Thursday, August 9, 2012
Greetings from Weardale.
Yesterday would have to qualify as the first true day of summer. We had sunshine all day and very few clouds. Accompanied by light breezes that were enough to keep the midges away. In the sun it actually felt hot though that goes to show how much you can adjust to cooler weather as yesterday's high temperatures was 21C/73F.
Dave spent the day drilling both the new east cross-cut and starting our new west cross-cut which we plan to have intersect our workings in the pocket zone to give better access. Joe either spent his day helping Dave or working to raise the rails out on the landing so that they do not slope down in any direction. Andrew was put to work clearing out the cross-cut again to provide access for Ian and Emmanuel to see what they could dig up in what has been a surprisingly good area on the south side of the pocket zone.
Jesse was on errand duty and spent much of his time till about 1:00 p.m. searching for red diesel and other errands. First thing after Kerith and I arrived, Killhope showed up with a volunteer group of four who sent about five hours gathering up galena and fluorite. Shortly after they arrived, the Gardiner's bright red 4x4 truck showed up. They were there to take down our gates, one at time and repair them after an earlier break-in this summer. Kerith's first order of business was to go through the riddles we had piled up and sort out the singles for UK, Stan or Killhope. I got things opened up and ran out the hydraulic power unit and the chainsaw. Dave and Joe moved the loco out of the way and we wheel-barrowed the big specimen from Tuesday evening out to clean it off and saw it up. Today’s photo is of the specimen before cleaning. I had planned to cut it into two or three easy to manage specimens but it turns out to be a nearly perfect specimen with several potential world class specimens with lustrous gem twins over 2". Happily after having the back half of the specimen removed, it just fit into a blue bin. At this juncture we have barely over a week left. We have three full pallets, the "Weardale Giant" and a further nine blue bins at this juncture. We hope to have 60 blue bins before we ship out, which will make for a long cleaning season.
Today is muck out day in the mine and the mine may be the most pleasant place to be as we are having a SECOND (!) day of summer.
Cal, Kerith, Jesse & Ian