Cave - Elefante Bianco

At November 3rd we went to Italy for a cave dive. The goal was to dive the “Siori” cave. After about a 3 hour ride we came directly to the entrance of the state park, where the cave is found (thanks for Mara, who gave us a good plan to get there). The cave itself is part of that state park and entrance is limited. We went to the entrance and asked the guy at the counter to pay the entrance fee and to go diving in the cave. Unfortunately he told us that a written permission is needed nowadys to dive the cave. After a friendly conversation and a phone call with Mara we decided not to dive the Siori at that day, but to go for the cave “Elefante Bianco” and dive there. For the next time we got the contact information of the city council to get a permission and as well some information for some accommodation to avoid any further problems.

We went on to the Elefante Bianco, which meant a “detour” of about 3 km. Beside the road is a parking lot, from where are about 150 m to go to the sping pool. You follow a small path between the houses and through a vineyard and reach the entrance pool at the foot of a rockwall. The waterlevel was quite low and no water ran out of the pool in the riverbed leading from there. For that we had a lot of possibilities to place our gear to get ready and to gear up at the edge of the water. So we began to carry our riggs to the water and to assemble the rest of the gear at the entrance pool. After that we put our drysuits on and went in the water for finalizing the diveplan and the equipment check. We decided that Klaus should lead the dive and I should follow.

The mainline begins in the entrance pool at 6 m and has a direct ascent to the surface. So we had not to reel in and could follow the line without a stop. The cave itself starts at about 20 m and leads downwards in slope of about 45 degrees. Soon we reached the maximum depth for our gas, because we were prepared for another cave. Exactly at our maximum depth we reached a T with a line leading upwards, while the mainline runs further down into the tunnel. We decided to follow the upward leading line and after a few meters we came to anothe T. For it was our first dive at the Elefante Bianco, we called the dive at that point. At the ascent we had a spectacular effect, due to the sun which stood exactly in line with the entrance and gave a glow through the dimmish water.

After a surface break and a debriefing we decided to make another dive, because we had plenty of gas left. We followed again the upward leading line after the first T and at the second T we followed again the line leading upwards. Immeadetly the water became totally transparent and we followed the line in a more and more narrow part of the cave. We turned and took the other line behind the second T and soon discovered that this was part of a small loop with the line we followed first. Meanwhile we were near our turnpressure and went back out. After a minimum deco we ascended and began to carry our gear back to the car.

Although we couldn´t dive the Siori this time, we will come back when we get a permission or ist is free to dive the cave again. We will report here as well...