Mark R, Mark W, Tim N
We met at the farm at 11:00 to allow time for Tim’s hangover to wear off from the Orpheus Christmas meal. In typical style there was no rush to the changing process but we were ready and at the hole by about 11:30.
After passing the plethora of re-belays to arrive at the bottom of the shaft, I went to investigate what the water had done in the phreatic dig whilst Mark settled down for a smoke. By the time I was back, Tim had arrived at the bottom and we had a quick tea and some cake whilst Tim took pictures.
Eventually, we summoned enough enthusiasm to drop down the winzes to the dig face only to find it sat under about 10” of water! Much to Tim’s horror, Mark W dove straight in and started scooping gravel out of the way to allow the water to drain. Within 10 or 15 minutes, the water was at a much more manageable level and some forward progress was soon made. Before long, Tim wanted to take another photo so I backed as far down the dig as possible to act as the back flash… lying in gravel and water for a bit was lovely and relaxing, hopefully the picture will be worth the discomfort!
The dig is now progressing sideways but the floor does need lowering, the only problem is the water will always pool at the lowest point which now is the bit we are digging. Before we left we moved the Hypothermia passage water pipe into the dig and pushed it as far along as possible, the water disappeared into the floor so we left it in place- hopefully it can’t do any harm and may even take a bucket or two of gravel out for us!
One last cuppa and we were out of the shaft and home in time for tea. Next visit- Wednesday.