7th January – 1st digging session of 2023

With Brockers, Tav, Jon, Jake, Nick

Picked up Tav, Jon, and Nick from the Hunter’s so there were less vehicles parked down the hill at the farm. Got changed at the farm then a soggy walk up to the cave. Another wet start to the day although the rain was forecast to pass us over, at least until early afternoon. As expected, it was soggy underground too. There is a benefit, in that, the loaded skips would be easier to haul along the passage.

Brockers was digging, Tav bagging up spoil including the pile left-over from last week’s session. Jon could be heard squelching along the NE passage carrying the filled bags to the pot, to be hauled up to the ledge. On the ledge I was safely attached and leaning over to catch and empty the bucket. The load transferred to the next skip and hauled away by Jake to the bottom of the entrance. Nick was on the surface hauling up the filled bags and, with considerable difficulty, emptying the bags – a sterling effort given the poor conditions. Wet spoil, wet bags = increased work, two negatives result in a bigger negative.

Upfront, the digging effort concentrated on developing the “roof-arch” that had been revealed last session. A total exceeding 100 bags filled, hauled, and emptied. Another good positive morning’s work.

Refreshment was taken at the Hunter’s Lodge Inn. It was very sad to hear that a dear friend, John Beauchamp, had passed away recently. I had done a lot of caving with JB when we were MCG members and travelled around SE Asia with him. I was also best friend at his wedding in Australia. RIP Old Chum!

Author: mendipgeoarch

Archaeologist, Geologist, Speleologist