Jamaican Caving Notes
Aug 23, 2003
MARTA TICK CAVE
Position: Reserved due to biological resources
Field notes: R. S. STEWART
Cavers: R. S. Stewart, M. Taylor, W. Stephenson, Tumpa
Continued from Road-Side Pit.
After we all climbed back into the car at Road-Side Pit, we crawled on north along the Quick Step road into the Cockpit Country, taking great care to not leave the muffler behind us as we did so. Once again, the technique was to have all but the driver, myself, get out and walk on the worst parts; fortunately, this time there was no need to have a person sitting on the hood to tilt the muffler end of the car upwards. The last time we'd been here had been in the Lada, and the journey had been very difficult.
The drive was eventually completed, without the loss of any pieces of the car, and we parked at our usual spot. The plan was to visit Marta Tick Cave, make a brief stop, and then hike into the next cockpit to the north to find the northernmost of the known Quick Step caves and sinkholes, Stephenson's and Bonafide, something that we had not done on our previous visit.
The hike along the trail to Marta Tick, from the closest point to which one can drive, is about 45 minutes, and quite pleasant. One passes a series of choked sinkholes in cockpits that had shown the evidence of recent flood risings during our visit in Nov of 2002, after the great rains of Isodore and Lilli. This time, they were green and lush, and all trace of the flood event had vanished. The trail itself remained visible for most of the way, although in the furthest parts it is seldom travelled and one must look carefully to find the route. Martel, Tumpa, and I, remembered the track, and even though we had Walton Stephenson, son of Minocal, with us, we really had no need of his trail-finding guidance.
Marta Tick Cave was duly reached, and we scrambled up into the entrance chamber to take a break from the hike we had just done. The chamber is ideal for this; a large entrance on the side of a hill opens into a large, beautiful, room that has comfortable rocks for sitting upon scattered across a mostly level, sandy floor. From this chamber the cave extends in two directions, leading to two substantially different types of morphology. The cave is truly marvellous.
We were soon scrambling back down to continue our trek to Stephenson's, and the notes for this will follow, but it should be included at this point that on the way back past Marta Tick, a GPS position was taken to refine the coordinates obtained in Nov 2002. The position listed in these notes is the one taken on this day.
Continue to Bonafide Cave.
More notes for Marta Tick Cave.
TNC-J Report for Marta Tick Cave, May 6, 2005.
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