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Swildons - Duck Two

by Phil Kingston

As is well known, Duck two is now a sump of length 15ft., with an airspace some 8ft. in.  It can be free dived providing the following instructions are carried out.  Going downstream: - hold the guide wire in your RIGHT HAND and dive for 8ft.  At this point you should reach a fair sized airspace.  Transfer the line to your LEFT HAND and a dive of 6ft. will bring to the other side. These instructions should be reversed on the return journey.  If the airspace is missed on the return journey it is best to continue, feeling for the widest part.

I do NOT RECOMMEND the sump unless the person has attempted a similar sump (i.e. Swildons 4).

The grey areas are tight sections

Caving Log

Edited by Keith Franklin

This period saw the commencement of the “St. Cuthbert’s Caving Log”, which is intended should be used exclusively for trips down St. Cuthbert’s Swallet.  Will all leaders note that they have to sign, as well as all members of their party, before descending the cave, the trip is to be written up afterwards.  In this way all information will be in one place and should make the job of collating and abstracting it easier – I think!  So let’s deal with St. Cuthbert’s First.  There were 24 trips down the cave, of which 17 were working trips – mainly on the dining Room Dig, which has changed out of all recognition (rumours that Wig has shares in the London Underground or the Channel tunnel are completely unfounded!).

Other work trips include surveying and sporadic digging in various sites in the cave.  M. Calvert made a preliminary study of ‘bugs’ in the maypole Series and reports evidence of ‘recent visitations’ – so leaders, who believe in the supernatural, beware.    The cave shows little change from the flooding in July, except for the Sump silting up (work will be commenced there again shortly) and some differences in Continuation Chamber and Tin Mine which may produce some positive results.  There were only 4 tourist trips with one guest leader trip and these, together with 11 general interest trips make up the total of 24.

Going on to other caving activities of the BEC we find Swildons has attracted the usual quota of attention with a total of 18 trips.  Nearly half of these were concerned with Upper Swildons, the others been equally distributed around the rest of the cave.  Probably everyone knows about the 40ft. and other changes in top Swildons but perhaps it is worth noting here that Duck Two is now a 15ft. sump and it is not considered a safe dive, although there is a line through it.

G.B., after suffering from the visit of the BEC Committee, is now subject to water sampling and tracing by R. Stenner – there are no results yet!  Roger has also taken beginners down various Burrington caves – and, I must hasten to add – brought them back again.  Hunters, Stoke Lane, Pinetree Pot, Little Neath and Dan-yr-Ogof each had one visit from BEC members during the past two months.

Digging news show the closing down of two digs for the time being anyway; namely the Bennett site and Emborough (another victim of the flood).  One new dig has been started, for the BEC at any rate, in East Twin. This has been dug by various other people in the past so perhaps it is time the BEC had a go!