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 Trip to slaughter stream 12th Dec 2010.

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doug
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PostSubject: Trip to slaughter stream 12th Dec 2010.   Fri 31 Dec 2010, 10:45 am

Trip to wet sink and slaughter stream.
12th Dec 2010

It’s a long way to the Forrest of Dean, so if you are going to the trouble of going there for a caving trip, and returning the same day, it should be a good one.
I liked the look of the trip, and Ian had offered to drive, then, both Marc, and I, got lost on the way to Ian’s house so it was just as well he had.
We set out at 6 am in freezing fog, and picked Johno up on the way, the weather improved however, and we made good progress, arriving in Coleford at about 9 am.
Kaplans café where we were to meet Claire, and John,(Bumpy) was closed until 10am, so we sat in Ian’s car arguing about politics, religion, and stuff like that, until Claire arrived, and the café opened, Bumpy soon turned up, so that, was our full compliment.
After a hearty breakfast of coffee, (we had diverted through a drive through Mc Donalds en route) we followed Bumpy’s car to a cave that I would never find again without help.
I had decided, from the start, that this was going to be a cold cave, I don’t know why, perhaps it was all the talk about climbing down waterfalls, and wading through deep water.
With this in mind, and not wanting to be frozen half to death yet again, I had invested in a state of the art thermal suit, and a brand new, that is, unused, goon suit.
I would definitely be warm, this time, I already felt as warm as toast, as I watched the others getting into their furry suits with the frost crunching under our feet.
We crossed a field, over a style into the woods, and down into a sink hole where the gated entrance was set into the wall on the right.
We entered, with Bumpy leading the way, and immediately descended 5 or 6 fixed vertical ladders, Bumpy went ahead to rig the pitches, then we abseiled, first a short, then a longer pitch, at the bottom, we left our srt kit, as we would not be needing it again, and free climbed a couple of metres down into the stream way.
As we set off, following the water, Bumpy explained that there were trout, that lived in the stream, and that they had, over time, become white, having no need of colour after many generations, living underground.
The cave does not have a lot by way of formations, but the water sculpted rocks, in the passages is something to behold.
We made our way downstream, sometimes wading, sometimes splashing along the shallows, occasionally clambering over boulders, and once, we had to dash under a cascade of water pouring through the roof, I soon found myself in front, then,
I could hardly believe my eyes, there in front of me was a white fish, about 4 inches long, I called to the others to come and see it, but as they caught up, they were disturbing the silt and clouding the water.
A little further along the same thing happened, this time the fish was bigger, but unfortunately, on this occasion, I was the only one to have seen them, because a few minutes later we were out of the stream and into a dry passage.
We continued along what must have been dryslade passage, then into coal seam passage, I looked in vane for a coal seam, it must be small, if it is there, though Bump did point out that there were bits of coal amongst the gravel on the floor of the passage.
I was getting rather warm, now that we were out of the water, but it was pleasant enough, we passed through plenty of squeezy bits and some crawly fossilised streamway, eventually stopping for lunch in a small cavern.
After lunch, we headed for dog’s grave passage, where we saw dog’s footprints which had been left there, 250 years ago by the unfortunate canine, who, a little further down the passage also left his skeleton, to be found by future cavers, (poor dog).
As it was getting a bit late, and we were at the wrong end of Wales, we elected to turn around and head back at this point, so Bumpy lead us along the high rout, back to the streamway.
When we finally reached the streamway, the way down to it, was of course through a waterfall, so, as the others were climbing down, I was zipping up, and fastening my goon suit hood, so I was as warm as toast, literally, I picked my way down to the stream, which, once there, I had an overwhelming urge to lie down in.
From there, we made our way back to the ropes, then up to the ladders, then out into the cool, well, freezing actually, air, I, on the other hand, felt like a boil in the bag, vindaloo, but at least I wasn’t cold.
As we were getting changed, back at the cars, I was disappointed to find a litre of water in each leg of my goon suit, so I supposed it was time to admit defeat with goon suits, they were, after all, made for the Falklands war, which was, quite some time ago.
We thanked our host’s Claire, and Bumpy, for a brilliant trip, and set off for home.
The journey home was punctuated by discussion, sometimes, almost heated, ranging from politics, through particle physics, to religion, plus the inevitable, slagging off, of other cavers, other clubs, our own club, and almost everything.

Thanks, Ian, for driving.
Thanks Claire for arranging it.
Thanks John for leading it.

Good news though about goon suits.

When I was cleaning my caving gear the next day, I decided to fill the legs of the goon suit, up with water, to find out where the leaks were, to my surprise, there were, no leaks, not even tiny ones.
The only conclusion, I can take from this, is that the human body, is capable of sweating more than two litres of water, when sealed in a goon suit. affraid




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PostSubject: Re: Trip to slaughter stream 12th Dec 2010.   Fri 31 Dec 2010, 12:32 pm

Great report again Doug
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Ian
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PostSubject: Re: Trip to slaughter stream 12th Dec 2010.   Fri 31 Dec 2010, 2:06 pm

doug wrote:
........ I was disappointed to find a litre of water in each leg of my goon suit ......

Epic LOL


Laughing Laughing Laughing

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