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Self limiting bow wave

This cave has been rumoured to be there for years. Mr T and Mr A had been. I had their notes about it but it wasn’t until January this year (2023) after an initial effort with Hugh St Lawarence that I finally got in. The initial return involved wearing 3 wetsuits and doing lots of kicking of mud, hoping not to drown and slightly enlarging the passage with each in and out. I had the miss fortune to have a group from the RRCPC provide moral support on one visit, where they descided to test the very obvisous draft with josh sticks, that lead to a slight choking sensation as the air being drawn into the crawl filled with a noxous mix of aromas.

Having removed the RRCPC impediment to progress I returned with Jason Mallinson and we continued digging, Jason was keen for me to be the one at the front. I thought the passage was enlarging slightly ahead so kept on kicking. I kicked my way through a mud bank was through but in so doing I had some concerning muffled communication from jason about water appearing to be rising. A haste retreat was made, or as haste a retreat as possible in limited airpsace, flatout on your back in a muddy tube.

Several months later I returned with James and Hugh from the RRCPC, this time we followed James through each of the low bits. The second duck further downstream is somewhat more intimidating than the first as it is a large wide bedding with a large now brown flow of water rushing into it. You lower yourself into a small arch on the left side but thankfully the water level doesn’t change as your body is submerged as you’d expect. This duck is longer and more convoluted in terms of finding the biggest bit to keep your face in. But is slightly bigger than the first.

All the passage beyond the first duck is impressive with some fine formations. Once we reached the downstream sump we had the pleasant task of surveying back upstream. Thankfully the route through the ducks had already been done which was nice. We passed several inlets that Hugh found to be an oxbows and in one there was a small inlet. We then went upstream in the main inlet for a bit before heading out. On exiting it becomes apparent that in the first duck the speed of exit controlled but the speed/ height your bow wave travels ahead of you, the faster you go the larger the wave the greater the need for speed but…splutter splutter…

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