Wednesday 16th August

posted Aug 16, 2011, 4:17 AM by Craig Challen   [ updated Aug 16, 2011, 5:55 AM ]
This week we have come to Mt Hypipamee National Park, near Atherton in far north Queensland, to explore "The Crater". This is a volcanic diatreme, with a sheer-walled shaft varying from 50 to 80m across, filled with water to a level 60m below the surface. 

The site was first dived in 1959 by a group led by Fred Aprilovic. The fascinating report of their trip can be found here. Thanks to Fred Aprilovic and Bob King for this information.

The nature of the site presents a challenge to gain access to the water. Here is the view from the top.







The nature of the site presents a challenge to gain access to the water. Here is the view from the top.
























First step, abseil down to the water, grab the rope dropped from the top of the wall and swim it across to the opposite side.  





Then rig a flying fox to move people and equipment down to a small ledge about 10 metres above the water. From there you climb down to the water surface.






 







Note the green covering on the water. This is a layer of duck weed that covers the entire surface and blocks out almost all the light below.

Finally, then, time to go diving. Yesterday (Tuesday) Liz Rogers, Joel Vermey and Samuel Vermey did an initial dive to 30 metres to start the survey. Grant Pearce commenced the water monitoring studies and Nat Kenyon placed traps for aquatic invertebrates which will provide important information for the biosurvey of the site.
Today John Dalla-Zuanna and Craig Challen did the first deeper dive to 65m, the initial exploratory dives to the deeper part of the lake.
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Craig Challen,
Aug 16, 2011, 4:54 AM
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Craig Challen,
Aug 16, 2011, 4:54 AM
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Craig Challen,
Aug 16, 2011, 4:54 AM
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Craig Challen,
Aug 16, 2011, 4:54 AM
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Craig Challen,
Aug 16, 2011, 4:54 AM
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