YD Scuba Diving Forums banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Imported post

From reading a couple of the recent posts on the board I gather that a lot of folk were at Hodges Close last weekend.  I'm heading down there this weekend, and some of the guys I'm going down with intend to dive the tunnels - but only into chamber 1.

Could someone let me know what the current state of the tunnels is as we'd heard that there had recently been a landslide which was causing some problems.

thanks
Sam
 

·
Snap Happy
Joined
·
2,802 Posts
Imported post

Hi Sam,

Unfortuntely we were under very strict orders not, repeat NOT, to even think about entering the tunnels - not even under pain of death etc.

Duncan, Pete, if you're lurking out there maybe you can register and let Sam know what you thought of it in there;-)
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
1,773 Posts
Imported post

Ditto Tim's comments.

If you really want to do the tunnels speak to Andy Hayhurst and maybe you can hire him to take you through or at least get some advice.

My advice would be don't. However, stay safe wherever you're diving.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Imported post

Not planning to do the tunnels myself as Saturday will be the first time that I'm diving with twins/wing (one step at a time!!), but the guys that I'm diving with will want to do them.
 

·
Resident Serbian Sniper
Joined
·
492 Posts
Imported post

Hi Sam,I have to repeat what has been said above.For those of you who maybe have'nt been diving that long,Hodge used to have the same sort of reputation for being hazardous to divers'health that Dorothea currently has.
There's nothing really dangerous about Hodge as an OW venue.If you don't fall down the ladder,suffer a seizure after carrying your kit from the car or forget it's an altitude dive you should br fine!
Oh,unless a rockfall gets you,if it's not freezing though you should be OK,LOL!
That leaves the tunnels.DON'T venture in there without somebody who has relevant experience/equipment.Period.Those tunnels have killed,they also nearly claimed the life of a Police Diver who was unlucky enough to have to undertake a recovery.
My old man et al. did the orig.surveys/lines back in the 80's,this survey has been seen in recent magazines etc.and the tunnels have again become of interest to the wider diving community.After people insisted on going in and unfortunately not comimg out they were asked to put up signs(some of which may still be there,but many were stolen as souvenirs)warning of the dangers.The situation deteriorated to the point where  articles were written on redundancy,OH environments etc and the BSAC manual was amended - due to Hodge's tunnels.
At least one of the moderators here has copies of those articles/survey,all have access.Even better,another of the moderators Andy Hayhurst has recent knowledge/experience of the system,as it has altered due to rockfalls.Aside from this experience he has the ability to teach you how to stay alive in there if you must go in.If your dive partners have the experience,kit and everything else needed to go in then fine,but have they?If you have any doubts,any whatsoever,stay away for Christ's sake and like the man said,speak to Andy or at least someone who know's their stuff.
Take care,Hobby.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Imported post

Thanks Hobby.  The folk that I am diving with are very experienced and do have experience of OH environments, and have dived Hodges Close before - one is a qualified cave diver.  

You said in your post that Hodges is an altitude dive - could you elaborate?

thanks
Sam

(Edited by Sam at 12:14 pm on Nov. 19, 2002)
 

·
Resident Serbian Sniper
Joined
·
492 Posts
Imported post

Hi Sam,just wanted to be sure that nobody would be blundering around blindly!"Qualified cave diver"though,what's that?
Anyway,from what I can recall the sign at the entrance warned it was an altitude dive at 150m(562ft)ASL.(I do know that one site states his computer failed to recognise this however so be aware).This was an old Norfed sign and I don't know if it's still there now.
As before,I'd recommend you speak to Andy for further info on this.Many of the board members as you know dived Hodge last weekend too,so it should'nt be long before you get the info.you need.Take care,Hobby.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
Imported post

There is only one entrance open now( situated at 22m),the exit out of the first chamber is blocked and has been for some two years.The tunnels are in good state and should be because they were dug out of solid slate.

If you are going to dive it be safe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,240 Posts
Imported post

Hey Sam,

Just in the mind set of wanting to provide some sound advice and not scare the bejesus out of you, there are a few things in this mix at which you'll need to take a long hard look before going bimbling into Hodge Close.

You say this visit to Hodge will be your 1st twins/wing dive??

OK, then that's gotta be your starting point in asking yourself: "How am I going to deploy on this dive?" Hazarding on the side of extreme caution (and not knowing how many dives you have under your belt - and then breaking that down into how many dives you have in UK, inland, fresh-water, deep, altitude and drybag conditions) and recommend that you please consider the following:

1. Get some pool sessions in on the wing & twins to square your rig, trim and buoyancy so that you're ultra comfortable with your rig and yours and its capabilities.

2. Hodge is a sheer drop to 30 metres (barring the odd boulder and transit van) from entering the water. This viz is usually very good, but in winter, especially in the PM can be dark due to the sheer sides of the quarry not letting much natural light in to the depths. Getting your buoyancy sorted well in advance is essential (esp with your new kit and the skills you'll need to 'drive it') so that a potential rapid descent doesn't turn into getting you narked or becoming panicked.

3. Andy Hayhurst gave us all some sound advice the other day about diving Hodge later in to the winter season, i.e. when it starts to get colder - DON'T!! Why you may ask? Well it comes down to the 'freeze/thaw action' in water that occurs naturally in winter. Snow & rainwater seeps into the crags and cracks of the loose slate on the walls of the quarry and then at night freezes - therefore expanding, therefore making the cracks in to which it has settled wider. Then in the morning, with the sun, the ice melts. Then, the following night, the process is repeated and the cracks grow wider until the split that makes the rock/boulder fall from the sheer wall happens. Goes without saying that you don't want to be in the water when one of those puppies comes screaming down on top of you - potentially trapping you or worse!

4. I'm glad to see you say that you don't intend to go near the tunnels - 10 bodies have had to be retrieved from there in recent years - please don't be the eleventh.

5. Given that you're on new kit/rig that you've never used in anger; the fact that to get to the water's edge you've got at least a 250 yard tab (a third of it bent double whilst in water up to your knees/thighs) in full kit, in the dark and then a 12 foot ladder to climb down (again in full kit) at altitude (affects your breathing and demands more form your body to achieve the same than at sea level) and the fact that it's a dive site with which you're unfamiliar (unless I've got that wrong and you've dived there before) - maybe you might want to rethink your options??

Like I said, I'm not trying to put you off Hodge Close - it's a thoroughly gorgeous dive with many unexpected in water rock strata and life forms at which to have a butcher's.

Hope you make the right call and hope you dive safe - always!

Take care,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Imported post

Thanks for your comments Bren, and I will take them on board.  

I've not dived Hodges before, so I was going to take my old BCD/12l and pony with me anyway just in case the new set up wasnt quite to my liking.  I had heard that there was a fair trek from the parking to the dive site, so was going to make a call on which kit to use when I'd got there and had a look around.

I'll let you know how I get on

Sam
 

·
Gone...and probably best forgotten
Joined
·
1,403 Posts
Imported post

I have to reiterate all the above.  DO NOT do hodge in new kit, or in winter, and above all, stay away from the caves until you have got your config sorted and a few dives in it.  With the incident pit in mind, hodge is an accident waiting to happen.  only dive it when your task loading is at a bare minimum, i.e. not new kit, not too cold and with someone to hold your hand at first.

Having said that, Hodge is a beautiful place, even to the point of just going for a stroll around.  I recommend you wait until summer now and concentrate on your kit config for now.

I'm at the Cape this weekend and would be happy to help you with your new gear setup!!

andy

be safe, warm and well fed!!
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top