Report by Jules Barrett
Cavers: Jules Barrett (EPC), Shaun Puckering, Keith Joule

Marcus Crabbe and I had originally planned a look at Lu Blue Sump the previous Sunday evening and carried cylinders, lead and a set of diving kit down with the intention of diving. Marcus has dived the sump before but we wondered whether things at the bottom had changed in the intervening years. The carry in took longer than expected and since we both had work the following morning we decided to leave the dive for another day. Since Marcus was going to be busy for a while he offered me the dive if I could find someone to support. Shaun, Keith and I met mid-afternoon in Castleton and assembled the kit. Once at the top entrance we rigged the pitch for SRT and abseiled in; tying the SRT kits on to the bottom of the rope. With only a bag each between us we made good progress through the cave to Lu Blue Sump. The water level was very low today with the water about 3m below the lip of the pot. Keith and Shaun rigged a ladder down to the water whilst I got kitted up. Climbed down the ladder and Shaun base-fed the line to me from the reel. Had two dives exploring the sides and bottom of the pot reaching the bottom at 7m on my gauge. Although the water is crystal clear initially, it soon goes to a foot or so after the sediment on the walls has been disturbed. It looks as though the way on is under the south-west wall of the pot where the wall is undercut at the bottom but ends in soupy fine silt. Under here visibility was very poor. After a probe underneath I surfaced and climbed back out of the pot. Kit got packed and after a quick look at the West Choke we headed back to the streamway with dive kit etc. Keith led out through Nervous Breakdown, past the Donkey Dongs, through Route 66 and out of the lower entrance. Lu Blue Sump has obviously provided a large input of water to the Stoney Middleton system at some time and these places are always worth a look.

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