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  1. #1

    Default Notification of Line Changes in Esperanza / True Blue Quarry

    Apologies if this doesn't belong here but there were a few hurt individuals that weren't happy with communication so I offered to post a thread on cavediver regarding line changes in Esperanza quarry.

    Background information, Esperanza (True Blue Quarry) is a flooded and now defunct marble mine located in West Rutland, Vermont. Permanent guidelines have been installed by divers over the years, but no accurate survey has been completed.

    Last Saturday a small group of divers successfully replaced the shallow / "lobster" line section. The old line was in there approximately 20 years (from sources we asked) and was heavily stained and infused with silt and marble dust making it very difficult to see when visibility is bad. It was a mix of #24 and #36 white nylon. We opted to replace it with a continuous line of #36 white braided nylon. The goal was to replace the line up there with better or equivalent line.

    Our aim is to make the lines more consistent while respecting the same tie-offs and routes as much as possible without drastically changing or altering any of the existing placements and navigation decisions. # With aid of surveying tools we also hope to add updated and corrected distance markers on all arrows present on the lines.

    None of this was done with any ego or malice intent. It is sincerely and wholeheartedly about improving the safety of a resource we all enjoy.

    Shallow Line Extension Along West Wall in Cavern Zone

    Starting from the end of the shallow line in the cavern section heading towards open water we tied off a primary reel to where the line terminates and continued following the wall until we found new suitable tie-off points at a consistent depth to the original line. #Unfortunately one of the challenges with running line in Esperanza is that the marble walls are mostly smooth meaning there are very few places one can tie off. #The majority of the tie off points in Esperanza follow old wiring and electrical light conduits on the ceiling or walls, mining equipment on the floor and piles of rocks and debris.

    The line was extended 100-150ft paralleling the west wall in the shallow section as you head south towards open water. To be completely clear, it is still well inside what most would consider the "cavern/cave" zone. #It should take close to 200-250ft of your primary reel to tie into the shallow line if you are entering from open water under the stairs depending on your route. This was in the ballpark of 300-350ft of line on a primary reel prior to the line extension. #At this point if someone without overhead training were to find the line they've already crossed well into the cavern zone and violated standards. # For some quick comparison, #it takes far less primary reel to tie into the North Line, end of West Deep or the North jump line from open water.

    We continued following the same exact route and used the original line placements where the old shallow line was installed with one exception. #We fixed one particular depth change to make it more consistent and easier for rebreather divers. # #Arrows were placed in the same approximate positions as the old arrows as we laid new line. #We did our best to accommodate the original placement with respect to where the original arrows were placed. # # On subsequent surveying efforts we plan to add line distance markings on all the arrows which were not present before on the shallow line.

    Shallow Line Extension Past Lobster Paralleling West Deep / "Shark"

    Continuing onto where the shallow line used to terminate at lobster we re-installed the double arrows that marked the jump in the same location down to the West Deep / "shark" line. We extended the line an additional ~100ft following the contours of the west wall and paralleling the West Deep line where it terminates at "shark." This area has some cool old mining equipment that I don't think many people often see. #At this point you could jump down to West Deep / "shark." since the lines now terminate on the same wall.

    There were issues in this area with lack of tie-off points so we installed a stainless steel anchor point in one of the marble boreholes to help with line placement so the line would wrap neatly around the wall while still far enough out to make it easily visible. There is one additional modification I would like to do to make this slightly cleaner.

    Final Results

    In the end we installed roughly 1000ft of new line (1lb of #36 braided nylon is ~480-500ft of line and we unloaded two full reels) thereby replacing the entire line on the shallow section. It's probably closer to 950ft if you account for tie offs and line wraps but 1000ft sounds way better. We will re-survey this and get a more accurate numbers in the future.

    I know this is not nearly as exciting or important as surveying 10,000ft of virgin cave passage in Florida or Mexico but it was still a very fun project and we sincerely hope that it improves line safety and awareness for everyone who dives up here.

    Finally, on Sunday we did a quick clean up dive in the morning, re-checking the line, tie-offs and arrow placements. We placed signs at the beginning of the shallow line in the airshaft and at the beginning of where the line used to end in the cavern section towards open water notifying divers of the line change/replacement. We also placed two additional 'Stop. Prevent Your Death!' Cave Signs that are ominous in cave diving at both entry points onto the line.

    Full write up is available here: https://esperanzamap.org/shallow-lin...ent-completed/


  2. #2
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    Nice job!


  3. #3

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    Neat! Thank you for sharing.

    FYI, for those who don't know the place: Esperanza is a "simple trespass" dive site. Don't bother calling the land owners - they will tell you that diving is not allowed. Also people have been ticketed/towed parking at the quarry entrance. As long as you move your car someplace else after unloading your equipment, you should be fine. The water temp at depth is wicked cold year round (4 C, near freezing). Dry gloves are a must!


  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by oceancurrent View Post
    Neat! Thank you for sharing.

    FYI, for those who don't know the place: Esperanza is a "simple trespass" dive site. Don't bother calling the land owners - they will tell you that diving is not allowed. Also people have been ticketed/towed parking at the quarry entrance. As long as you move your car someplace else after unloading your equipment, you should be fine. The water temp at depth is wicked cold year round (4 C, near freezing). Dry gloves are a must!
    That sounds like France. There are no trespassing signs at most of the divesites. Under French law, as long as it is posted, the landowner isn't liable for accidents.

    Forrest Wilson (with 2 Rs)
    Any opinions are personal.
    Sump Divers

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by oceancurrent View Post
    Neat! Thank you for sharing.

    FYI, for those who don't know the place: Esperanza is a "simple trespass" dive site. Don't bother calling the land owners - they will tell you that diving is not allowed. Also people have been ticketed/towed parking at the quarry entrance. As long as you move your car someplace else after unloading your equipment, you should be fine. The water temp at depth is wicked cold year round (4 C, near freezing). Dry gloves are a must!
    My understanding is/was that the owners don't mind divers and swimmers; the no-trespassing signs are meant to apply to the people who shoot guns there. The whole town of Rutland seems to swim there in the summer, so they must not care too much about that. Vermont state law protects land owners from any liability as long as the property is posted, which may also play into it. There's a similar situation at the Dorset Quarry, a popular (non-cave) swimming hole to the south.

    At least, I hope that's the case. I'm there most weekends (over 50 dives there in the last 12 months) and have been for about two years. I've never had any problems.


  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by oceancurrent View Post
    Neat! Thank you for sharing.

    FYI, for those who don't know the place: Esperanza is a "simple trespass" dive site. Don't bother calling the land owners - they will tell you that diving is not allowed. Also people have been ticketed/towed parking at the quarry entrance. As long as you move your car someplace else after unloading your equipment, you should be fine. The water temp at depth is wicked cold year round (4 C, near freezing). Dry gloves are a must!
    It doesn't appear anyone has been ticketed or towed for a very long time. I actually don't know of anyone ever towed. From my understanding the no parking / private property signs were put up primarily to discourage the shooters in the area who tend to use the place like a trash dump. It's gotten a lot better in the past few years.

    I've had the police drive by on numerous occasions and all they did was wave to us. As Confuted mentioned, it's a popular swimming hole with the locals. As long as people arent leaving trash everywhere or shooting up the place the caretaker seems happy.

    The best place to park is by the airshaft. There are no "no parking" signs there if you want to be safe.

    You are correct that it is definitely private property however the caretaker does not seem to mind divers. It seems to be some sort of "dont ask, don't tell" relationship. The family (Gawet) owns several quarries in Rutland so asking for permission will likely cause confusion.

    It's kind of a catch-22..I'd like to reach out to them and gain explicit permission for diving but I don't want them to tell us no and put us in an awkward position. As it stands now several longtime divers have gotten permission from the land caretaker to go diving.


  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by macado View Post
    It doesn't appear anyone has been ticketed or towed for a very long time. I actually don't know of anyone ever towed. From my understanding the no parking / private property signs were put up primarily to discourage the shooters in the area who tend to use the place like a trash dump. It's gotten a lot better in the past few years.

    I've had the police drive by on numerous occasions and all they did was wave to us. As Confuted mentioned, it's a popular swimming hole with the locals. As long as people arent leaving trash everywhere or shooting up the place the caretaker seems happy.

    The best place to park is by the airshaft. There are no "no parking" signs there if you want to be safe.

    You are correct that it is definitely private property however the caretaker does not seem to mind divers. It seems to be some sort of "dont ask, don't tell" relationship. The family (Gawet) owns several quarries in Rutland so asking for permission will likely cause confusion.

    It's kind of a catch-22..I'd like to reach out to them and gain explicit permission for diving but I don't want them to tell us no and put us in an awkward position. As it stands now several longtime divers have gotten permission from the land caretaker to go diving.
    Thanks for sharing! Seeing this report is the best news I have heard in a while! I will need to head that way when I get a chance. Only a 4hr drive. Sounds like it would make a great weekend trip from the Pine Tree state. I had heard it was not divable anymore, but this news is great. It means I can do a cave dive without have to go through a TSA screening. Is it BM friendly or should I plan on SM?

    Do you have any pics to share?

    Thanks

    Sent from my XT1575 using Tapatalk


  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by smorneau View Post
    Thanks for sharing! Seeing this report is the best news I have heard in a while! I will need to head that way when I get a chance. Only a 4hr drive. Sounds like it would make a great weekend trip from the Pine Tree state. I had heard it was not divable anymore, but this news is great. It means I can do a cave dive without have to go through a TSA screening. Is it BM friendly or should I plan on SM?

    Do you have any pics to share?

    Thanks

    Sent from my XT1575 using Tapatalk
    All backmount friendly. No restrictions up there that require sidemount. Some do dive sidemount just so they don't have to lug doubles all the way to open water section but if you're entering from airshaft then it's a short walk. If you dive from the open water section, I suggest using 2 wheeler or cart.

    I've added some pictures at the end of the blog post that were taken by another team.
    https://esperanzamap.org/shallow-lin...ent-completed/

    We'll be up there all winter, as will other groups/teams that dive it frequently. The open water section does freeze over but the airshaft stays open for diving.


  9. #9

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    Just a quick heads up, we are planning refreshing the guideline on the Mystery Line in Esperanza this Saturday (10/21) with brand new white #36 braided nylon.

    The line will follow the same exact route. We will try to re-use the same tie-offs as best as possible and replace arrows in the same approximate positions.

    I'll update this thread with a full report on any changes and how things go next weekend. Our next planned line refresh will be on the Spooky Line.

    Last edited by macado; 10-17-2017 at 04:23 PM. Reason: spelling


 

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