15 March 2017

Modest success in the dig

All stitched up I was ready to return to the dig. I had a score to settle with the sharp rock I had cut myself on! I didn't have a car, though; it was being welded back into being legal at the garage. Fortunately I could convince David to sort out a trip in Cwm. We all went! And 'we' was a large group this time.

We had some regulars (David, Paul, Don); Llion, who had a babysitter this night; Simon, who generally works too hard so who we haven't seen for a while; newish people Dan and Flik, newish person Jason, a brand new guy called Rich (not to be confused with the PhD student who had been joining us for a while but who had dropped out when the digs became serious, and who now was about to move back to Ireland) who had seen our movements on internet. And a new woman, Jodie.

We got to the parking lot and changed. Paul would lead the new woman around, and the rest of us would go to the digs. I was impatient. Paul tends to drag his feet and I tend to not be willing to wait for him if he goes somewhere entirely different anyway. Rich turned out to be impatient too so we headed up.

There had been talk of us being needed to lug a heavy pump down, but there was noting in the entrance. Well, that's even better! We went to the pitch and went down. I told Rich I would have  a look at the generator first; I tend to check its fuel levels before I go further. Once you're in it's a bit of a faff to go back and fill it up. To my surprise I found Miles in Generator Chamber. He had been faffing with the pump, which he had managed to get down with only Matt's help! He immediately wanted to know how my wrist was. I could confirm it was excellent.

He and Matt would wrestle with the pumps a bit more, so I took Rich to the working end. There I tried to wrestle with the door-like rock with a crowbar. The men seemed to need the power of the generator for the pumps! I did manage some movement, but I couldn't topple it, and it was getting scary. I figured we would have to try to blast it. That meant using the drill! I went back to the generator, where the men were just done with the pumps. I could use the drill! So I went back. Rich went to have a look in Dig 1; that was where the others were.

I set to my task. The charges we use are quite long, so you need a long drill hole. The problem is that this slab was rather thin. I had best drill in the sides, but I couldn't reach those. There would have been no space for a drill anyway. I had to try to get the drill bit in at a funny oblique angle. It was hard and uncomfortable! And my drill holes weren't promising.

I needed a break so decided to blow up another rock, which would make the entrance bigger. Hopefully big enough for Miles. We set the lot of fin one go, and started to clear the rubble. With three it went fast! But the 'door' hadn't budged. Hmm. I could not assess how deep my drill hole had been but it clearly had been too shallow; the charge had been sticking out and just blown that way, rather than sideways. And there was no time for another try! This rock lives to see another week...

We blew one more round closer to the entrance and left; it was time to get to the others. We found them all and went out. Llion updated me on the progress in Dig 1; there had been some! That was very exciting! It had been a while. Maybe some day soon we could go back and push it further.

When we got out Miles offered me a lift down in his Landie. It was a beautiful evening and walking would have been quite pleasant, but I wasn't turning that down. Next week again, and then with success with the rock?

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