Thursday, July 10, 2014
Good Morning from Weardale.
Thursday was predicted by the BBC to be overcast with occasional heavy showers, as it turned out we had very few clouds, lots of blues skies and sun and temperatures to about 24C or about 76F, certainly the hottest day of the year so far.
I left about 8:30a.m. to pick up the day's explosives then get the mine opened up and start the Honda charging the loco batteries. Our older Chinese made generator has now completely fallen apart, and is currently unusable. I will try fiddling with it this morning. I then went back to the pocket Helen and I had been working on at the face to try and finish it up before Dave and Joe started timbering. As is often the case, even though the pocket was small, we had missed a layer of crystals so I was still attacking the pocket when Dave and Joe arrived a little after 11:00a.m. to begin timbering. They managed to let me continue collecting while they worked on the timbering. About 1:30p.m. we broke for bait and the pocket, as far as I could tell, was finished.
The pocket yielded lots of single crystals, many damaged by the almost concrete aspect due to a mixture of our clay and thousands of shards of limestone. A few matrix specimens, only one of which was nice. After bait Joe continued the final bits of timbering necessary for the blast while Dave drilled. We were doing a full set of 24 holes, 48 sticks and 24 dets but only going in 4'. The step-down necessitated by the rock at the face will make mucking more difficult so it is necessary to have the smallest chunks of rock you can get ... the more holes and sticks of explosive you have the better your breakage. The blast went off without a hitch and we all headed home.
Cheers, Cal & Kerith