Balkans Cave Exploration Project July 2010 Trip Report

By: Chris Le Maillot

Once again the Karst Odyssey team assembled to further cave exploration efforts in Bosnia & Herzegovina. This non-profit organization is based in Banja Luka.

The first part of the project was conducted around the caves of Sanski Most and Drvar. One of the cave in this area "Batastica" was explored to 600m at depth up to 75m (250ft). The caves has many interesting features including an impressive shaft going from 30m (100ft) to 55m (180ft). Further in the cave, the compacted sand dunes gives an unusual aspect to the floor reminiscent of clay banks.

During the second week, travel to the south of the country in Mostar completed the team long time planning in diving Source Buna, Crno Vrelo and Crno Oko. Crno Vrelo is a beautiful cave north of Mostar. The Dams over the river Naretva has increased the water level enough to flood what was once a dry entrance. The entrance is large with daylight still visible at 30m (100ft). The cave gradually drops down to 45m (150ft) and opens up into a big room that goes straight down to at least 90 meters (300ft) of depth. This is quite an awesome sight as the visibility in this particular cave is good (25m/80ft). The vertical walls of the room featured pebbles and small stones all cemented together and held in place with sand and other type of sediments. The collapse area at 90m seems to offer the possibility of an opening into deeper cave at around 100m (330ft). The water temperature was 8c (48F).

The next project is planned for July 2011.

The Karst Odyssey exploration team would like to thank the BUK diving club in Banja Luka for their continuous support and friendship and the Adventure Club Neretva in Mostar for their great hospitality. Special thanks to Boris Trninic, Zdenko Ninic, Branislav Radevic, Drago Teinovic, Esad Humo, Hinda Memic & Momir Majkic.

Project divers: Bob Cooper, Fred Devos, Chris Le Maillot, Andrea Marassich, Emir Memic, Dusan Milosevic, Renato Raseta, Hugh Reid, Richard Walker



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