005 Deborah Johnston - Unlocking the Jenolan Caves mysteries

OZDiveShow Podcast

07-12-2021 • 1 hora 4 minutos

We turn the GNARL Factor up to 11 on this one !

Deborah Johnston has been exploring and documenting caves all around Australia and New Zealand with the Sydney University Speleological Society (SUSS) for 12yrs. She is passionate about finding, documenting and sharing new cave discoveries - both above and below water.

Her passion for cave exploration was recognised by leading Australian divers who mentored her so she could continue her research underwater by sump diving; where getting equipment to the dives within the caves often involves hours of backbreaking caving, climbing, crawling, squeezing and abseiling through mud with heavy bags of dive gear just to reach the waters edge.

Deborah's main cave diving interest has been at the famous and ancient Jenolan Caves (the worlds oldest dated cave system) which is home to a long history of incredible diving feats spanning from the 1950s to present day. It is here Deborah and her team of 'SUSS' divers have made many significant discoveries by working together on monthly exploration trips.

Sump dives are harsh, deep and technical, little-to-no visibility, with sharp and unstable rock, and tight restrictions; all requiring creative gear configurations and meticulous planning to succeed.

These techniques and configurations are practiced and maintained using deep wreck diving in the ocean as a training ground to prepare for project cave dives.

Deborah is a member of the Explorers Club and NSW Cave Rescue Squad. Her Slug Lake Exploration Project has received funding from the Australian Geographic Society.

FURTHER READING
https://www.pressreader.com/australia/australian-geographic/20170301/281522225847661

https://cdg.caves.org.au/CDG-Articles/NSW/JOHNSTON-Jenolan2013-OBrienVaughan-Taylor.pdf



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