Thursday, August 15, 2013
Wednesday was a nice day, temperatures soared to about 20C or 69F with light breezes and blue skies with large scattered white clouds at several levels in the atmosphere.
I went in early to open things up at the mine and once I got the all the gear moved out and a generator started for the air line to the face I went back to the Bluebirds pocket and started just moving rock. I accumulated a fair number of small pieces but nothing major but I had undermined a nice sized plate in the back along with several pieces below it. By the time Jesse and Ian arrived my muscles were quite stiff so Jesse got in and in short order had several wonderful specimens and then back to getting rid of more rock.
I got back in briefly to remove a few more largish bits of rock when a fluorite covered plate just started to plop down, I scooted forward in the mud to catch it -- again a very fine specimen. At this point Ian took over and removed several superb specimens. We were having a staccato of fine pieces the likes of which we had not seen since the Jewel Box pocket, we were all in a little shock from the quality and sizes we were getting. And yet another bit was exposed but nearly at the limits of human reach. Those are times you really miss Byron. His long arms and strength could have easily handled this situation but being merely normal people we plugged on.
Around 3:15p.m. I gathered up Ian who wanted to consummate a deal he had going with Helen and we headed back to Burnbrae. Making a brief stop at Heights to thank all the crew there for the help we received this summer. We had left Jesse laying sideways in the pocket plugging away at rock to expose another plate. Ian and I once back at Burnbrae shed our gear, and in examining my pockets I found that I had forgotten to put the mine keys back and so back I went to the mine. It was about 4:30p.m. when I checked back underground only to find Jesse in the same position but with fewer rocks blocking his way to the plate he had his eyes on. I could tell then and there he was not leaving without getting the recalcitrant fluorite plate out. I gathered up Ian's camera and headed back downstairs to sort of tidy things up and finish packing another blue bin. At this juncture I believe we will have about 68 blue bins worth of fluorite and a huge number of specimens and some superb retail pieces.
Today's picture shows a close-up of one of the nice bits we found.
During all this, Dave continued setting the new set of points at the face which involved hauling the oxygen and acetylene bottles along with his torch to cut the rails and burn holes to attach the new points with fish-plates to the rails. By day's end the job was nearly complete and we are close to being ready for one final blast of the season.
A very tiring day by all. Ian's wife Di arrived around six, they are taking off on Thursday morning for a few days with friends over in Amble.
Cal & Kerith, Jesse & Ian
A nice specimen recovered August 14.