Apr 12 28
After our complex through trip/exploration trip/survey trip yesterday we had equipment to move out of Cave of the Wild Mare and more surveying to do. We went in through Wild Mare. The weather has returned to continuous rain so we were surprised to find that the waterfall at the mouth of the cave had completely dried up and that water levels in the cave were down on yesterday. We kitted up and dived through Sump of the Wild Eels to the AGM bypass where I left my dive kit and helped Jim move his through to the start of the dive to Eely Mud Eye Chamber. Jim dived off upstream to Buttermere where he collected the two ladders we had used the previous day to get over the mud bridge and back into the water for the dive through the Whitworth series. A cord was left in place so that a ladder or rope could be pulled up from the water in future. I stayed behind and continued the survey work through to the breakthrough window. Whilst doing this I noted that the number of drips coming from the roof was increasing and in some places the drips were turning into waterfalls. With impeccable timing Jim returned with the ladders just as I had completed the survey work that I could do on my own. Jim commented that the water levels were rising and the cave was flooding. We then completed the surveying, weighted the tackle bags for neutral buoyancy and headed out. Sump of the Wild Eels was heavily silted but didn’t have much flow. After we surfaced we saw an inlet on the left (facing out) just before the boulder pile that was flowing very heavily. Clear water from the inlet was mixing with the silty water from the sump and it looked like half or more of the water in Wild Mare was being fed from that inlet. Crawling out with extra gear was fun in the high water and we were both glad to reach the entrance, even though it was still raining. Water levels in the river, which had been the lowest we had seen them all holiday, were up and the waterfall was flowing across it’s full width.
All that is left for tomorrow is to go into Torca la Vaca in dry gear to de-rig the ropes and collect our SRT kits from the bottom. That should be a short trip giving us the rest of the day to wash everything and sort out the last details of the survey with Juan.
On this trip Jim has seen quite a few Eels, Jim even saw several more Eels today. He has encountered a mixture of sizes and levels of cuteness. I have so far not seen a single Eel, not one, maybe I should stop peeing in my wetsuit, or maybe not!
Series - Matienzo Caving
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