With Nick, Jonathon, Jake, Alex, Brockers,
Duncan and Tav.
Nick was digging, Alex on the haul and
shuttle, Tav and I were on the surface, the rest of the team positioned
themselves wherever they needed to be to move spoil out of the cave.
Initially, Tav was hauling and I was emptying
bags and adding rocks to the wall. Then, Alex moved up to the slope and I went
below ground to do the haul and shuttle. Later, Alex returned to do the haul
and I continued with the shuttling, a back-log to clear. As the session was
nearly over, I decided to go up to the end to have a look at progress. We must
have gained c.20m during the last few sessions, in fits and starts maybe but
good progress. From the rift chamber entered 30/06/18, the way forward leads north-east
to east, low c. 0.4m but there is width c.2m, although it does pinch in on either
side, the low passage continues c.10m then further progress is stopped at a
speleothem blocked north to south aligned fissure. Here are some fine fractured
stalactites 100mm to 150mm dia. lying on the floor (?). Although air movement
can be detected at this point, it seems much diminished. A clear direction forward
is not obvious, yet. The current approach through the low passage is minimalist
and requires some further attention, the best way to proceed might then be
better assessed. The glimpse of something to the north is still a possible option,
as is keeping east and following the line of the west to east aligned fissure. Still,
all good stuff and the skip route is much improved.
It was time to leave. 55 skip-loads of spoil –
bags and rocks – were hauled out to the surface, a fine effort for a Tuesday
evening, and another successful outcome, more metres gained.