Continuing my project of diving the Pump Series in Knotlow, I went down last Sunday. Arm bar lowered my bottles down to me at the bottom of the 210 pitch, and then went off to take Johnny down the climbing shafts entrance. I kitted up and check my shiney new line reel. Now a little less shiney after Ali trod on it.
Lie face down in the water to check air supply. WOOSH! free flow. quick, stick your finger in it… no that’s not working turn it off. Try again. WOOSH!. Turn it off, turn it off!. Let it soak, warm it up, try again. Good, all working now. Try again just to make sure. Still all working.ok.. air.. well that little lot blew off 1/3 of the air from one tank. ok recalculate air limits. Test it all again just to make really sure, and slip into the water.
Down the pitch, along the passage, over the rise, turn right at the junction and reach the end of the line. Add new line onto end and swim along, looking at the new stuff that the old miners left behind. Some old bucket looking thing and some vertical pillars of wood. Some planks across a hole in the ground. Finally get to what I think is the end. A small chamber with quite a few big bits of timber in it. To the left is a niche in the wall with what looks like rubble run in .
Most of the rocks in this chamber are too big to get a snoopy loop around, so I dump a big rock on the line to stop it moving and enjoy the fluffy warm feeling of the mud destroying the visibility. Soon I can see nothing at all apart from small flecks of old wood floating around. Holding on to the reel, which I’m going to leave down here, I feel around for the line that leads out. I know its here somewhere. It comes off the reel, goes under the rock then…. well its gotta be there somewhere, no really it does. erm… hang on …. oo look (or not look actually i can’t see anything) there it is. Right, time to get out.
Turn round and swim out. Get to the junction, turn left. Along, down the dip. The vis clears enough for me to see my computer, so I stop at the vertical section for a 3 minute safety stop. Up and out in time to meet Ali and Johnny coming down Waterfall Pitch