Hardy Pools Sump.
Dug the choke reported by Alf Latham (NL.32:18). After half an hour's work broke into low bedding cave. This led upstrean and downstream into sumps. Total length of extension about 100 ft.
Hardy Pools Sump
Looked at the sumps found on the previous visit with a small bottle. The upstream sump became too tight after 10 ft. The downstream sump started as a low wide bedding but this closed off round a large hole in the floor after only 15 ft. This sump will have to be revisited with fortyfives but the hole is likely to lead into the continuation of the Main Inlet Sump past the point reached by Alf Latham (NL.29:19). The extension evidently acts as an overflow for this sump in very wet weather. On the way out a free-diving line was placed in the Hardy Pools Sump and this was used the following weekend when all the passages on the far side of the sump were surveyed. The sump is an easy 28 ft. free dive.
Aim: to follow up J.T.G's. discoveries of 16.4.78 (NL. 49:23) in the Hardy Pool passage extension.
Both divers reached the sump previously dived by J.T.G., and R.J.S. kitted up with 45 + 15 tanks. The flooded shaft found by J.T.G. was quickly reached and descended to -20 ft. in a six foot wide rift. At the base the way on was found to be a small hole at the foot of a steeply inclined bank of coarse shingle. Five minutes of vigorous gardening failed to produce a negotiable continuation, despite the fact that the shingle was swallowed up into the hole at an alrming rate. On the way back to base a careful search revealed no alternative way on.
Main Downstream Sump. Previous exploration NL. 29:18.
J.T.G. laid a line into the two air bells discovered by Alf Latham, after 37 m of easy sump. R.J.S. followed and found J.T.G. at the air bells. Unfortunately the way became lost in the second sump after 24 m in some narrow rifts to the left at about -3 m.
R.J.S. and J.T.G. dived to the 37 m air bell, where R.J.S. attached his line reel. Following the right hand wall this time, two small cross rifts were ignored but a third larger one was seen to have a large tree trunk jammed across it and so it was followed. This proved to be the key to the sump, as a familiar Goyden boulder slope was reached after a further 30 m. of easy sump passage and wriggling up over this revealed air space and a large streamway. The second sump is 64 m long and Alf Latham's air bell was not noted en route. It seems likely that he lost his way on in the cross rifts, much as we did on our initial attempt. Seventy-six metres of magnificent stream passage was explored leading to Sump 3. R.J.S. dived this and passed it after 24 m to a large air bell with a fallen block almost halting progress. Having run out of line the next sump could not be explored but was noted to be open and easy looking.
Both divers reached the air bell after Sump 3 and J.T.G. led off into Sump 4, after squeezing beneath the fallen block. He returned after a few minutes, having laid out all his line in an easy sump with a few low areas. R.J.S. then dived with more line and passed the sump only three metres beyond J.T.G's. tie-off point. Sump 4 is 55 m long with a dry side passage to the right, which has not yet been explored. Sump 5 was then explored and found to be a magnificent cobble-floored passage at -3 m with clean washed rock and crystal clear water. This was passed after 24 m to another large passage with the roar of the stream in evidence again. A further 46 m of large passage was explored, again of typical New Goyden proportions (9 m high, 4.6 m wide), including a short swimming section, which added to the entertainment. Sump 6 was passed after only 9 m between two parallel rifts and R.J.S., scarcely able to believe his luck, staggered off along yet more large river passage. 30 m of walking passage was explored with the roof gradually lowering, and this was followed by 15 m of stooping and a short hands and knees section to Sump 7. This was dived for 30 m in an easy rift passage at -4.6 m, at which point the line ran out and so, having belayed to a lead weight, the diver returned. J.T.G., still waiting at the air bell between Sumps 3 and 4, was annoyed to learn that he had fallen short of the 'glory' by only three metres.
Main Inlet Sump. Previous exploration NL. 29:19.
Our survey of the extensions in Goyden Pot discovered on 12th October 1980 suggests that the downstream sump found by J.T.G. lies within 76 m of the main inlet sump of New Goyden Pot. R.J.S. dived the Main Inlet Sump and found things to be much as reported by Alf Latham, except that his lengths are a bit overestimated. Following the left hand wall, a rift was entered which quickly became too small. A squeeze over a fallen flake enabled a parallel rift to the right to be entered and after a further 6 m. this also became too small. At floor level in the second rift a jagged tube was found to lead off to the right at -3 m. This was too small to explore. Starting again, this time following the right hand wall, the diver was quickly forced out to the left by a lowering silt-floored bedding, until the familiar fallen flake was reached. There appears to be no way on apart from the small jagged tube, although little current was in evidence. Total length from base, 9 m.
Main River Passage, Upstream Sumps. Refs. C.D.G. NL.30:15 & 32:18.
R.J.S. led into the first sump and passed it after 85 m but not without some difficulty in locating the second of the two low boulder areas. The best plan would seem to be to stick to the left hand wall in this sump, as there are some blind rifts on the right hand side, making it easy to overshoot the second boulder squeeze. The water was quite high and the current in these two squeezes was pretty strong, making the upstream swim difficult. Having been joined by J.T.G. the second sump was then explored and passed after 30 m to the low air bell found by Alf Latham in 1970. The second sump is low and contains a thrutchy 6 m section about half way through, which is awkward and can only be easily passed at one place, everywhere else being too low. As reported by Alf, two ways lead on. J.T.G. explored the main passage to the left which was found to become impassably low after 6 m. To the right a rock-floored bedding with minimal air space was entered but, as both divers had reached the 'third margin', further exploration was not possible. It seems likely that this bedding is the same as that entered from Goyden Pot by R.J.S. on 28th September, 1980. Plan of downstream extensions opposite page 18.
Aim: to consolidate the discoveries made by R.J. Shackleton and J.T.Griffiths by laying 6 mm line through all the downstream sumps.
P.J.A. led through Sump 1 to a large air bell at 37 m through an easy sump and was then joined by J.H.S.A. Sump 2 was then dived by P.J.A., where the way on was lost at about -8 m. J.H.S.A. confirmed this. The old line was broken and loose and spare line was collected in.
P.J.A. layed 6 mm line through the Middle Sump, belayed by a lead weight at each end. P.J.A. led off into Sump 1 laying line continuously into Sump 2, ignoring the 37 m air bell. R.J.S's. jammed log was found, but the ascending rift was followed to Alf Latham's second air bell (NL 29:18). J.H.S.A. joined P.J.A. at this point. Old line was reeled in from the 37 m bell.
P.J.A. reached the jammed log and found the continuation at depth. He was joined on the far side of Sump 2 by J.H.S.A., who then led through Sump 3 to large fallen block. 13 m of frayed line were pulled out of Sump 4 before J.H.S.A. entered. In 0.3 m visibility 50 m of line was laid along the right hand wall, until an area of rifts was reached. The way on was not obvious. The line was reeled back 20 m to an air bell, where P.J.A. was met coming in. P.J.A. confirmed these findings and weighted the line at 50 m. A second large air bell was found on the way out at 10 m.
Line laying to Sump 7 was completed. P.J.A. led off into Sump 7 and laid 46 m of line in a large passage heading south. J.T.G. then took over. After 30 m, a squeeze up past a boulder slope opened up into a large bedding cave. This was followed for 46 m to the lip of a pot. This was only 3 m deep and beyond this the diver soon found himself in an alcove. He reeled in and tied the line off at the 120 m mark. The main flow seemed to have been lost at around 110 m in. The extensions were surveyed and two side passages explored. The first, off the air bell between Sumps 4 and 5, dodged around joints for 30 m before ending in a choke one way and a static sump (probably associated with Sump 4) the other. The second was a passage running parallel with the streamway between Sumps 6 and 7 and dropping into Sump 7 in the rift close to the start.
J.T.G. led into Sump 7 to search the area off to the right about 110 m in. Looking at his compass (he had forgotten to last time) he was surprised to find the passage turned south east at 60 m and then east at 75 m. A search to the right at 110 in, only brought the diver back to the alcove at 125 m, though he did manage to surface in a kicking water air bell above the pot. Searching back he 'filled' in the whole of the right hand wall and cane to the reluctant conclusion that there was no way off to the south in the sump. P.J.A. then dived, He contributed to the tally of useless air bells by following the left hand wall from the 75 m mark. Past 100 m, he feretted up some very silted cross joints heading north, which went nowhere in particular, but he got the distinct impression that the passage was turning north. It has been suggested that the passage has been 'bouncing' off a fault, that cuts across the valley south of Thrope Farm. The roof of the sump comprises a very thick chert band and it is unlikely that the passage will break through this band (and hence the sump end) until it crosses this fault.
R.P.S. to start of Sump 7. M.J.S. and P.J.A. searched for way on in Sump 7, which was not found, but an extensive air bell was found at 110 m in, at which it was decided to call the end of Sump 7. Plan opposite page 18.
All to the end of Downstream Sump 7, where a bolt was placed and the lines tidied up, M.J.S. located the way on in Sump 8 half way down the pot and laid out 90 m of line ending in a wide rift at -8 m.
G.W.C, led on from the point reached a week earlier. 58 m of line laid in a large passage heading south. P.J.A. then dived to tidy up the line. Although there is practically 150 m. of line in the sump, the sump is probably only 107 m long from the end of the air bell: 119 m from the bolt in the air bell. The air bell runs roughly north to south and one is forced under water just before the pot. Descending this for 2 m, the passage then doubles back under itself to head south. Meandering around between south and south-east for 30 to 40 m, the sump suddenly breaks into a very large passage heading south. This descends over the remaining 60 to 70 m to -14 m. By the time J.T.G. dived visibility was poor and this wasn't improved when he ran into the same alcove in the right hand wall that G.W.C. had. The way on is probably over to the left. We are now getting to the limit of twin 1274 litre cylinders and either larger or more tanks will be required for further pushing.
Rapid progress downstream as far as Sump 7. The line was repaired 65m in Sump 7 up over a boulder slope, where the old line was picked up again. J.H.S.A. continued for 33m into Sump 8 and found the line broken, He belayed a new line and continued for another 50m to -15m. Line belayed to a large boulder on the floor.
J.T.G. continued from the point J.H.S.A. had reached on 22.5.82. Following the left hand wall he was stopped by a clean washed shingle slope meeting the roof, just past the limit of last year's dive (NL 62:19). R.J.S. spent a bit of time digging at this slope, and it should not take long to dig past this obstruction.
J.H.S.A. found in Sump 7 that the short cobble slope two-thirds of the way in had reduced clearance in the low section, but a quick scoop gave way and he soon reached the air bell. Diving on into sump 8, a bad tangle of line was encountered, about 30m beyond his previous limit. This was coiled up, the end of the line belayed and cut, before returning to the others at the start of Sump 7.
D.M. then dived and, following the left hand wall, reached the end of the line about 100m into Sump 8 at -14m. He tied on a 60m reel and followed the floor, as the walls were now out of sight. After only 15m a blind alcove was entered, presumably the one found by P.J.A., G.W.C. & J.T.G. (NL 62:18). Retracing his steps, a short cobbled slope was noted in the left hand wall of the alcove. This met the roof within less than 1m. Feeling off route, the wall was followed again to the right, but the right hand wall was lost in bad visibility. The line was leaded and cut and the diver returned to his mates. All then exited.