Speedwell - Ann Soulsby

Saturday, 21 July, 2012

Ann Soulsby & Wayne Sheldon

We had breakfast and discussed the water levels, which were pretty high after the last two days rain. Colin didn’t think that he would be able to go diving again – I wasn’t too sure about Speedwell but we set off anyway. It was a lovely sunny morning and we sat and chatted until the showcave opened. John let us change in the storage area and we went in on the second boat, which had only two, more people in it. I thought that the boat was sitting fairly high in the canal as I had to stoop more than usual but as Wayne pointed out the boat wasn’t exactly overfull.

Once at the bottomless pit we set off down the rest of the canal and found the water in parts to be very high. It was pretty obvious that it would probably do-able to get up to the boulder piles but not easily. We did go as far as the gate and had a look at the bung. I went a bit further upstream but when it got to armpit level before Pit Props we decided to go back. On the way back we looked at the connection with Pilkington’s passage but that looked uncomfortably wet. Further down just before the Bottomless Pit there was another passage up on the right. Wayne had been down it before but the passage got too tight for him. He wanted to take me for a look but I was a bit wimpish about climbing up. He was however determined and I am grateful for that as I would never have gone up there otherwise.

The passage was a lot longer than I had expected and I managed to get into a crawl, which ended in a passage blocked by a boulder. Wayne says that divers have entered Window Inlet form where it is believed that this passage links up and have also reported a blocked passage. The noise of the water was also dramatically increasing all the time. We may have another project to try a voice connection at some point. Got out nice and early into brilliant sunshine. Back to the Chapel for drinks and a snack with plenty of time to call at Hitch N’Hike for a chat.