Jamaican Caving Notes
|Aug 20, 2003|
Position: 18 21' 46.8" N, 77 45' 51.7" W
Field notes: R. S. STEWART
Cavers: R. S. Stewart, I. C. Conolley, M. Taylor
The plan for Aug 19 was to see if anything new could be found in the Chatworth district of St James, an area that had produced unlisted caves for us in the past. We, as usual, drove from Windsor via Fontabelle and Wakefield and by mid-morning had linked with Wilkins, the man who had shown us the entrance to Barrows Caves on May 10, 2003. After exchanging pleasantries, we hiked off to find a pit that he knew of to the East of the Deeside - Maroon Town road.
An easy walk of about 500 metres brought us to an an opening of some 3 m width into a shaft. A look down into it showed a vertical of only 8 m, but a continuation to the NE was seen so it was decided that we'd rap in to take a look.
When the pitch had been rigged, I rapped down the 8 m and found that the extension to the NE was another shaft of 5 m depth displaced 4 m horizontally. I'd stayed on rap, so I carried on down the rope into this and found that it was choked at the bottom with no further extensions. I got off-rope and gave Martel a shout to come ahead.
Martel came as far as the bottom of the first shaft and then assisted in measuring the pit as we worked our way out, first him going up, then myself. The total depth is 13 metres, (43').
It will be seen by the position on the topo map that the shaft is located in an embayment of the hills that rise to the south of the valley through which the Deeside-Maroon Town Rd runs. When Wilkins was asked if they had a name for this shaft he said that they called it Valley Sink; it is not comparable to the deeper sinkholes of the island so we are assigning it the name Valley Pit.
This was the twelfth of the caves or sinks not listed in JU that we have found so far in the Chatworth District and will possibly be the last; I suspect that we have now found most of the unlisted caves that had been missed in the past.
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