagen, what will happen now.
Back at the car we went next to the Fontaine de St. George, but also here it was immediately clear that it is not even worth putting on the suits. The amount of water coming out of the cave made this very clear. In addition, one could almost watch as the water continued to rise on the already flooded footpath.
Since we had already pretty much finished with being able to make another dive, we drove to the Coly, in order to at least look at the pool here. Once there, we noticed that a real mushroom was already visible on the water surface.
The 3rd day began as the second day had ended: With rain...
The evening before we had already decided to break down our tents and now put this plan into action.
On the way home we passed the Ressel again. Here the river had risen again by almost a meter (no wonder with the rain) and the cave was now bubbling really strongly. At this sight we were sure to have made the right decision. You just can't force anything...
In this sense,