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Taking off the grate to explore the Blue Hole

Discussion in 'Rocky Mountain Region' started by DandyDon, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. Tjack

    Tjack Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Taos, New Mexico and Georgian Bay, Ontario
    990
    186
    43
    Thanks for the photo updates Grumpy and Bubba, exciting stuff. Last I spoke with Stella she was concerned about the stability of the floor of the Blue Hole. From the views of the cavern entrance it does look somewhat unstable, does cave training address this?
     
  2. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    25,636
    17,115
    113
    I am not sure what you mean by the stability of the floor. Is the concern that it is also the ceiling of some room far below and may cave in on top of it?

    If so, that is always a possibility in cave diving. It is, however, a very rare event to happen during a dive. I have only heard of one incident in which it caused a problem---see Parker Turner.
     
  3. Tjack

    Tjack Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Taos, New Mexico and Georgian Bay, Ontario
    990
    186
    43
    With the removal of the grate and dredging activities in the past it seems the entrance to the Blue Hole cave might have been destabilized. I would hope this is a major consideration when entering a cave system which has not been explored in a long time. Might want a pry bar down there.
     
  4. GrumpyOldGuy

    GrumpyOldGuy Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: West Texas/NH/CA
    4,571
    2,435
    113
    Did you get a chance to dive and see if they put the pipe back or left it off?
     
  5. BigBubbaJ

    BigBubbaJ DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Colorado, USA
    580
    23
    18
    I dove it today. Heading back to Colorado and ill post pix and vids tonight or tomorrow.
     
  6. toddthecat

    toddthecat Dive Shop

    # of Dives:
    Location: Aztec, NM
    630
    244
    0
    :dance:
     
  7. BigBubbaJ

    BigBubbaJ DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Colorado, USA
    580
    23
    18
    I have some video i'm putting together now... but here's some pix.

    G0140072.jpg G0180105.jpg G0190134.jpg G0270165.jpg G0290172.jpg
     
    boulderjohn and coldwaterlloyd like this.
  8. GrumpyOldGuy

    GrumpyOldGuy Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: West Texas/NH/CA
    4,571
    2,435
    113
  9. Curt Bowen

    Curt Bowen Manta Ray

    # of Dives:
    Location: Sarasota, FL
    1,142
    89
    48
    We removed the pipe and managed to quadrupole the size of the entrance into the lower chambers. After the snorkel was removed we only had a hole no bigger than 18 inches square. After pulling the old grate out and removing many large boulders and silt from the vent we did manage to increase the size to about 3 feet x 18 inches. I did notice an increase in flow once it was cleared. Brett Hemphill managed to gain access to the first chamber but only by removing all his gear including harness and fins and squeezing in feet first with a single no mount steel cylinder. Once in this chamber we had hoped that he could squeeze below another boulder and into the lower chambers. After gaining access and letting the silt clear he was faced with another extreme restriction of no more than 14 inches. After 6 days of excavating what we could our team ran out of time and under the request of the City of Santa Rosa Mayor we placed a new grate over the new cave entrance and loaded it up with heavy rocks and the old tomb stone.

    Here is a fun video of Brett riding the new grate from the surface and dropping it right on the exact location we wanted it in 18 seconds. I followed as quick as I could with a camera...

    https://vimeo.com/74664048

    Phase two is currently in planning for 2014.

    Attached is the night light painting I completed during the project.
     

    Attached Files:

    shoredivr, wve, amascuba and 2 others like this.
  10. BigBubbaJ

    BigBubbaJ DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Colorado, USA
    580
    23
    18
    Thanks for posting that video. Stella was telling me how cool it was and I wasn't disappointed.

    Fun project.
     

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