New discoveries in Goluboitza Cave – Rhodope Mt.- Bulgaria
"From 13 to 20 September 2008 in the region of the upper flow of the river Arda , Rhodope Mt., Central part of South Bulgaria took place cave diving expedition, “Goluboitza-2008”. The event was organized by Bulgarian Federation of speleology, Municipality of Smolyan and Speleo and extreme tourism club “Mursalitza” – Smolyan The hosts of the expedition Municipality Smolyan, ensured ideal conditions of life for the cavers, who had their “camp” in the hotel complex “Smolena” in village Smilian. Here, on 13 September the leader of the expedition Alexey Zhalov gather 14 cave divers from the SC”Stdenetz”-Pleven, “Puldin”-Plovdiv, NEPIAST – Burgas and “Mursalitza”-Smolyan One of the main aims of the expedition was to continue the exploration after the first sump of the famous cave Goluboitza (Golubovitza). This cave is a part of a system of 2 horizontal caves situated at different levels. The upper one is 140 m long. The longest and the most interesting is the middle part of the system - a spring cave, long 439 m, which ends upstream (at 349 m) and downstream (at 90 m) with sumps/siphons. The water capacity of the underwater river is between 30 and 300 l/sec. The water temperature is 8оС.
Last year the cave divers Orlin Kolov and Tzvetan Petrov - a team from SC “Studenetz”- Pleven dived the sump upstream (30 long and 4 m deep, visibility 5 m) .They entered into a gallery, which they follow for about 540 m upstream. After the researchers penetrated further, found a second, dry cave layer and stopped in front second sump. The passage was ascending and crossed with 2-3 small waterfalls. Its width was between 2 and 5 m and high up to 15-20 m and more.
This year, after when the upstream sump was dived the divers reached the second sump which was dry up because of the long drought. The further exploration was stopped in the foot of a 15 m high boulder chock which blocked the gallery and where the river passed through the giant blocks. Here the high of the cave rise to ~ 40 m. After two hours of classic climbing this passage was overcome and the explorers passed 240 m more reaching new sump. The number of the cave divers dropped off so it makes very difficult the transportation of the diving gear to the second sump located at 1646 m from the cave entrance. Having in use only 2 little air bottles O.Kolov dived only 20 m in length and – 6 in depth where he reached big underwater room , observed it and get back! The exploration of the sump and the cave will continued. The cave surveying show that the recent length of the Goluboitza Cave is 1666 m and its depth is + 22 m. The length of the whole system rise to 1896 m – 3 rd longest in Rhodope Mt. and number 39 in the list of the longest Bulgarian caves. During the expedition the cave divers from Plovdiv L.Mironov and N.Tomov dived also the Borikovos’ carst spring. They passed 70 m in depth 5 m. and entered in the 50 m long beautiful dry room followed by new sump.
What is real length and denivelation of both caves could be revealed only by future exploration."
Reported by: A. Zhalov