BOSNIA 2011

 BOSNIA 2011

OKO Lusci Polana cave, is a true natural wonder – in any other country, it would be a rigorous nature reservation. And this is due to the structure and due to the fauna which lives there.
Standing on the edge of the cliffs, I could not believe my eyes, OKO is a big hole in the ground with very regular shapes. The diameter is ca. 50 m and the depth from the edge to the bottom is 40 m. At the bottom there is the entrance to the proper cave. The phenomenon of this place is the daily fluctuations of water level from 0 to 40 m.

The place itself is magical, water drops all the time from the surrounding rocks, and acoustics is like in the best amphitheater. Walls are covered with vegetation, which is sometimes in the water and sometimes more than ten metres under it. It is said that in the summer, mosquitos gather here like sparrows, and after dusk it is unbearable.

That’s how I saw the cave

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And that’s what it looks like in the summer when the water level was the lowest

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photos were taken by Raseta Renato from Bosnia
and below there is a picture taken at the highest water level 40 m of difference within 24 hours and the visibility drops to zero

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On the photo above, Chris le Maillot from Zero Gravity from Mexico who has already been to Bosnia 4 times and is an enthusiastic promoter of cave diving in this country.

Below, there is a well-known video from the last trip of the whole Team.

http://www.facebook.com/v/10150400203588625 

I visited the cave with medium water state and for the first time during the trip I knew that I would dive. It slowly became darker, and we used this fact to take night photos of the cave.

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The atmosphere was truly magical all around, in the dark, new animals woke up and started to make noise, water dripped from the walls and all the time some bigger stones fell in the water – magic. Silence and darkness, may be so clear only in this place.

My friends were educated in cave trainings very well. However, they acquired some concerns in diving in new, unknown places. As a result, they were rather reluctant to go under water there. They tried to come up with reasons – like unknown depth, possible currents etc.

I could not imagine a different version than diving next morning. Luckily Darko shared my opinion. On the way back I tried to determine the maximum depth of the cave and locate the entrance. Back then I knew nothing of this place and had not seen the above photos. There were various theories, but we could have expected 50 m.

It rained all night, we met early in the morning, and my friends expected us to give up, because of the rainstorm

I demonstrated maximum enthusiasm, we diluted gas in our twins from 32 to 26 we established a stage with 50 and set off. The rain grew stronger, from the beginning of my stay, there had been no rains like this before. On the way, I tried to explain the meaning of the slogan “We keep pressing” in Serbian and Croatian, and I assured my discouraged colleagues that everything would be all right.

Actually, after 1.5 h of drive it became brighter, and when we reached our destination, the sun came out. The only question was the water level in the cave, after such a heavy rain we expected the worst.

And we were surprised – the water dropped a meter lower than the day before, and clarity was even better.  I infect others with my enthusiasm, and quite quickly, we get into the water.

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the bottom looks quite promising, visibility of about 5 m – but where is the entrance and at what depth??

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In the car we agreed with Darko that the max. depth we would reach is 45 m. Luckily, we find the entrance quickly and it is only at the depth of 17 m.  We slowly enter the cave, never before had I have the occasion to swim in the place I knew nothing about. We can see 2 cords, after a moment we see new ones, going sideways.

We decide to swim along the rope which is most tensioned and looking to be fitted best. My parnter leaves arrows for demonstration and we move very slowly.

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Already at the entrance we see us beautiful proteuses – later I find out that this is a real sensation of this cave

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and creatures, whose name I don’t know up to now – maybe someone will recognize them??

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The cave has a regular shape of a tunnel, but on the way 2 cords go sideways, which proves the exitence of side corridors. The bottom of the cave has grooves like in the river, which proves that the current can be very strong here. Later it turns out that a river flows here periodically, just as in the previous 3 caves I visited.

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After a while we can see the only marker on the whole length – 200 and in a moment a light restriction appears, with magnificent boulders at the bottom

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after the next 10 minutes of swimming, the cave reaches 27 m and turns to the right

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Slowly, I follow Darko and we enter a small chamber, here the cord falls loosely to the bottom, and the other goes up, the water above us has zero visibility, I look at the computer, it is the 41st minute of diving, we have used 1/3 of gas, we show signs of return to each other and, with a great difficulty, turn in the tight room. The way back is quite nice and relaxed, we can see s many more new elements of the cave.

After a moment, we reach the entrance and we make a longer pause.

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After the next 20 minutes we are happily on the surface

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where soaked Brane waits for us

It turns out that while we were in the water, it started to rain again. Completely wet, we get in the car and go home. On the way, we say how it was and that we saw cords going sideways, and Brane calmly informs us that ca. 400 m further, there is a different, small entrance to the cave. I can’t let go and I encourage them to repeat diving tomorrow. In general, only over this cave, we could spend 2 weeks.

On the way we also pass the beautiful water fall in the town of Jajce

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When we reach the club, the left wheel in my car starts to sound funny. We decide that in the morning we will have it checked by the mechanic, and then we will go diving.

At the mechanic’s after a moment is was clear that diving was out of the question. My bearing broke down in the left wheel, and it is unique and special – it costs 630 Euro and the waiting time is 7 days.

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7 days – so the car will be OK for the Christmas Eve 😉

Could be better. but people are kind here, so we get in the Mercedes of my friend and go to Zagreb in Croatia, where we buy the necessary part for 300 Euro in Inter Cars company. This name sounds kinda Polish to me 😉

After just 5 hours we are back and at 8:00 PM the car is like new. In the evening we all go to the club with live music. I have to admit that people in this place do their best at everything, be it war or having fun – we can only envy them.

Bosnia says goodbye to me with a snowstorm and frost, beyond the border I turn on the radio and here on all channels, in all languages, I can listen to ” Jingle bells”, and Chris Rea is driving home for Christmas.

So I go with him  😉

Video from Bosnia:

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