16th June 2018

With Jake, Nick, Tav, Alex, Jonathon and

A good team assembled today. Alex forging
ahead, Brockers clearing away the filled bags and occasional rocks to Jake and
the intermediate transfer station, I was on the slope pulling the skip through
to remove the contents, take the spoil up-slope to load into the skip to Tav on
the haul and shuttle with Nick, or so I thought. I had mistakenly suggested to
Nick that, if there was time, he might like to continue opening the low passage
to West Side, and so improve drainage along the haul and shuttle route. The
outcome was, Tav did the haul and shuttle, Jonathon, on the surface had a lot
more bags to haul-out and empty, at least he wasn’t being plagued by clegs

Back at the dig-front, I had to concede, one
of the large boulders impeding the free passage of the skip was manhandled through
and dropped into Tuck Shop, where it can be dealt with later. There’s room to
swing the sledge in the chamber. The other, larger boulder was subjected to a
concerted beating from Jake, but only partially did it succumb. I rolled one
large lump down through Merlin’s to Tav.

The skip along Merlin’s to the haul and
shuttle soon needed to be replaced, the cave has dried out considerably, the
skips will probably wear out even quicker now. The dryness has increased the
drag on the skip and rope requiring a lot of effort to pull the skip along, we
had to resort to one bag at a time.

At the end of the session, Brockers, Jake and
myself all went to the dig-face to peer into the prospects ahead. It does look
enticing, the c.200mm gap over the sediment continues, perhaps 4m is visible at
the present, and there is air movement. Plenty of spoil to shift as well.

Today’s tally was 100 loads out to the

Author: mendipgeoarch

Archaeologist, Geologist, Speleologist