23rd June 2018

With Brockers, Tav, Nick, Jonathon and

A rather subdued Brockers, suffering from a
self-inflicted malady, hung-over, was digging, I was clearing away the filled
bags and rocks, loading the skip to Tav in the intermediate position guiding
the skip on its way to Nick on the slope. Nick transferred the loads to the
next skip down to Jon on the haul and shuttle. Duncan, unable to dive in Wookey
Hole today due to a wedding taking place, had volunteered for surface duties,
not entirely sure whether he was fully aware of the flies, especially on this
fine and very warm morning, stoically he carried on. Alex, unable to dig today
due to surgery, was out on a ramble and paid a brief visit to the cave entrance
before continuing-on his way.

At the dig, Brockers had worked his way into
the bedding and, after some fettling of the skip run, I was able to sit-up in
the little rift chamber and fill bags as Brockers loosened the sediments and
load the skip from there. Some large detached lumps of flowstone were dragged
into the rift where there is room to swing the mini-sledge. After a while,
Brockers reported back that the prospects ahead looked very good and he could
see something to the right-side. The haul and shuttle again difficult due to
the dry conditions had accrued a small backlog, I stopped filling bags, and went
to the end to look. Shifted back some more slabs, inched forward a bit more,
turned on the focused torch, and it does look very good indeed. Just
ahead, to the right, a continuation of the rift appears to be open, probably
another digging session away. To the left, a phreatic tube/arch is seen to
continue, how far is difficult to assess at this time. Called back to Tav and
Nick that they really wanted to come and look, they came, and they were
enthused. Nick couldn’t understand why we were going to the pub but, I was
desperate for a wee. In truth, there’s still quite a bit of digging to be done
to gain access to the passage ahead and make it comfortably workable.

I’ll probably try and come in and apply some
IRS on Tuesday evening. There are a couple of boulders and a bulge of rock that
are impeding easy passage of the skip. It’s getting a long way from the slope
to the dig-face now.

Back on the surface, Duncan had survived the
flies, with copious applications of ‘Skin-so-soft’ and had hauled 64 loads out
of the cave.

Author: mendipgeoarch

Archaeologist, Geologist, Speleologist