Friday, July 5, 2013
Friday was an absolutely beautiful day. Just enough breeze in the quarry to keep the midges down and plenty of afternoon sunshine with temperatures rising to about 72 which is our warmest day up here yet this year. The down side of all this beautiful weather is the pollen count is now so high most everyone seems to be sneezing etc. Roger and Fiona next door were both suffering last night. Roger with allergies and Fiona with asthma. At least underground these things tend not to be a problem.
The blast went off very well, so well in fact that the cross-cut we had been digging in was blocked by large chunks of limestone so Stan and I had to wait for a little while before going in. We had gone up early to due to a call from Christine that their son 'Spuddy' (Steven) had gone over in the evening on Thursday to pick up our rails and fish plates we had paid for last year just before leaving. We got up there about 9:15 a.m. to help with the rails and get things opened up. However, someone had packed the lock with mud, I discovered this around 7:00 a.m. when I went up to grab my Wellies in case EPC called that the delivery to Heights was today. It took the better part of 30 minutes banging on the lock before I could get a key in and get it open. I tried cleaning the lock by squirting WD40 and Triflow in it but the best that can be said is it needs replacement. I contacted Alistair and asked that he get us a new lock and keys.
By day's end Dave and Joe and mucked out the blast and put in a timber set but still need to do the lagging. There is fluorite showing on the east side of the blast high up but we will have to go another 10' or so past this so that we can come back and go up and see what the fluorite looks like. Stan and I spent the bulk of the day digging, the pocket zone show no sign of diminishing but is getting difficult for several reasons. Some problem rock needs to be brought down in the front and a big boulder of hard silicified ironstone needs to be removed on the south side before digging can proceed in high gear. We did get a number of specimens and large plates. Unfortunately everything is slightly etched still though no as bad as it was next to the vein, if not for the etching some of the plates would be six figure specimens. They are unusual for the amount of three dimensional humps and bumps on them. Several palm sized clusters came out that are excellent with nearly 2" crystals of jumbled twins. Today's picture shows the face as we saw it early on Friday.
Stan left early this morning to drive to Newcastle, catch a plane to Amsterdam then on to Atlanta and ultimately to sunny, warm (read 100F+) Tucson.
Cheers from the North,
Cal & Kerith
A load of muck waiting to be shifted.