Another day in Showerbath and a few more metres gained. Myself and Mike R met on a wild and windy Portland at 10am and headed down to the entrance, getting a thorough drenching on route whilst climbing down the gully at the end of Sharbutts quarry. Once in cave Mike headed straight to the end to complete the first shift of digging whilst I set up a carpet hauling system. It turned out there was only one shift! Mike kindly did the hard work all day whilst I dragged out carpet after carpet of spoil. I'd guess at least 25 loads were removed. Small stuff and dirt went down a rift (which is now full) and the larger rocks got chuck aside to be dealt with another day (or perhaps the cave fairies will deal with it before we return?). After several hours Mike announced he was nearly through the blockage and the passage ahead was 'open'. Another 20 mins of scraping and chucking rocks out of the way Mike suddenly disappeared through a tight wriggle into approx. 5m of new passage. Due to the lack of passing places I didn't bother to have a look at the furthest point myself but Mike said he could see another 5 to 6 m of open passage beyond an annoying rock which would need breaking up to pass. Today's breakthrough was a bit of a rush job as we were fairly knackered so we've also got a lot of tiding up and some enlarging to do next time but with any luck we should report another few metres at least on top of todays addition. I'd guess the cave increased in length by around 8 m today so Showerbath must be getting close to 50 m long now. Only another 10 m and by Mendip standards it would be a principal cave worth visiting! Big draft again today - I'm certainly keen to find where it's coming from; I'm convinced Showerbath hides a secret beyond it's tiny passage.
Carpet drag tray in use in the cosy passage beyond our previous breakthrough point in 2018.
Mike working at todays breakthrough point:
Looking back towards the entrance, wellies for scale!
The awkward wriggle - today's breakthrough point:
Today's new passage: