Sep 07 09
After the previous dive at Tucks Rift both of us (Andy and Colin) had high hopes for the day’s trip. Three weeks without rain over the catchment area of the cave system should have provided us with excellent visibility and a good chance to reach the known end of the sump and start working to find the way on. Unfortunately when we got to the sump pool the water was a deep Red colour, the smell was only good for clearing the sinuses and there was foam several metres above the water level.
After dropping down into the sump pool and ducking under the entrance arch to check if the poor vis was local to the sump pool (it wasn’t) the attempt to dive was abandoned. In Tucks poor vis at the sump pool usually worsens when sump 2 is entered. To check this we had a look down Ogof Glan Hepste which is another entrance that leads into sump 2. After removing flood debris from the entrance (photo) we crawled the 60 m to the sump pool to find it in a similar poor state but with no foam. We called the day and retreated to wash the smell off.
The cause of the problem is unknown. Some sort of flood pulse has gone through the system in then last few days (foam on the walls only lasts about 3 days in Tucks) and in doing so has carried a large amount of silt and rotting vegetation in. As there has been no rain we can only assume that a mud block has given way and released trapped water into the cave somewhere near the Tucks sump pool. We plan to return when the vis clears and find out what has happened. We also hope that the smell will have gone away by then.
Series - Tucks Rift
Start slideshow with these images