April to June
April 2nd Drunken Horse Hole
TB and PC
The plan: to install climbing aids to facilitate access. A nice afternoon; though cool; after the heavy rain there was very little standing water in the shaft. While PC reviewed options in the rift TB installed the long bolt securing the rear scaffold tube, ready to accept the lid frame; managing also to remove the redundant "A" frame bolt. While PC installed two pole steps, each secured with three rawlbolts, TB created a drain from the bottom of the "Sentry box" into the southern rift. The remaining steps and lifeline belays should be completed over the next few trips. The broad shape of the lower part of the northern rift will allow the regular use of pole steps without causing obstruction with hauling larger kibbles. To the Roadside where the pair bumped into Robin Sheene and Quentin Cowper
P.S. by TB
The drain was around the wall from the Southern area into the Sentry Box; the lowest point by at least a foot. Hopefully any further rain will not pond, seems to be draining away except in areas that have been trodden on.
Pat Cronin & Tony Boycott
April 3rd Drunken Horse Hole
TB and PC
The plan, to complete the steps in the rift below the trapdoor. A fantastic sunny afternoon. Crossing the stile the pair encountered the contented landowner; very impressed at the level of care and respect demonstrated at the dig. With TB as the go-for, PC installed the steps made from ten millimetre rebar, also installing two stainless hangers either end of the pot, finally installing the sixteen millimetre hook/hanger for self life-lining on the entrance pitch. Toward completion JW and Asha (his partner) arrived enjoying the sun and taking action photo's of the workmen! To the Roadside for the pints. Hours 3.5 165
April 4th Drunken Horse Hole
CC and PC
The plan: with most aids in place back to actual digging. In light rain the pair set up the hauling kit; CC below, PC up top. A steady pace cleared away almost half the bottom of the shaft to a depth of sixteen inches, from the south end to the middle. Several grykes were filled with spoil to receive small lengths of timber; for ease of wheeling the barrow. To reduce the wet conditions below a cover for the shaft is required, likewise several short planks for diggers to stand on are needed. Two further steps are required near the trapdoor. The walk down the mountain side, at 20:50, was in the company of a glorious sunset across Galway Bay: to the Roadside. Hours 5, 170
April 7th Drunken Horse Hole
TB, CC, JW, MR, CM and PC
A chill evening from a north-westerly breeze, which gradually increased in strength to force three. The six man team started work rotating among the different positions. CM took surface and underground photographs. With the pedestal removed, a further sixteen inches was sunk across the entire bottom, exposing a widening of the three rifts; curiously commencing at what appears the same horizon. The west rift is now open for drainage. As the ground was removed the soft surface morass becoming a stiff spoil, then, a series of much harder thin beds of sediments of widely differing colours; at the end of the session a granular green - grey marl like deposit appeared. The widening of the rifts could suggest a debris cone, but the almost bone dryness of the substrate indicates excellent drainage; perhaps a void beneath? Either way the shaft is now over four metres deep. To the Roadside where the subjects of the winch, associated safety issues and introduction of a digging fund of one euro, per person, per week ensued: no talk of girls ...........alas. Hours 15, 185.
April 10th Drunken Horse Hole
TB and PC
The plan: a housekeeping visit; to install steps at both the top and bottom of the shaft. A bitter cold day from a north-easterly wind. Two steps were installed, at sixteen inch centres, to within a metre of the base of the shaft; two steps, made of rebar, were fitted below the trapdoor: a bolt and hanger now secures the lower end of the taught lifeline. To the Roadside; to hug the radiator. Hours 3, 188
April 11th Drunken Horse Hole
CC, TB and PC
A cold north east breeze. The plan: to dig. With CC and TB below PC hauled; all spoil barrowed across to the hollow to the north. The overall depth achieved was some nine inches without including the pedestal height. The hard granular, dry, nature of the central deposit continues; against the walls its a little wetter: the "Sentry Box" is slowly fading in depth gradually disappearing into the east wall. One hundred and four kibbles later the team enjoyed a balmy evening walk down to the truck. The steps installed in the shaft appear appropriate for the variety of leg lengths. To the Roadside for pints and talk of cave formation. Hours 7.5, 195.5
April 14th Drunken Horse Hole
CC & TB
Changed the hauling rope and recovered the existing one to be cleansed of several weeks of mud. With TB digging and CC hauling and emptying the barrow a total of 43 kibbles of material was removed. This is approximately two thirds of the floor to one spade depth. The “Sentry Box” has all but disappeared and the whole perimeter at floor level of the pot appears to be closing slightly inwards apart from the grykes which appear to be getting wider. A new bedding is just visible on the East wall. To the roadside for a swift pint. Hours 4, 199.5
April 15th Sell Gill Holes
Sell Gill Holes The Dry Way ??????? 5 April 2016
A phone call late one Sunday night led me into a false sense of security for a trip down sell gill holes in the Yorkshire dales. I was assured the weather was good for the Dales and a dry trip was envisaged. Things were starting to go wrong even on the drive over when it began to snow on the road from Hawes to Horton-in-Ribblesdale later this turned to rain which was not a good sign.
We decided to give it a go for the Tuesday morning and the numbers diminished as the weather got worse resulting in myself and Barry Weaver going underground. Many older members will know Barry he is a Mendip caver done a lot of work in Swildons with John Cooper (JC).A good friend to JRat and others.
We changed in the Horton car park as per usual and checked the gear. We had decided to use ladders as my eye sight isn’t so good these days and its quite a while since I did any rigging and rope knitting. In true Pegasus fashion we were short of gear! Not enough ladders, only 2 belays, 1 spreader and a collection of slings which were too long and assortment of Rope one of which had gone mouldy and had brown stains all over it.
For those who have not visited this cave there are two ways in, a wet way which was in a swilling mass of water rather like water goes down the sink and the more acceptable dry way which we were going to attempt. The entrance pitch is in an elongated depression and is always dry. I have never know it to take any water yet alone a stream but today this was not the case. Trying to hang the ladder out of the water was impossible as the old hangers have gone and this pitch, like all the others in the cave is now rigged for SRT. A short quick decent leads to the second pitch which was split, the first half only being wet and the second free hanging part was in the relative dry. The third pitch was again wet but it did manage to clean the rope and give the brown stains a run for their money, though I could have easily added to them. (Still have the Bowel problem)
The large chamber following the third pitch was a little sporting especially when the water from the wet route joined the main stream. The flood debris was everywhere, was well above our heads and was quite extensive; it was quite a climb downstream towards the sump. The low bit after the main chamber quickly sumped after 100m and was bloody cold, I was only too happy to begin our climb out to the surface and a pint at the Golden lion.
A lot of us in the club have done the cave many time before and it was always a good bet in wet weather but whether it is due to a change in drainage patterns on the fell or just the amount a rainfall over the winter the cave has changed and takes on a new identity and needs reassessing in even moderate rain fall.
In conclusion for those interested in doing it, save it for a dry a day as possible, and use SRT without the brown stain.
We used the bunk house at Clapham, it has a cafe and Bar but with queer opening times. The New inn (Clapham) is now a foodie pub, lost its identity and is caver free ---Shame!!
April 18th Drunken Horse Hole
CC, TB and PC
A bright sunny evening, becoming very chill later on. The plan; to expose the western wall base to see how far the "shoulder" extended into the shaft. CC and TB digging; PC hauling. After one hundred and twenty six kibbles the "shoulder" extended out by some twelve inches, (300mm), however when viewed from the shaft collar the narrowing is actually about half that distance, even so, this minor change will significantly reduce the volume of spoil to remove. The urge to find out what was happening to the lower part of the western rift meant protocol was abandoned; the area was dug down two feet where the opening widened then narrowed merging into the radius of the shoulder; a curious effect being the reducing profile of the "Sentry Box" and the fading western rift opposite one another: this investigation has left a large step in the floor: reconciled Thursday. Most of the southern mote wall is now above the fence wire. The weather cover to the shaft works well the base was dry after the heavy showers yesterday. TB returned the previous rope, washed clean; its stored in the green tackle bag below. As the depth is over five metres the new hauling procedures will mean that the digger in the northern area is the ONLY one who controls the lowering and raising; all instructions loudly exchanged, and answered, to confirm intentions. He/she is the one closest to the centre of the shaft and any falling objects. The kibble with the larger handle empties very easily; no large lumps of spoil becoming caught; this improvement will be made in turn to each kibble. To the Roadside where interpretive talk followed. Hours 9 208.5
April 21st Drunken Horse Hole
CM, CC, JW, TB, AB and PC
Another fine evening; the plan, to expose the "Shoulder" emerging from the southern end of the pot. En-route heavy duty, (13mm), mesh was picked up to close off the opening to the compound from cattle; the bracing for the north gate post was also fitted. TB and CC began digging, the others taking stations on hauling, emptying and the wheel barrow. CC gradually exposed an increasingly, and alarmingly, large area of "Shoulder "; alas, this eventually crept out to become the southern floor: the southern rift however does appear to enlarge though. PC took over from a weary CC, who went up to do turns on the wheel barrow from AB, manically attacking the central pedestal exposing yet more of the light grey undulating floor. Almost level with the area of "Sentry Box" the spade found depth within the fill. Shagged out PC requested replacement, CM continued; the focus becoming closer to the northern rift, particularly the base and the large loose flake fragments; the fill becoming wetter. The entire the team worked like demons; who all need exorcising.........? The state of play is that the pot has narrowed significantly; the base area of the northern rift offers the remaining opportunity therefore needs pursuing downward, though this will be a slower affair due to the confined area. No matter, the site requires a conclusion. The descent to the trucks was to the accompaniment of a glorious sunset. To the Roadside for drinks, postmortem and a plan. The summer months will offer opportunities for other sites to be investigated and continued, Fraggle Rock in the wet crawl and along "Jim's Passage", Poulbanbeag located beyond the summit of Black Head is a narrow rift, that is wide open, once possibly enlarged though JW may squeeze in; AB has been offered a look at an 'ole, previously unrecorded, by the landowner who has never allowed cavers in. Hours 15 223.5
April 25th Drunken Horse Hole
A bright very chill evening courtesy of the force four northern wind. Shortly after setting up JC, (landowner), arrived on site suitably impressed with the Team's progress. PC took the opportunity to repeat the plan for landscaping should the site be closed down; JC repeated his "How can I continue to help you" attitude toward the team. PC tipped away removing the remaining soil in the northern rift gradually exposing the very solid floor and fragments of boulders and flakes on the western side. Unfortunately his wide shovel could not remove spoil from the deeper recesses. The lower boulder is actually part of the floor. The two above it could be removed; this upper area of rift is slightly wider: though, overall, things do appear severely terminal. The entire floor was cleared of deposits resulting in thirteen over filled kibbles removed to the depression to the north. CC, and his visitor Craig, arrived at 20:00 to view the overall status agreeing it was worth removing the remaining deposit in the rift to exhaust every possibility. The white rope and red tackle sac was brought down. To the Roadside to scull some pints. Hours 2.5, 226.
April 26th Cullaun II
CT, CC and PC
A cold day with a minor hail shower. CC had an old pal stopping with him, Craig Topliss, so the plan was to have a trip down Cullaun II; the first since his school days some thirty odd years ago. No stream falling into the entrance so levels were low. A steady trip to the cascades then the climb into the upper route. Dropping into the streamway the team made its way downstream to the top of the terminal pitch. The steady pace reached the surface after some ninety minutes. Outside encountering a Dutch group were creating a virtual reality of the entrance for Extreme Ireland, an adventure tour operator. A grand trip made all the more enjoyable by the myriad helictites; to the Roadside for pints.
April 28th Doolin River Cave
CC, CT and PC
A bright but cold day. Fisherstreet Pot was swiftly rigged: PC's truck left there with the change of clothes. At St. Catherines water conditions were very low, no stream sinking, or indeed present in the immediate streamway. Entering at 10:05 the three were immediately met with a very cold breeze from within, which was a constant presence. The route through the upper section to the "connection" was made without any loss of direction; not bad since the last time either CC or PC were there was some ten years back. Considerable enjoyment was had experiencing this superb cave again; it has everything needed on a caving trip. Lots of flood debris was visible throughout even stuck in the roof of the great rift. Once again route finding wasn't an issue though at one point the depth of water was for PC, who was on the verge of swimming. Aran View inlet didn't exhibit signs of algae or smell; nice. During the section to Aille River inlet five trout and two eels were seen. The ever present draught becoming a gale closer to the pot. Only the faintest of odour was noted by CC in the last section; the winter rains having flushed the deposits well enough. The climb out was swift, into a blustery bitter cold, overcast day: exiting at 14:25. Quite the achievement for CT, this being his second trip. To the Roadside for a much needed warm up.
April 28th Drunken Horse Hole
JW and PC
A cold evening with a north-westerly wind. The plan, to excavate the lower part of the northern rift to allow a better view of the potential and to provide room to remove the boulders etc. Using the entrenching tool, at arms length, a steady pace removed the fill exposing a curious development of the rift line, it looks like a fault. The depth of the removable boulders would mean an increased width of ten inches. Once removed this should confirm the potential of progressing in this direction or closing down the dig. The lower one is ready to fall out, the upper large flag requires snapping. The pair then strolled the northern terraces in search of 'oles. To the Roadside for pints and plans. Hours 4, 230.
May 2nd Poulbanbeag
CM, JW, MR and PC
The plan; to push the cave visited by JS, TB and PC some years ago; its tight rift entrance only allowing JS, then, to enter. A cold, blustery, bright day. The steady walk up over Black Head to the cave took just over an hour; the site looking less promising, (much smaller), upon arrival: memory is an issue. CM entered up to a point then was replaced by JW who got some seven metres to a low uninspiring hole. After much effort JW made a return to the surface. Poul Eile, a small cave on the terrace above and some hundred metres south, was then checked out, again the prospects are debatable due to the remote nature of the site; though new tracks have been created, likely for handling of farm stock. A steady walk was made around the south side of the gigantic depression investigating several minor features en-route. PC took GPS locations while CM and JW took photos. A cracking day out; the weather holding off the promised downpours. To the Randall house for Tea, Cake and Medals.
May 2nd Drunken Horse Hole
CC and PC
The bright evening, a continuation of early weather conditions, blustery and chill. The plan; to remove, or reduce, the boulders in the northern rift. Upon opening the lid the team were surprized, at their reflections looking back at them! The bottom of the shaft was flooded, likely from the previous evenings twenty millimetres of rainfall. PC gingerly lowered himself to the top of his wellies, at the critical point abandoning the idea; actual depth averaging some twenty inches. The lower boulder was drilled then the upper, the idea to nudge one out the way so the other had room to fall. CC prepared the area, which proved reasonably successful; the process was repeated creating a better view of the increasing width of the rift. The gaps behind the boulder and rock fragments indicate water flowed to the north, the rough gravel content of the spoil being quite soft, the crowbar easily pushed into the matrix. While the boulders and flag fragments remain as they are, not part of the western wall its worth continuing. Once the area becomes solid on both sides then it'll be time to close down. Meanwhile the passage width is best part of two feet; plenty of room to dig. Much of the broken rock was lain in the water to facilitate a dry- ish work surface; the result of four nudges. The confined upper flag fragment may respond to TB's expanding tool........?, an hydraulic jaw scissor jack, or to a series of large wedges driven in to the gap. To the Roadside for refreshments. Hours 5, 235.
May 5th Drunken Horse Hole
CC, JW and PC, later JS
A bright warm evening with a cool breeze. The plan; to excavate horizontally along the northern rift: the water level had fortunately dropped eight inches in three days. JW descended to remove the previous fallen debris to expose the lower extremities of the large flag fragment. This amounted to a considerable volume of rock, most removed from below water level. Attention then focused on breaking the flag away from the west wall using the Gads and wooden wedges. PC descended to assist wielding the sledge in the narrow confines; though the flag broke away from its host it remained hovering some two metres above the diggers in the narrow rift several heaves brought the thing cartwheeling out the roof to land partly in the shaft missing both diggers. Once JW had reduced it a little further, it was rolled out into the wider central area where it was finally destroyed using a five kilo sledge: at an average of one twenty millimetres thick, and over a metre square the thin sizeable chunk, (at some 300 kilos), was swiftly sent in pieces to surface. JW then began to excavate the loose fill along the rift. A view along the rift does show a small undulating drainage route; the team decision is to continue. To the Roadside for pints, where a soaked PC damped the seat covers. Hours 6 241
May 9th Fraggle Rock
HW 19:56 springs: sea state slight, wind north-easterly, the stream was eighty millimetres below the reference. The plan; as CC departed for the UK PC took the opportunity to check over the far reaches of Fraggle Rock, unseen since before of the winter storms, and unvisited on the previous trip of 25th March. Deposits of sea sand and broken shell were found along the main passage. At the "Terminus" the rope was a tangled ball, the truck sat there upon the rails, the skids and hauling equipment were all in situ. At "Bison Boulder Bend" large calcite debris lay in the stream, at the "Boars Head" a considerable amount of sea sand and shell, ( eight skids worth), has been deposited to the left of the sand bag venturi, coarser debris lay in the stream, the deposits previous noted just before where the dam was have been significantly reduced. Little change has occurred in the "Loading Bay" and along "Jim's Passage". Half way along "The Burrow" lay two skids worth of debris. Just beyond a boulder and cobbles lay with sand accumulated behind, the low bedding to the right has been subjected to a lot of water flow, it is very clean. The quantity of debris in the streamway increases as "Anvil Chamber" is entered, this extends into the "The Bedding"; back at the "Weir" a large piece of stal floor with cemented stones is set aside for safe keeping. The junction area of 3Ts and its neighbour has received a pounding by the sea; the previously, totally blocked arched passage is now partly open: tools and rope lay in turmoil. From "Anvil Chamber" the debris changes in size and type, regular lumps of stall occurs. Further upstream other debris is encountered; "Coffin Corner" has been washed about. At "The Freezer" where PC had previously managed to lift a large flag to one side for nudging, the back packed spoil has been washed away likely the source of much of the downstream mess; the right-hand route around said boulder now wide open. The squeeze beyond and to the right of "The Freezer" has also been opened; severe scouring has taken place, the floor can be seen clearly around the boulder normally squeezed over. Beyond looks slightly larger. The stream volume made for a very cold wet trip; the scattered tools were collected and left high and dry at "Coffin Corner". The return uphill was a slow affair as there was insufficient material to make a comfortable cradle to carry the tram back for its much needed maintenance.
May 12th Drunken Horse Hole
JW and PC
A clear bright evening, very little wind. Carrying various tools, drill and replacement rope, the pair walked up in glorious sunshine. PC had the feeling that the canvas cover had been disturbed by a visitor. The pair descended landing in the pooled water, the depth of which appeared unchanged from last week. Assessing the northern rift potential, along which JWs previous efforts had exposed a clear view, PC couldn't get too excited. Studying the shaft walls subtle evidence indicated a flow to the south. JW began excavating the southern rift while PC returned to surface to haul; three very large flake fragments and eighteen kibbles later a coffin level shaped passage was exposed, some three fifty millimetres at its widest point and fifteen hundred millimetres high; the concave shape to either side somewhat encouraging. The sequence is loose vertical flags with a soft silt fill between; easy digging though somewhat confined; similar to some Yorkshire pots. At the end of business PC managed to loosen another flag which JW immediately destroyed, making total forward progress over a metre in length! During operations, using the yellow kibble, over two hundred litres of water were sent to surface, this dropped the level significantly. The total flag weight amounted to over three hundred and fifty kilos; all used to extend the wall. A small bucket would remove the remaining water, a hoe would be useful to scrap out the debris loosen by the cheating sticks. To the Roadside for drinkies. Hours 5, 246.
May 23rd Drunken Horse Hole
CC and PC
A fabulous sunny evening no breeze. The plan; to continue along the promising southern rift. The water level in the shaft had risen once again so some four hundred litres were removed to surface prior to digging. CC progressed along the rift a half metre before disappointment arrived. The lower eastern wall began to form a radius that significantly reduced the rift width; potential along this route suddenly evaporated. Attention, and in a little desperation, was turned to the area directly beneath the shaft, here the lowest part was bailed completely to show the contoured floor, the small amount of loose debris, from previous nudging, was removed to expose an honest solidity of the rock beneath. So, though arriving at a conclusion several questions arise. (1).What volume of water was needed to form the dimensions of this large and beautifully shaped shaft? (2).Where did the water flow to? (3).Why was the fill so dry? (4). How come the shaft was flooded now, when during the many winter storms there was far more sustained rainfall present? Both rifts have now been dug to where each inclined rift floor illustrates evidence of water flowing toward the shaft, and not away. Time was spent tidying the remaining spoil and sending it all to surface, likewise the kibbles. The tools were brought back along with the hauling rope and pulleys. The plan is to close the dig this Thursday at 18:00, to strip the hauling frame and to fix the grill in place, to face the tyres with stonework, remove both ladders, clear the site. Assistance would be welcome. A photographic record need be taken to conclude this project. Though disappointing the site has provided an enormous amount of fun. To the Roadside to plan the next project, most likely surveying Watergate, Poulnafearbui, Fraggle Rock, Pegasus Pot. Hours 6, 252.
May 30th Cave of the Yellow Men
CC and PC
Poulnafearbui. The aim; to commence an accurate cave survey and review potential. A fabulous, cloudless evening. In very dry conditions the first part of the survey took in the awkward entrance section, then to the start of the downstream bedding plane and finally a leg along the main passage. The station secured into the mud floor. To the Roadside for drink.
June 2nd Cave of the Yellow Men
CC and PC
Poulnafearbui. The aim; to continue the survey. Another beautiful evening. The first leg was eighteen metres which carried the survey swiftly to the junction. From where a series of legs through pooled water, and sandy mud brought them to the small, confined, and very unstable chamber; the huge boulder remains supported by the railway sleeper. An all to brief assessment of potential was made as the evening was ageing; the survey hereabouts completed the pair made for the Roadside where drink was taken. The next trip will finish the survey in the downstream bedding and out to reconcile it with the adjacent inhabited "Radgers".
June 16th Cave of the Yellow Men
CC, JW and PC
The plan, to complete the survey downstream of the entrance junction to the present obstruction " Boykers Boulder" situated just before the sump. A beautiful evening. The team swiftly arrived at the entrance and made their way in. CC had donned his wetsuit in preparation of wriggling along the lower stream passage. The concern that previous flood events had caused the once silt/sand covered boulder strewn floor of the main passage to migrate downstream was unfounded as CC managed to squeeze in once more. PC took up position at the previous survey station waiting patiently while CC maneuvered to turn around to start surveying in the ridiculously low passage. Perhaps with all the squeezing it should be called "Colgate"? After a lot of effort the single length of survey was recorded. Once out from "Colgate" JW nipped in for a look to see how "exciting" the place was......................... in a busy Roadside, sculling pints, talk turned to the next survey project while the weather is kind, and the land is dry.
June 20th Fraggle Rock
CC, TB and PC
HW 18:11 springs, light westerly winds, sea state very rough. The stream was sixty five millimetres below the reference. Pauline and Pats wedding anniversary. The plan; to survey from the limit previously reached by JW, being some sixteen metres beyond the squeeze/s through the boulder at the "Freezer". CC got to where the second squeeze is without problems, however. JW is the only one who has managed to pass this severe pointy edged boulder; on his return it was drilled for nudging the next visit. Today, unable to fit CC through surveying was reluctantly abandoned; a disappointed PC suggested as the bottom of the boulder was now visible following successive flood events, why not try to use the large flag in front of it as a fulcrum to shuffle the lump to the right, now the stacked spoil is washed downstream and the "Freezer" area was a little larger to work in? TB crawled off to locate the big digging bar and shovel while CC cleared the debris from behind the boulder to make room. With CC's chest and head pushed into in the gap, his hands around the far side of the bolder and his left leg pressed against the roof PC manoeuvred the five foot bar between his legs.......and followed it forward, oh err. What followed was the bar regularly springing off to barely miss Cheg's various body parts by a few millimetres as CC pulled it. Little by little the boulder crept to the right squeezing CC successfully up against the wall: all this effort took place in a passage some eighteen inches high. With the boulder now in place the large flag was pushed off the wall and into an 'ole in the stream bed, this circus was to the encouragement of TB who, as Go-fer, remained resolutely semi submerged for the duration. CC now exited so PC could move forward to dig away the exposed spoil to fill the vacated area. Cheg made the factual observation that this achievement is a Game Changer; this sodding awkward boulder obstacle, its accompanying squeeze and effect on moral, is now isolated, effectively gone, leaving only the sharp boulder edge to be evaporated; the way on will then be wide open! Thoroughly knackered the team made its way out; not one of the team had a dry area on their person; the low level of the stream at the reference does not imply a dry-ish trip up the bedding. To the Roadside for some very happy pints; discussion proposed that on Thursday 23rd nudging takes place and the area from "Coffin Corner" back to "Anvil Chamber" is cleared, the debris packed into the 3T's area.
June 27th Fraggle Rock
TB, CC and PC
LW 17:39: neaps: the issuing stream eighty five millimetres below reference. Overcast, light wind, sea state rough. The plan; to re-drill and nudge the obstacle and to begin to clear the debris back to 3T's area. Two short ropes and a seven foot plank were taking in to facilitate spoil transfer into 3Ts. PC then moved up to the "Boulder with no Name" and drilled it ready for CC. What on the last trip appeared to be a reasonable amount of room beyond the "Freezer", wasn't; removing helmet PC pushed the drill up to the "Rib Wrecker" to reposition the hole previously drilled by JW in order to remove its top to allow access into the slightly lower right hand channel beyond. The area in front of "Rib Wrecker" was scrapped of loose stones to expose the mud matrix, which began dissolving almost immediately, this bodes well as the stream flows in this position and will provide the opportunity to simply push exposed stones to one side on later trips. CC arrived and took over proceedings. Meanwhile TB was sorting the devastation around "Anvil Chamber"; the long hauling rope is now recovered from buried in the debris and stowed in its container. The large boulders at the beginning of the bedding were removed back into "Anvil", as was the full sandbag; now positioned in front of the "Weir" to stop migrating debris from entering the "Burrow". The boulders will be used to revet the debris once backpacked into 3Ts to protect against erosion from flooding. The first nudge was successful, the top removed, allowing CC to pass through to another boulder just beyond. This may require attention for PC and TB to pass. To the Roadside where suggestions were that get into the area beyond and push as far as possible to assess further potential beyond "Rib Wrecker" before effort is expended on clearing the debris from "Coffin Corner" back to "Anvil". 176 7171
June 29th Poulnagrinn
CC, TB and PC
Following discussions with Joe O'Loughlin a visit was planned to check out the area of Poulnagrinn; some thirty years on from when Mark Lumley first discovered the site and was then dug by Mike McDonald, Steve Milner, Mark Lumley and PC, (The Lads). After reviewing Joe's drawing illustrating land ownership of the general vicinity the team chose to walk up a field just mown approaching from the south to avoid criticism. Within some twenty minutes Poulnagrinn was located: last nights heavy rain had produced streams of significant size, one draining the field to the north-west flowing down the recently dug land drain to sink at the shale boundary. Upon approach a large hole with a narrow rift was found, (PNG 4); this has formed by collapsed, PC has a very vague memory of a shallow depression where the dig kit was stored: as the hole wasn't there in 1983! From within a stream was heard. Also the area of Poulnagrinn Two is another large, open collapse some three metres deep; beneath dense hawthorn. To the north of PNG 2 another previously unnoticed hole, PNG 5, is open taking a stream, which too was not noticed previously in 1983. PNG 1 was taking a large stream. PNG 3 is obscured but the western side of limestone wall is just visible. Most of the entire area is overgrown; edges should be treated as treacherous. The land ownership will be checked now the actual position of PNG has been established. En-route to the Bar the site near the junction was checked; appearing to be un-dug. To the Roadside for nice pints.
June 30th Poulnagrinn
CC and PC
An unexpected phone call led to an immediate meet with Joe O'Loughlin; an offer was presented to show the house of the landowner of Poulnagrinn, and other interesting adjacent sites. Meeting in Lisdoonvarna at 14:00 the tour lasted until 17:15 during which the guide thoroughly enjoyed showing the pair around, beating his way through briars and undergrowth. Other information regarding land ownership was imparted as the tour also involved driving around the vicinity. All in all an eventful visit with permission being given by Joe for us to wander his land. Two open sinks were visited, both likely recorded; one sink with a howling draught, (a gale), issuing located in government forestry, accessed via Joe's land park, in his barnyard. The other on Pat Collys land, also a significant sink, requiring removal of foliage and actual permission; seemingly investigated twenty plus years ago, by persons unknown. It may be that they are B8b and B8a, a thorough check will identify them. The site near the road junction is not recorded and fortunately on Pat Collys land too. PC will pursue the PNG landowner and Pat Colly for permissions.