Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Greetings from Weardale.

Wednesday started out with a drizzle which let off by 9:00a.m but the day remained overcast, warm and muggy and without a breeze so the midges were biting whenever you were out in the open.

Wednesday was a day of some progress but a lot of setbacks. Mid-morning found Dave and Joe bending rail at the portal and fighting the midges. In the process of bending, Dave snapped one of the rail and landed in the mud. This required that he removed the rail. Cut, marry and put new fishplates in to hold the rail together and do another bending operation.... something in the range of a three hour setback. Later in the day he did get move the rails past the portal and move the points (a very heavy set of rails that switch from one track to another) out and attach them.

Ian started right off for the cross cut to do some more undermining of another large block with a small section of nice fluorite on it. Jesse and I washed and cleaned the backlog of tubs full of specimens and packed another bin before we threw in the towel and headed up to go underground and get away from the swarms of biting midges. Arriving underground, we found Ian had removed much of the rock from underneath the block and put a support in so it would not drop suddenly. As it turned out that was unnecessary as we could not budge the block under any circumstances. At some point before bait, I started work on what turned out to be another large block behind the object of our attentions and after an hour or so was able to drop it freeing things up. Unfortunately, when it did drop and move to its point of equilibrium it came to rest on our water line and put a hole in it. It took Jesse, myself and Ian more than an hour to fix this, a setback and loss of another 20' or so of our precious water line. However, it worked fine and back Ian and Jesse went to drop, move and flip the block with a specimen on it. Much easier said than done but it is now positioned to come out and onto the loco where we hope to saw off the section we want and dispose of the rest.

Thursday will be quiet as Dave and Joe are off and we cannot do much till the tracks are finished the mucking is done. Another couple of blasts are called for in the cross-cut; north and south. And once the face is cleaned up another there. All this will be next week.

Until next time…


Cal & Kerith, Jesse and Ian


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