Jamaican Caving Notes
Jan 25, 2004
THATCHFIELD GREAT CAVE
Field notes: MARK BELLINGER
Cavers: M. Bellinger, I. C. Conolley, R. S. Stewart, S. McCall
A very cool rappel. Dropping through this hole gives you a fabulous view of the speleothems on the cave walls. Hitting bottom is a bit of a letdown as you have to negotiate around an extraordinary number of used diapers.
The cave is big. In the ‘bat caves’, there were so many bats beating their wings it sounded like the wind.
And as muddy as I have ever seen. I was covered with mud and batshit, and my glasses were all fogged over. The thick mud laying over the textured surface of the cave floor gave me a feeling of never-ending imbalance. It was exhausting to always be fighting for your balance with the mud trying to suck your shoes off. My heavy pack made it harder still.
Water runs thru the cave in well-worn channels. Interestingly, there appeared to be ‘speleothems’ in the mud as well. The deep pockets in the mud were probably from dripping over many years. The loosened particles were washed out by an occasional heavy water flow. These drip pockets were maybe 8 or 10 inches deep and one or two inches across. So, if these drip pockets are indeed speleological features, how many did we obliterate in our travels thru the cave?
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