The Pearse Resurgence in the South Island is rapidly becoming one of the greatest cave diving challenges on earth. With depths rapidly approaching 200 metres, summer water temperatures of less than 7 degrees C, and a horizontal penetration of several hundred metres at depth, the Pearse is now a serious obstacle to ongoing exploration. The cave is fast becoming the primary focus of the Wet Mules' activities with Harry visiting the site 4 times since 2007.
2007: Dave Apperley (Expedition leader), Rick Stanton (CDG), Richard Harris, Craig Howell, John Atkinson. A major leap in exploration was made by Dave and Rick with the cave being pushed to 177m with Rick's final dive. Prior to this the cave "ended" at the Big Room thanks to amazing efforts by Apperley over the preceeding years.
2008: Richard Harris returned with Grant Pearce and Andrew Bowie and pushed the cave just a small amount further to 182m depth in a new sub-level. The way forward appeared to continue with the tunnel rising slightly in the distance.
2010: Richard Harris, Craig Challen, John Dalla-Zuanna, Dave Bardi, John Vanderleest and Sandy Varin attempted to install a mobile habitat which rise from 40-14m whislt the lush diver decompressed inside. This was not successful and the team departed without laying line. However the discovery of an undescribed amphipod and a cave adapted flat worm would form the basis for a grant application to help fund the next expedition.
2011: Richard Harris, Craig Challen, John Dalla-Zuanna, Dave Bardi, Sandy Varin and Ken Smith funded by the National Geographic Society/Waitt Grants Program, returned for a full 2 weeks on site. The result was a 9 hour push dive by Craig Challen to a new record depth of 194m and a tantalising view into the abyss below him. Close to 40 fauna traps were set and retrieved throughout the cave and these are being analysed by Dr Graham Fenwick at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) in Christchurch.
A recurring theme throughout the history of the exploration of the Pearse Resurgence, has been the invaluable assistance of the Nelson Speleological Group and in particular local cavers "Oz" Patterson and Deb Cade. Without their help none of the exploration of the last 10 years would have happened.
To follow our discoveries and activities in the Pearse check out the subpages below. For an excellent description of the cave exploration prior to this, look at Jason McHattan's site.
"This promo summarises the 2011 expedition to the Pearse Resurgence in NZ. The cave is now almost certainly deeper than 200m.
POV images on the helicopter and underwater were filmed with Contour HD cameras and the superb H2Ov housings from GMS Concepts. Two of these systems dived to 194m with Craig Challen on the final push dive."
Getting To The Cave
For the new and very exciting 3D cartography technology revealing the Pearse Resurgence in all its glory, please download the following file and enjoy a swim through simulation!
3D Virtual Cave Dive
|Liveleak on Facebook|