Fun & Training Camp Week Lot 2019
Team: Marc, Heinke, Max, Steffen K., Zeljka, Marcel, Mats, Olli, Steffen B., Aline
After the Cavebase was pleased about a lot of fresh wind by new candidates, the idea came up to combine the fun with the useful with a stay in the French Lot. First of all we wanted to combine fun with exciting and complex dives in a team. Furthermore, we wanted to harmonize and improve our cave diving skills and abilities. Therefore we wanted to deal with different topics and goals for a whole week. According to the motto: "After the project is before the project!
Topics were basic things like labeling and rigging of stages in the Cavebase, CCR Predive-Checklist and general procedures in the team. In addition the personally dived range of the caves we know should be extended. With the handling of the new gained habitat further procedures for building, using and operating were added. As an icing on the cake, we used the dives to try out various experiences from other exploration projects for the team and thus, for example, enable modern procedures in deco for the benefit of safety during long exploration dives in the future.
After a long journey on Saturday for all team members until late in the evening, we had breakfast together on Sunday morning. During this breakfast, theory and exciting discussions also started in parallel. Afterwards everybody was ready for a first dive in the Emergence du Ressel, which should be dived in 2 phases. On the first dive of this week the support teams wanted to see the 60m area with the scooter. Our push team Max and Oli planned to dive to the deep shaft at 83m. For the support teams this dive should be a preparation for the deep loop. The push team planned to dive to the bivouac hall in the middle of the week. With pouring rain we prepared the material for the cave. The support divers also made themselves ready to bring depots for the push team into the cave. The teams started one after the other at different times. In the deep area all divers were rewarded with crystal clear water. With diving times of 2-4.5 hours all members completed their dives successfully. In the light of the lamps we cleared the material and drove back to the accommodation.
In the run-up to the week, the current good visibility in the Gouffre de Cabouy was already carried to us. Reason enough to include the cave in our planning, as this condition is not very frequent. It also fitted into our increasing training profile and our scooter course & time to raise to over two km One-Way. Due to the depth and dive times to the next dive sites only one stage depot was needed by the support team and so the formed teams could realize their individually set goals super. Marc, Marcel, Mats and Steffen B. planned to dive until the end of Sump 1 and to put down scooter and gas for the push team. On the way back some exercises like towing a diver with a defective scooter were trained. Near the exit the team of four was received by Steffen K. and Heinke. They had thought about some exercise scenarios for the others and so suddenly our solenoid got stuck in open or closed position and we had to get along without diluent or oxygen. After the training session also Steffen K. and Heinke dived a little into the Cabouy. Max and Olli was the end of S1 after 2km not enough and so they made their way to the entrance of S3. Challenges during the 5.5 hour excursion were the transport of CCR, Bailout and Scooter over the not diveable sections and the overcoming of the part narrow dry passages.
Due to the currently very good visibility, the dimensions of the corridors in S1 could be seen for the first time. In the middle part after S1 until emergence S2 these corridors became bigger and bigger and ended in a huge cathedral in front of S3. This huge hall was so big that these could not be illuminated all at once. Totally enthusiastic about the dimensions of the Cabouy, the push team started the way back in time to arrive punctually as planned at the rest of the team. There they were surprised with a pizza and could share their impressions.
For the 3rd day the teams separated to be able to deal individually with the topics underwater cave photography and sidemount diving. Today you should just let your soul dangle during a relatively easy dive to accelerate the last days again.
Sidemount diving is a means to an end at Cavebase and so Max and Olli headed for Source de Marchepied. This cave is characterized by a longer restriction, which can only be easily dived with a sidemountsystem. Turning around is not possible here and the dive must be continued until the gear reopens. Arrived there they were rewarded with sensationally clear water. The distance of the beam of the lamp was only limited by the cave profile.
The rest of the team wanted to dive the Resurgance de Trou Madame on this day. This cave was unknown for many members so far and offers with its small water depth an ideal Mecca for long extended cave dives. After the team had parked all four vehicles, they set off on foot to explore the entrance. Unfortunately they had to find out that the water level was very flat due to the long drought phase and they had to climb over 100m into the cave. The whole team was not really motivated to transport all the equipment here and so it was decided to move the dive to Source de Landenouse.
Here the new stairs could be used, what should we say: "pure luxury".
Three teams have been formed. Marc and Steffen B. explored the cave with the scooter, Marcel and Mats grabbed the photo equipment and tried out a few shots in the cave with lamps removed. Unfortunately the Landenouse didn't have the ideal conditions that day and was very milky in the entrance area. The 3rd team consisted of Heinke and Zeljka. They also made their way on foot. On this evening the whole team managed to be back in the accommodation once in daylight and to chisel the grill.
Recovered from the day before, the racks were ready for the 4th day. After a detailed dive discussion within the group three dive teams crystallized. The push team planned to visit the bivouac hall. The dive was planned with a total of 6 hours from the dive to the ascent in the Cele. Team 2 was the Deep-Loop-Team Heinke, Marc, Marcel, Mats and Steffen B. Here a scooter dive through the Deep Loop was planned. During this dive there should be additional support for Max and Olli. Two deco gases O2 and TMX50/25 as well as two TMX30/30 and two TMX18/45 each and backup scooters were deposited. The Deep-Loop-Team started the dive with 3-3,5 hours.
The third team was formed by Steffen and Zeljka as support team for Max and Olli to remove material from the deco.
First Team 2 prepared itself and equipped itself with the material of Team 1 as well as the self needed material at gases and scooters. The plan was to scoot moderately in the flat area and to increase the speed a bit in the deep area to avoid collecting too much deco. At the agreed depot points the gases were deposited accordingly. To the astonishment of the whole team the whole dive was very relaxed and fast and the team was already back after 130 minutes.
Thanks to the good input of the deep loop team, Max and Olli as the bivouac hall team were able to cover most of the deep passage much more relaxed and faster. The racket shone with fantastic visibility from 40m and very wide aisles, so that most of the time could be scootted side by side. Only the shaft 7 up to the Hasenmeyerschacht had to be dived one after the other again. Up to shaft 7 the line situation was perfect, afterwards there were partly several main lines or line columns. In the Hasenmeyerschacht, the two of them sat the decoration they had created, in order to finally arrive at the bivouac hall via the path in the direction of LAC T, along the METRO, and via the chicane.
After checking the CO2 situation, they took off their equipment in order to forge further projects within the racks while sitting at the entrance to S4 and intensively explore the dry passage.
With this enthusiasm they set off again towards the exit, and the chair could be enjoyed on all trains. They also collected the deep gases again. Unfortunately Team 3 missed the right time to remove the material from Team 1 and so everyone was amazed when Team 1 appeared fully loaded in the Cele. So the third team was able to do a comfortable dive up to the shaft.
In the late afternoon, when most of the other dive groups were gone, Steffen B. and Heinke went back to the first T. to test the new habitat at the existing anchor points. After a good 30 minutes the Habitat was build up in the right passage. When releasing the air from the Habitat the team had to realize that the used hose was too small and so it took 1.5 hours until the Habitat was empty again and could be dismantled. So it was of course already dark night until the action was over.
The next day was to be a three-digit day, with two teams. Team 150m and team 100m. The whole should be combined with an already existing habitat in the Source de Saint Sauveur. In the morning a part of the team passed Olivier. He told that the old Habitat had not been in the cave pool for 3 years. When the whole team arrived at the St Sauveur, one had to realize that the current conditions for the project were absolutely modest. The pool was completely covered with duckweed and the visibility was anything but sparkling up to 70m according to coming out divers. Nevertheless we sent a small Scout-OC-Team from Zeljka and Olli into the water to make an own evaluation of a possible structure of our habitat possible.
Visibility and moorings let us leave the St Sauveur again and we steered our convoy to the nearby Fontaine de Saint Georges.
Here all prepaired their equipment and jumped in several teams into the water. Unfortunately Marcel and Mats had to stop the dive due to technical problems. While putting down the O2 bailout bottle Olli fixed the torn main line in the spring pool. After this was repaired it could start. In the beginning the visibility was still cloudy when the ST. GEORGES after about 100m on and the construction could be admired somewhat different compared to the other surrounding caves.
On the last diving day the team went for a small fun dive to the Source du Cunhac (Ressel 2). Here Max, Olli and Steffen dived with a scooter to the end of the line. While Marcel, Zeljka and Mats dived on foot and equipped with camera, unfortunately the visibility was not perfect.
Since this week was a big goal to extend the training with the new habitat, we drove to the Ressel again in the afternoon. Here we were very lucky that only one group of divers was left, because we didn't want to disturb the other dive groups with the Habitat. So Marcel and Steffen B. accompanied by Mats at the camera made their way to the first T to build up the habitat. After 30 minutes Max and Olli followed as "Habitat-Tester". At this time the Habitat only had to be finally aligned and filled with gas.
Afterwards, the first step was to try out the habitat with a device. In the second attempt Steffen and Marcel took off the equipment of the divers outside the habitat and Max and Olli boarded OC. There the two started to test medical measures and further possibilities in the habitat. At the end they had to get back into their CCRS and afterwards they had to dismantle the habitat. All in all this was a three hour dive and as usual everybody came out of the cave at dark night.
Completely exhausted from the week and still in a good mood, the team celebrated the last evening with tasty French cold drinks and barbecue food. The next morning the journey home was on the agenda.
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