Monday, August 13, 2007
Today turned out to be fantastic, we had crummy weather predicted but sunshine and the odd cloud -- a bit on the breezy side but nevertheless a great day . Kerith and I got to the mine around 10:30 in the morning, Byron and Dave and Shanade were just ahead of us. Kerith and Shanade spent the entire day until nearly 5:00 in the afternoon cleaning specimens and sorting out hundreds of the small crystals that have been so prolific in the Rat Hole Pocket this year.
Shortly after we drove in, two cars and five people arrived from Killhope Lead Mining Museum to pick up the piles of galena we have been accumulating as a donation to the museum. This year more than any other we have lots of galena. A great number of trips were made by them out of the mine and with the trolley down to the containers -- I believe they picked up over 500 kilos of galena which still required two trips to Killhope and back since all the cars were TINY -- the sort of vehicles that make a Mini look midsize.
Byron spent the entire morning in the 'well' and while it is starting to pinch down still managed four or five tubs of specimens. To their dismay, this kept pace with the cleaning crew. Dave finished cleaning up the muck at the face and did his best at using the very last of our timber, we are desperate now for that delivery. After lunch Dave tried drilling some more holes in the second escape tunnel only to get a drill bit stuck and had every hole fight him to the death. By day's end he had a few holes and was able to set off a small blast and try and free our stuck drill -- will find out tomorrow whether we managed to set it free without bending it.
In the afternoon Byron and I switched over to the face and found a small lustrous purple pocket. Got one nice 2 1/2" glassy crystal with gem corners and some white calcites with a very curved face, unusual. Later on I went back to packing up the many specimens laying around the Rat Hole. One remarkable piece from today's efforts is a cluster of three interpentrating twins -- each 2 1/2" on edge, very very large and very impressive.
We broke off a bit early to clean up and get over the the Blue Bell for a much deserved respite at the pub only to be interupted by the Aid Pack driver with our delivery of more blue bins and bubble wrap at 6:40 in evening. Our neighbor Simon knew where we were so no harm done by a very late delivery -- no way they could roust Kerith from that huge claw foot bathtub, once there she is there for at least an hour.
Cheers, Cal & Kerith and Byron