02 December 2013

Finding the shortcut

I was late. I had had a work meeting close to home in the afternoon, so I had left my car at home. When the meeting was over I biked home, changed, plonked my bag with caving kit in the boot, and started the car. And drove away? No; waited forever for the fog to release the windscreen so I could see something. Annoying! Then I spent a long time in a traffic jam. And only then I reached the dig.

I got into my stuff and went down. We were working on trying to cut off a rather unpleasant cold wet and sloppy loop from the cave entrance. If you see the cave survey, you do see the frustrating "U" you have to negotiate. And the beginnings of a cut-off. So that's where we were headed.

My job was having Matt hand me buckets of mud through a narrow passage, and turn them into sandbags (mudbags) with one of the chaps. We try to use these to stop the cave silting up all the time. I was quite content with that situation. Time to leisurely catch up! While turning into a mud golem. And suddenly we heard "he's through!" - I hadn't expected that in weeks! But there it was. So we all crawled through the new passage. Nice and comfortable! And then we turned back; having broken through it had automatically become pub time.

Me showing off a new asset: a balaclava! Keeps my hair out of the mud...

When I came out I was immediately engulfed by the heat of the big fire the men had going at the surface. Soon I exchanged that for the somewhat eerie walk to the river; it's a bit of a distance, and it was foggy, and the owls were especially vocal that night. And the river was swollen; good washing power for my minging suit. Next week we can go back all the way to the end! Rather spiffing.


Chris Twigg said...

I can only assume one of those bright lights is me.

Margot said...

I think you are the one on the far left!