Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Hi All,

Another very warm day in the dale, perhaps 29 C at the top end or about 82 F. We got word that the explosives would be delivered this morning at Mine House in Daddry Shield so Byron and Dave were there by 10:00 a.m. when the truck arrived and were able to set off shortly thereafter for the mine. Kerith and I stuck around Burnbrae to make a few more phone calls about the pyrotechnic cartrdges with promises of a call back with delivery time.

We got to the mine about 1:00 p.m. and found Dave busy loading holes and getting the electric wire ready - another of today's photos shows Dave doing this job. Byron was busy washing the pocket zone created by one of the pyrotechnic cartridges, which has gotten considerably bigger since yesterday. Kerith was a bit upset that we outpaced her cleaning abilities and she ended the day with more tubs of specimens than she started with. A couple of very nice drusy quartz crystal stalactites were found -- 4" and 5" covered with green fluorite cubes and a few gem twins to about 3/4" and some minor octahedral galena. These are fine specimens.

During Byron and Dave's lunch break I again attacked the quarry face where there is an outcrop of good Frosterley marble laden with fossil horn corals. After about 45 minutes of zealous pushing and shoving with 4' bar in what seemed like 120 degree heat I gave up. The good pieces are loose but locked in by rocks above them. I will either climb up and try and Byron and Dave went back up to the mine where it is a cool 67 degrees.

We broke about 4:00 p.m when all the charges were in place; we had used all 125 pills and had the charges broken up into several sets. The exploder worked fine on the first set but the next two failed to go off. Usually this means there is a break in the electric line but running an ohm meter found the lines completing a circuit. After running around a bit and checking things we decided to use Byron's recent acquisition -- another exploder from Austria -- sure enough all the charges went off both times we used it. All we can figure is that the old exploder has something wrong with it, perhaps a part has moved. Will see if we can take it apart and find out. At any rate, tomorrow we should see what damage we have wrought.

Cheers, Cal/Kerith/Byron

Wiring the detonator for the shot at the end of the day.

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