In January 2011, six Australian divers supported by a generous grant from the National Geographic Society/Waitt Foundation Grants Program, will attempt to further plumb the depths of the New Zealand cave known as the Pearse Resurgence.
For expedition leader Dr Richard Harris, this will be the fourth visit to the site where he became Australia and New Zealand’s deepest free-swimming tech diver in 2008 after exploring the cave to 182m.
“The goals of the next expedition are twofold – to continue exploration in the deep passage at 180m and to perform a biosurvey of the minute invertebrates that live there. The last expedition revealed a probable new species of amphipod and a tiny flatworm that have the scientists very excited. So we will set traps in different parts of the cave to see what else we can find.”
GMS Concept’s H2OV housings for the awesome Contour HD cameras will allow the divers to capture unique footage of this pristine environment whilst they set about diving in the harsh environment of the cave. With water temperatures below 7 degrees C and dive times approaching 10 hours, multiple habitats will be used to keep the divers warm during decompression stops.
Will the H2OV housings make it intact with the divers push to the bottom of the Pearse?
We are betting they will…
From expedition leader Richard Harris...
Just back this morning from NZ and I have only got great things to say about the H2OV housings! We dived the housings extensively during the 2 week trip from depths of 20 to 194 meters, (636 feet) (2 of the housings did the deepest dive) and no hint of a problem. I think you can safely increase your housing depth rating!
copyright GMS Concepts / www.gmsconcepts.com
* The H2OV is a custom hand built video housing currently designed for the Contour camcorders by Contour,Inc.. The housing was designed for Technical Diving and is rated to 650ft. / 200m.
* The H2OV system is compact in size and ideal for POV production, video documentation, exploration and mapping. GMS Concepts has a full line of custom mounts designed for the H2OV and with the housing's heavy duty 1/4-20 mounting block it can easily be mounted to a dive helmet, light tray, hand mount, or DPV mount.
* The H2OV system is one of the smallest and deepest rated underwater full HD systems in the world and has been field tested by technical divers beyond 200m.
We are cave divers, and use video mainly for mapping and documenting underwater caves. ContourHD with H2OV mounted in helmet is just perfect for that! It’s small and simple hands-free camera. As we don’t have time to play with some more “fancy” cameras during our dive, and we need to shoot video also when scootering. As Contour also records audio, it can be used as a dictation machine. Writing notes while deep diving is too time consuming and not so easy in cold water . With ContourHD / H2OV I don’t need to write notes, I just speak while diving, this also works when scootering! =).
Our latest exploration was also the deepest cave dive in Northern Europe, dive time was 5,5h, water temperature 5-6C. We put 85m new line to 120m depth, and mapped the deep section of Plura cave in Norway.
2010 & 2011 marked the continuation of our focused initiative to extend human intervention to the lower limits of mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs) for scientific investigation. This is just a glimpse into our 2012 program.
A special thanks to GMS Concepts for supporting the 2010/2011 field events.
Michael Lombardi / Ocean of Opportunity
DPV and helmet mounted H2OV systems used at depths over
200m with the Pearse Resurgence expedition in New Zealand...
The Wet Mules have just completed the 2012 expedition to the
Pearse River Resurgence near Mt Arthur in the South Island of
The six Mules (David Bardi, Craig Challen, John Dalla-Zuanna,
Richard “Harry” Harris, Ken Smith and Sandy Varin), were
accompanied by diving physician and support Dr Karen Richardson
for the 17 day trip.
Both primary objectives of the trip were accomplished. With the assistance of Nelson Speleological Group’s Andrew Smith and Dawn Wood, dye tracing from the Spillway in Nettlebed Cave again confirmed the connection between the two sites. Unfortunately, the dye appeared to be coming from the main passage deeper than 120m, so any hopes of making a shallow connection were lost.
Hence attention shifted back to pushing the deep section of the cave, and once the four habitats were installed at 7, 16, 28 and 38m, and gas was staged in the cave, build-up dives commenced.
On Thursday 12th January Dave and Sandy dived to 180m and completed an extraordinary 7 hour all in-water decompression.
The following day Richard Harris pushed past the end of Craig’s 2011 line at 194m, and laid 70m of line in large passage to a maximum depth of 207m. A total run time of 10½ hours was spent in comfort thanks to the habitats and the surface supplied suit-heating systems.
After two days of rain the resurgence flooded, delaying diving for a day. The final push dive by Craig Challen began on Sunday 15th January as the water levels subsided. Tying off to the end of Harry’s line, he scootered on a short distance only to meet another steep descent. Craig made a final tie off at 221m and returned to the surface after a total dive time of 17 hours. The passage continues beyond, heading deeper.
On the deep dives, we took along scooter and helmet mounted Contour Roam cameras in the new H2OV housings. They recorded the dives flawlessly all the way to 221m. Having video of the cave passage at those depths is invaluable, because the divers were pretty preoccupied and didn't have much time to take in the scenery!
Pearse Resurgence 2012 Expedition
H2OV used in deep cave exploration
H2OV used in deep reef exploration
H2OV housings used in deep cave exploration and new discoveries.
It's so easy to make nice cave diving video with Contour video camera + H2OV housing. And we only use standard (50W HID).diving lights in all our videos.
I can not imagine taking any other camera system to places where we have shot video, e.g. 9400ft from the entrance and/or behind many tight restrictions, or over 120m depth, and shooting video while scootering, making notes by just speaking while diving or scootering (no need to write anything down), and operating the camera (in northern Europe cold waters) with very bulky mitten style dry gloves!Contour + H2OV makes all that possible! =)
Diving in the Florida Caves