29th September 2018

With Jonathon, Alex, Tav and Ray Deasy.

Another antipodean visitor to the cave, Ray,
back for an update, his last visit was earlier this year in April.

Jonathon and Alex set-off with the ladders to
rig the climb down the rift and continue digging while I took Ray on a tour
around the latest extensions. Tav stayed near the entrance to carry on the
enlargement of the passage to the west-side of the entrance and access route to
the old digs (80s and 90s).

Ray and I eventually, arrived at the bottom
of the rift where Ray joined in with the digging effort, it’s currently hard
going, very compact gravel and shattered calcite. I climbed back up the rift to
put the pressure spray together, it was at this point that I wished that I had
remembered to bring my glasses. Still, managed to cobble the spray together and
started to wash the muddy footprints off the speleothems. Used all the
available clean water and will require more to finish the job, probably bring
in a soft brush. I called down to the others that I was going to make my way
out taking the empty water container and spare ladders. They were going to dig
for a little longer before making their way out and would de-rig the rift. I stopped,
briefly to visit Broken Stal Aven to look for cryogenic calcite crystals, there
were some possible, then continued out of the cave.

At the
entrance, Tav had stacked some bags and rocks there ready to be hauled up to
the surface. So up I went and sorted the skip and rope then pulled up the
spoil. All clear, the others arrived, all out of the cave, gate secured and a
walk down the hill to the farm in the warm sunshine.

Author: mendipgeoarch

Archaeologist, Geologist, Speleologist