How I spent my summer vacation

Tell us your tale of coming nose-to-nose with a 6 gill [--this big--], or about your vacation to turquoise warm waters. Share your adventures here!
Jeff Kruse
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Re: How I spent my summer vacation

Post by Jeff Kruse » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:46 am

Thats hard core! Great job! I look forward to more trips reports from you.

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CaptnJack
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Re: How I spent my summer vacation

Post by CaptnJack » Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:03 am

Tom Nic wrote:The geology of this cave fascinates me - very unlike most caves I have seen. Any further info on that or suggestions on some reading?


I have been looking for a geology reference book to the north island for awhile. So far its been a bust although there is some information about general north island cave creation in this 1980s MS Thesis. http://digitalcommons.mcmaster.ca/cgi/v ... rmation%22

There are about 2000 caves up there (mostly not flooded ones) with more being found all the time. They tend to be geologically young and active. They are in a highly metamorphosed limestone layer called the Quatsino formation. This limestone was laid down about 220 million years ago and has been marblized by heat and pressure. The brown inclusions seen in the video seem to be iron deposits. The mountain building experienced from being along the Pacific Rim has obviously folded the limestone - in places the bedding is now vertical.

This cave itself is probably a relic. That is, it predated the river and the glaciation of the valley its in. After glaciation, the river cut down into the valley slighly and intersected a pre-existing karst conduit. We are pretty sure the river didn't form the cave since its 2.8km long and a small fissure would have just plugged with silt and debris. In low flow the entire river flow goes through the cave, in high flow the remainder of the flow goes overland via a bypass channel.

If you find any references, I'd love to know about them. I've looked in Victoria bookstores while waiting for the ferry to Port Angeles, but so far nothing specific to the north island.
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Tom Nic
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Re: How I spent my summer vacation

Post by Tom Nic » Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:27 am

Thanks!

It is the "marblized" that looks so unique.

I will keep snooping around.

Really cool stuff.
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Re: How I spent my summer vacation

Post by CaptnJack » Wed Oct 24, 2012 2:51 pm

I don't know why some of the limestone is grey with white veins (probably 75%) and then there's pure white with no veins at all. I have some pics of both I will try to post tonight.
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Re: How I spent my summer vacation

Post by dsteding » Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:28 pm

CaptnJack wrote:I don't know why some of the limestone is grey with white veins (probably 75%) and then there's pure white with no veins at all. I have some pics of both I will try to post tonight.


Grey is probably silt-you could be looking at what was originally a carboniferous silt deposit (think dead calcium carbonate diatoms and the like). White probably has less silica/clay minerals, but similar origin. White veins are secondary metamorphisism, likely remobilization of calcium carbonate during intrusion of granitic material (probably associated with volcanics and subduction).

All a wild-ass guess based on your description, but I did study rocks for a long time.
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Re: How I spent my summer vacation

Post by CaptnJack » Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:15 pm

dsteding wrote:
CaptnJack wrote:I don't know why some of the limestone is grey with white veins (probably 75%) and then there's pure white with no veins at all. I have some pics of both I will try to post tonight.


Grey is probably silt-you could be looking at what was originally a carboniferous silt deposit (think dead calcium carbonate diatoms and the like). White probably has less silica/clay minerals, but similar origin. White veins are secondary metamorphisism, likely remobilization of calcium carbonate during intrusion of granitic material (probably associated with volcanics and subduction).

All a wild-ass guess based on your description, but I did study rocks for a long time.


Probably. Its all so insanely folded, squished, refolded and then glaciated I gave up trying to predict or understand anything.

Oh and welcome back to NWDC :rjack:
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Jan K
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Re: How I spent my summer vacation

Post by Jan K » Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:52 pm

There are dive reports and then there are DIVE REPORTS !
Wow . :notworthy:

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Re: How I spent my summer vacation

Post by RoxnDox » Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:30 am

Jan K wrote:There are dive reports and then there are DIVE REPORTS !
Wow . :notworthy:


And any time a Dive report gets folded up into a Geology report, it's a double bonus!

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Re: How I spent my summer vacation

Post by CaptnJack » Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:25 am

Thanks for the kind words.
It was "only" 9 dives over 3 trips. Maybe 8 hours of bottom time and 60hrs of driving? :nutty: But I had a great time and learned an enormous amount. Hopefully Brian's long video will be posted soon, I will link to that when I can.
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kdupreez
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Re: How I spent my summer vacation

Post by kdupreez » Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:35 pm

WOW!! Richard, this is pretty freegin inspiring work!

Very very very nice!! Would love to hear all the stories! Fantastic dive report dude, it kept me reading all the way through it!

well done! :notworthy:
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Waynne Fowler
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Re: How I spent my summer vacation

Post by Waynne Fowler » Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:43 am

I finally made it back to finish reading the report Richard.
While you may not have gotten a lot of time in the cave these first few times, it seems to me you all have laid some very firm ground work for further exploration. Though I've never been involved in such a project it seems to me you're at that point where things feel slow. I hope you keep us all informed of your further adventures there as I'm hoping you make some great discoveries....

My hat is off to you and the rest of the crew... Thank you for taking all the time to write it down... it's a wonderful read...
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Re: How I spent my summer vacation

Post by dsteding » Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:57 am

CaptnJack wrote:
dsteding wrote:
CaptnJack wrote:I don't know why some of the limestone is grey with white veins (probably 75%) and then there's pure white with no veins at all. I have some pics of both I will try to post tonight.


Grey is probably silt-you could be looking at what was originally a carboniferous silt deposit (think dead calcium carbonate diatoms and the like). White probably has less silica/clay minerals, but similar origin. White veins are secondary metamorphisism, likely remobilization of calcium carbonate during intrusion of granitic material (probably associated with volcanics and subduction).

All a wild-ass guess based on your description, but I did study rocks for a long time.


Probably. Its all so insanely folded, squished, refolded and then glaciated I gave up trying to predict or understand anything.

Oh and welcome back to NWDC :rjack:


Thanks.

The folded/squishing/refolding part is all the metamorphic process. If it is 220 ma, that makes it Triassic in age, and likely part of a shallow seaway associated with Pangea, probably a slice of carbonate material that ultimately got accreted to the N.A. plate during the subduction event that created the coast range.
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Re: How I spent my summer vacation

Post by CaptnJack » Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:10 am

dsteding wrote:The folded/squishing/refolding part is all the metamorphic process. If it is 220 ma, that makes it Triassic in age, and likely part of a shallow seaway associated with Pangea, probably a slice of carbonate material that ultimately got accreted to the N.A. plate during the subduction event that created the coast range.


Yes the Quatsino formation is Triassic, and quite folded. You can see the vertical bedding in my video. I'm sure it'll be even more obvious in Brian's better lighted stuff.

All the geology in the world is just swell, but doesn't help with route finding the next 50m of cave. Or what gas to mix for it. :bounce:
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Re: How I spent my summer vacation

Post by dsteding » Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:41 pm

CaptnJack wrote:
dsteding wrote:The folded/squishing/refolding part is all the metamorphic process. If it is 220 ma, that makes it Triassic in age, and likely part of a shallow seaway associated with Pangea, probably a slice of carbonate material that ultimately got accreted to the N.A. plate during the subduction event that created the coast range.


Yes the Quatsino formation is Triassic, and quite folded. You can see the vertical bedding in my video. I'm sure it'll be even more obvious in Brian's better lighted stuff.

All the geology in the world is just swell, but doesn't help with route finding the next 50m of cave. Or what gas to mix for it. :bounce:


Gas to mix? Air baby! Goes well with Triassic carbonates.
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Re: How I spent my summer vacation

Post by CaptnJack » Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:05 pm

dsteding wrote:Gas to mix? Air baby! Goes well with Triassic carbonates.


I drank plenty of Island beer in the evenings. No need to have more loopy doops on the dives. :partyman:

Not to mention I messed up the survey on 32%. MUCH clearer working on 25/25 even if its only ~70 near the current EOL.
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renoun
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Re: How I spent my summer vacation

Post by renoun » Sat Oct 27, 2012 2:10 am

Brian's video is up now if you haven't been following the other boards. It looks like you have something to look forward to next summer.



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Re: How I spent my summer vacation

Post by Nwbrewer » Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:34 am

All around awesome!
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Jan K
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Re: How I spent my summer vacation

Post by Jan K » Sat Oct 27, 2012 1:35 pm

This video is the icing on the cake of this report.
All I can say is WOW, WOW and WOW.
And shall never again complain about lugging my dive gear to the dive site :)

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CaptnJack
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Re: How I spent my summer vacation

Post by CaptnJack » Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:23 am

Its actually pretty close in BC terms, maybe 700ft from the car. The riverbank is the worst part, that's a 35ft drop and steep dirt. Despite the increased hassles, I am pretty sure I'm going to forgo the sidemount and switch to backmount doubles for next summer. Its not really a sidemount cave and backmount's the better tool for the job.
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Re: How I spent my summer vacation

Post by kitsapdiver » Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:14 pm

Richard this cave looks beautiful. It is so good to hear that you guys are finding caves a little more open up there.

In the video it looks like there aren't many side passage, but it looks like there are some. Maybe I missed it in the write-up but what are the landowner relations like? I know you guys are keeping the location a secret during the exploration, but is this cave on public land? This cave is the first one I know of in BC, although I admit I have limited knowledge, that may start attracting interest from the public (i.e. not a side mount sump), and that can be a very scary thing for a group trying to protect access. I look forward to your 2013 summer plans.
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CaptnJack
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Re: How I spent my summer vacation

Post by CaptnJack » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:15 pm

Its on crown (public) land as far as I know. In theory it could attract other divers, although the divable season is about 6 to 8 weeks. We aren't really keeping it entirely secret, the survey is being published in the BC Caver for instance. And obviously its in the Nomash Valley. There are plenty of divable caves up there, at least 3 others within 5 miles of Wet Dream that nobody has ever dove before either.

We built a reasonable trail to Wet Dream this year, although it may not last the winter. The line may not last the winter either, and the opening could fill in with boulders for all we know. Or the bridge could wash out rendering it inaccessible...

Assuming it remains divable next year, we will be adding some additional amenities like a proper latrine near the cave entrance. Other than some local blowing up the river in search of gold... (The whole area had a gold rush 100yrs ago; its all defunct now but gold fanatics dream big) Probably the biggest threat to the character of the place is human waste. The next threats would be garbage, graffiti or logging.

Right now we have a decent team for our explorations, but there may be some opportunities to take newcomers to Wet Dream or other BC caves in the future. You do have to understand that your 40mins from the nearest pay phone. 2.5 hours on a dirt road from the nearest grocery store and cell service. So you can forget about posting your realtime exploits to facebook lol.
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Re: How I spent my summer vacation

Post by CaptnJack » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:40 pm

So far there are a few other leads to poke into. There's potential downstream passage, but needs to be gardened of obstructing rocks with extreme caution as obviously its a siphon. That may or may not lead to anything or be backmountable. At the current end of line the passage divides into 3 options and going on from there may take some sleuthing. We think we know the way on, but have been wrong about the way forward before. Other than those, its basically a giant river tube.
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Tom Nic
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Re: How I spent my summer vacation

Post by Tom Nic » Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:51 pm

renoun wrote:Brian's video is up now if you haven't been following the other boards. It looks like you have something to look forward to next summer.


Dang.

Double Dang.

I may have just been bit by the cave bug.

I thought I was immune, but now I am not so sure.

Dang.

Perhaps an excursion to Mexico is in my future.
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Re: How I spent my summer vacation

Post by Waynne Fowler » Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:03 pm

The videos awesome Richard. I thinkin you were the 2nd one down the line and in Sidemount who took the lead as you dropped down the chute? If so, ya look like you've got the SM rig dialed in for yourself... what system and size wing is being used if I may ask?

LOL..... Tom you posted as I was typing.... it was something like this video that got me, vid's and Boydski's pic's!!!! go have a look! :joshsmith: http://www.boydski.com/diving/photos/cave/default.htm
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Tom Nic
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Re: How I spent my summer vacation

Post by Tom Nic » Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:07 pm

Waynne Fowler wrote:LOL..... Tom you posted as I was typing.... it was something like this video that got me, vid's and Boydski's pic's!!!! go have a look! :joshsmith: http://www.boydski.com/diving/photos/cave/default.htm


Geez... and here I thought the purveyors of scooter crack were bad... now you cave people are just running around corrupting innocent divers. :axe:

I may be in trouble... :eek: :seesaw:
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