UK Caving

OTHER STUFF => Obituaries - cavers remembered => Topic started by: Badlad on December 22, 2014, 11:30:44 am

Title: Mike Boon
Post by: Badlad on December 22, 2014, 11:30:44 am

Anyone got any info?  There are rumours of his passing.
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: richardg on December 22, 2014, 09:55:47 pm
Mike Boon... One of those notable explorers that many will have read about and many would like to have met....
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: Sid on December 23, 2014, 08:59:54 am
Mike at the Belfry. Date taken unknown.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mendipcaveregistryarchive/12773822285/in/photolist- (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mendipcaveregistryarchive/12773822285/in/photolist-)

Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: paul on December 23, 2014, 12:14:56 pm
Sadly it seems he has died. There's some news about Mike Boon on the American NSS Forum: http://www.forums.caves.org/viewtopic.php?f=59&t=16675 (http://www.forums.caves.org/viewtopic.php?f=59&t=16675)
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: rhychydwr1 on December 23, 2014, 04:11:53 pm
Sad news. RIP.  I still have his book "Down to the Sunless Sea".  No it is not for sale.  Should have got him to autograph it   :weep:
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: Rich West on December 24, 2014, 05:21:26 pm
Very sad news indeed. Some of Mike's exploits here on Mendip and in the New World were extra ordinary and very much spat in the face of 'elf n safety'. His contribution to caving and diving is way up there with any of the other hard men of British caving. "Down to Sunless Sea" is superb and one of the "must have" classic books for any serious collector. My copy is personally inscribed and signed and is NOT for sale. R.I.P. Mike.
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: Badlad on December 24, 2014, 07:35:58 pm
I received this via email.  Gather he had been ill for some time.

 Sad news from Alberta.
>
> Mike Boon, most recently resident in Calgary, passed away over the 
> weekend. Mike Boon is truly a legend in caving circles, commencing 
> his caving in the UK in the late 1950s and was the first adopter of 
> the "aqualung" for sump diving there. Tales of Boon will fill 
> volumes. He pioneered techniques for exploring dangerous river caves 
> in Central America. He was the author of a nice self-published 
> volume entitled "Down to a Sunless Sea". There are likely copies 
> around in caver's libraries and occasional used book stores. He made 
> many contributions to Canadian caving, mostly in Rockies 
> explorations. He caused quite a stir in the 1970s with a winter solo 
> exploration to distant reaches of Castleguard Cave. Truly, one of 
> the great personalities in caving history.
>
> There are plans at present for a memorial sometime in the spring.
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: Joel Corrigan on December 25, 2014, 12:04:59 pm
Years ago at the tail-end of an exped in Mexico Chris Densham & I heard tales of a crazy English explorer who lived close to the village of Cuetzalan.  Once we realised that it was Senor Boon we decided to track him down & offer to take him out for a beer as it seemed like the right thing to do.  After some amateur detective work we took a series of buses until eventually we reached a little hut in the middle of nowhere, only to find that he'd gone back to Canada the day before to claim some sort of medical benefit from the government (he did that quite a lot!).  We were both very disappointed not to meet him as the guy was a proper legend with a colourful past but we had an adventure along the way.  A great loss and I can't imagine him resting in peace as he's the sort of guy that'll be off surveying the further reaches of the afterlife....   
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: ian mckenzie on December 27, 2014, 05:51:46 pm
Mike had of course been inactive caving-wise for a long time, and most cavers here will remember him as a solitary and sometimes antisocial character.  Though I'm a long-time, now-retired caver myself, I came too late to have had the opportunity to go underground with him though he occasionally would camp with us on weekend caving trips.  He had a difficult time of it in his later years, with little money and some mood issues, but was aided by a few loyal friends.  I interviewed Mike for The Canadian Caver decades ago and would sometimes see him in the pub, but saw little of him after I moved from Calgary.

Those of us with jobs, dependable vehicles and airline tickets fancy ourselves as hard-core cavers, but Mike caved in a style and era where few others were willing to put up with the privations that went along with his focus and dedication to caving from the 1950s thru the early 1980s.
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: paul on December 27, 2014, 06:07:46 pm
I remember reading (probably in "Down to a Sunless Sea") an occasion where he was caving alone in Ireland and accidentally burnt down his tent and posessions within. He had to borrow an old suit from the farmer (whose farm he was camping on) to wear as all his clothing had gone.
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: SamT on December 27, 2014, 08:43:43 pm

Ian - do you know Albi Sole then ? (off topic sorry - PM me maybe)
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: Pitlamp on December 28, 2014, 05:32:32 pm
Mike Boon, a caver I only knew by his (massive) reputation, must have been an incredible bloke.

Badlad - thanks for passing on the text of that email above. I think it may contain a small error, which you might like to suggest to the originator of the message. I don't think Boon was the "first adopter of the aqualung" for British cave diving - I think John Buxton (at least) may have used one beforehand (Skeleton Pit in Goughs?). Can any Mendip based folk confirm? I mention this purely in the interests of historical accuracy and it in no way diminishes the stature of the bloke (or the value of Badlad's post above). It might be worth passing this thought back to our Canadian colleagues before any permanent tribute is written?

For anyone interested, Mike Boon is certainly associated with the Aqualung very closely because he wrote a "CDG Technical Review" in the 1960s about cave diving with this apparatus. (Prior to this the established CDG members mainly used simple oxygen rebreathers, many sourced from redundant wartime equipment suppliers.) Boon was well qualified to be the author of this publication because he'd proved the Aqualung's value when he'd used it to make various advances, notably down the streamway in Swildons Hole. This is well covered by his excellent book, which makes compelling reading, whether or not you're a cave diver.
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: Pitlamp on December 28, 2014, 06:30:56 pm
Derek Ford has (separately) just reminded me that Bob Davies' famous incident when he got lost during the discovery of Wookey's Chamber 13 was done on an Aqualung. (Derek was actually there in the support party.) I'm fairly sure this was before Mike Boon would have used one.

Many cavers will perhaps not fully appreciate the significance of getting these events in the right order. The CDG went through something of a revolution from rebreather use to Aqualung, which permitted many advances to be made. One problem with the oxygen rebreather was its depth limitation (considered to be around 9 metres maximum - and even that was pushing it). This is because oxygen becomes toxic when breathed under pressure. However the Aqualung, which allowed the diver to breathe compressed air, had far greater depth capability (as the oxygen in the air was diluted with inert nitrogen).

Interestingly, around the time when the limitations of oxygen rebreathers were becoming increasingly apparent, certain CDG members were already experimenting with nitrox rebreathers (which also have greater depth capability and the advantage of much better duration than the Aqualung). But it was people like Boon, who enjoyed massive success with the Aqualung and proved its value, which led to the nitrox rebreather idea being shelved. Thirty odd years later the advantages of mixed gas rebreathers could no longer be ignored, particularly as by the 1990s they could now largely be controlled with more reliable electronics. As a result most of the really extreme cave dives being done around the world today are completely reliant on rebreathers.
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: Duncan Price on December 29, 2014, 10:52:22 am
Bob Davies was the first UK cave diver to use an aqualung (i.e. open circuit compressed air) in a cave when he dived the Skeleton Pit in Gough's Cave in May 1955.  His epic in Wookey Hole occurred later that year.  Davies' use of open circuit diving equipment is pre-dated by Graham Balcombe who dived Sump 2 in Swildon's Hole in November 1936 using a modified version of his pump fed respirator used by Sheppard to pass Sump 1 a month earlier.  A small cylinder of oxygen was used to replace the pump and hoses and thus this was the first fully-autominous cave dive (save for the lifeline connecting the diver to base).  The modern aqualung hadn't been invented then so Balcombe employed the configuration developed by le Priuer whereby the breathing gas flow was regulated by the diver opening and closing the cylinder valve.  Cousteau and Dumas dived the Fontain de Vaucluse in 1946 using their aqualungs - reaching a depth of 46 m.

Boon was the first to pass Sump 6 in Swildon's using air in July 1961 and he is generally credited with being the first cave diver to mount his diving cylinder on his side rather than his back.  Interestingly Boon employed a two-point attachment set up with the base of the cylinder attached to a belt around his waist and the neck of the cylinder secured to a sling diagonally across his shoulder (very much like the "American Sidemount" configuration adopted in the '90s).  At the same time, Steve Wynne-Roberts, Fred Davies and others configured their lightweight oxygen-rebreathers in a similar fashion in order to pass constricted sumps.  Boon later took his cylinder off and pushed it ahead of him to pass the constricted Sump 7 in Swildon's Hole during June 1962 - the first "no-mount" cave dive.

Boon also advocated using only 1/4 of one's air supply for the inwards dive reserving 3/4 for the exit and any emergencies.  This pre-dates the modern thirds rule which is usually attributed to Sheck Exley.

My only contact with Boon was seeing him in one of Sid Perou's films on the history of cave diving and second-hand information from correspondents in Canada.  Like many other pioneers in the activity, Boon's reputation and achievements were legendary.
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: Pitlamp on December 29, 2014, 11:59:29 am
Excellent information Duncan; many thanks.
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: ian mckenzie on January 06, 2015, 10:35:52 pm
Mike at the Belfry. Date taken unknown.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mendipcaveregistryarchive/12773822285/in/photolist- (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mendipcaveregistryarchive/12773822285/in/photolist-)


I'm told that the person in that photo is Nick Pierce, not Mike Boon.  Doesn't loook like Boon either.
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: Sid on January 07, 2015, 08:18:06 am
The photo came from a series of five negatives all named as Mike. I hope its appreciated I rely on the photographers original notes as first reference.

I will check the negs tonight and if anyone else has info its always appreciated.

Paul.

p.stillman (@) mcra.org.uk
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: Ouan on January 07, 2015, 01:26:18 pm
For a detailed history of Mike Boon's early diving on Mendip (and a couple of photos of him) see "The Shepton, Cave Diving Club" by Mark Sims in Shepton Mallet Caving Club Journal Series 12 No. 8 (Autumn 2005).
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: cobz on January 24, 2015, 02:03:40 pm
Mike Boon

When I learned that Mike had died I was filled with a deep personal sadness. The two of us had become close friends during his time in Yorkshire, often in the company of Pete Livesey and Bill Frakes.
When he first moved to Yorkshire sometime in 1963, Mike lodged with Bob Leaky for a number of months, during which time he introduced Bob´s children to caving, especially his son Julian.
It was around this time that Mike joined the Bradford Pothole Club and became acquainted with Livesey. A strong partnership quickly formed between them, and being like minded ,they formed a formidable team that pushed back the boundaries of the possible, culminating in the early descent of Mossdale Pot.
It wasn't long before Pete suggested to Mike that he should move to Huddersfield.
As a result, he stayed in Lindley with the Livesey family for a month, during which time he wrote himself a reference for a job at a local school. This application also included his version of Mrs Liveseys signature as she was a well known head teacher. He got the job and held it for three months.
Pete knew that I had a spare room in Golcar, Huddersfield, so he came round one night to see if I would take a lodger. I agreed to meet Mike and discuss arrangements. He stayed for more than three years. It turned out to be one long roller-coaster ride from start to finish, climbing, caving and endless parties with femail students from the Oastler Teacher Training College.
This was about the time arrangements were being made for the 1965 Jamaica expedition with Pete, Tich Morris and Ray Stoyles. The house would often be full of expedition chatter, especially when Tich was there to discuss progress as the departure date drew close, also to deal with the sponsorship materials which were stored in Livesey´s barn.
When the team returned from Jamaica, Mike had to find work. He tried a number of jobs, the longest of which was a spell with Huddersfield Corporation as a bus conductor. Not that they would make much money from Mike, as he granted free passage to the elderly, anyone looking poor, and pretty young ladies.
Mike was always thinking of ways to earn a crust, that would also give him the freedom to do the things he most wanted to do. His next move was to enrol as a student teacher in General Studies at a Technical Teacher Training College in Huddersfield. During that time, I already had a steady job. But, in the days following his acceptance on the course, Mike convinced me to pack my job in and enrol on a course at the same college, which I did.
Somehow we both ended up having teaching practice at Wakefield Technical College, and Mike found out that Leakey´s daughter Benita worked at Wakefield central Library, so we went round one day and took her out for a surprise lunch, needless to say, we met again.
Down to a Sunless Sea was written around this time after spending countless hours in the library, there also was a resurgence in his poetry, with one poem relating to a "Walnut Faced College Principal"
It was whilst at college that Mike consolidated his reputation as one of the leading cavers of his generation with an exploration of an extension to Marble Arch Cave in Northern Ireland. This was some years after his now famous dive in Swildens Severn.
During the Christmas-New Year 1966/67 he and I stayed on for another week or two after all the other group members had returned home. It was then we discovered and explored extensions to the Screen Hill Passage of Marble Arch Cave, which included the largest section of cave passage in the system.
One day in between our caving trips to Screen Hill, Mike suggested that we should visit a farmer friend on the Marlbank Rd. Mike has had a long association with the McGovern family and this related to his stay a few years earlier after problems with his tent. When the door opened, Mike was welcomed as a long lost member of the family by Mrs McGovern who ordered us to stay for lunch where she promptly set about making a fresh loaf of bread for our forthcoming meal.
The following Easter a diving trip to Marble Arch Cave would be the last time we would be away from Yorkshire, caving with our three friends Bill Frakes, Colin Vickers , and John Ogden. All three were to perish in Mossdale, a tragedy that left Mike visibly shaken, and as far as I can remember , for some reason, he didn´t go underground on the rescue, but there again, I could be mistaken.
A short time later Mike investigated the possibility of taking a degree at McMaster University in Canada. He could then combine his studies with his literary and caving ambitions. At that time there was a fairly strong caving club at the University, which included Charlie Brown, who Mike had caved with in Jamaica. After Mike left for Canada we had very little contact.
Occasionally my farming neighbour would knock on the door and tell my wife, that a strange man had been hanging around the house, of course that was Mike who had come over to see his mother but was also searching out old friends. Interestingly, on that first occasion Mike "hitchhiked" from Canada! He managed to attach himself to a large party of children, and by helping out with the administration like collecting all of the tickets to hand in for processing, he became included in the group. As a result he got a free flight to France. Search as they might, the flight attendants could not find that extra passenger. He then hitch hiked to the French coast where after a lot of enquires with the owners of the moored yachts in the harbour, got a lift across the channel to England. Boon was the only person I knew , who had the persuasive personality to get away with that kind of manoeuvre.
In the mid seventies, Sue and I made our first visit to the States. But first we visited Calgary where we stayed with Mike. The accommodation was a dark, dingy boiler room in the basement of a small block of flats, very basic as one could imagine, it was typical for Mike in his later years.
We lost contact when he went to live in Mexico.

I must end this short memorial by saying:-

To be a person who new Mike was a privilege.
To be someone who caved with Mike was a privilege.
To be one of a group which included Boon, Livesey and Bill Frakes, sharing all of the good times we had together, was a privilege.

Mike was a very talented individual. Although he lived many miles away in Calgary and when neither of us were in contact with each other, he will be missed, left with memories that took place only yesterday.
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: nickwilliams on January 24, 2015, 02:42:45 pm
Thank you for taking the time to write that. I really enjoyed reading it.
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: Graham Proudlove on January 24, 2015, 09:47:00 pm
Fantastic recollections, and wonderful to read about. But what's your name? The most infuriating bit of this forum is the anonymous contributors!
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: Simon Wilson on January 24, 2015, 09:58:59 pm
http://caving-library.org.uk/catalogue/BCL/code/php/library.php?action=search&lib=&type=any&search=title&search_string=Part%201%20-%20Explorations%20in%20Marble%20Arch%20Cave%20%281%29&orig=Dave%20Cobley (http://caving-library.org.uk/catalogue/BCL/code/php/library.php?action=search&lib=&type=any&search=title&search_string=Part%201%20-%20Explorations%20in%20Marble%20Arch%20Cave%20%281%29&orig=Dave%20Cobley)

http://www.happywanderers.org.uk/ (http://www.happywanderers.org.uk/)
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: Dolly on January 25, 2015, 01:04:25 pm
Thank you Dave C for relating all those lovely stories about Mike. I remember him telling me of his free flight when we were at PSM in 1972...only he could get away with that! I particularly loved the bit about:
"He tried a number of jobs, the longest of which was a spell with Huddersfield Corporation as a bus conductor. Not that they would make much money from Mike, as he granted free passage to the elderly, anyone looking poor, and pretty young ladies."
That's him all over! :clap2: :clap2: :halo:
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: axbridgecaver on January 25, 2015, 01:19:11 pm
Mike Boon plays a leading role in the exploration of Yochib - The River Cave by C. William Steele.

My number one in caving books.
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: richardg on January 25, 2015, 09:39:10 pm
Excellent recollections... Thank you..
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: Joe Duxbury on January 26, 2015, 08:00:07 pm
It turned out to be one long roller-coaster ride from start to finish, climbing, caving and endless parties with femail students from the Oastler Teacher Training College.

It was whilst at college that Mike consolidated his reputation as one of the leading cavers of his generation with an exploration of an extension to Marble Arch Cave in Northern Ireland.
It was then we discovered and explored extensions to the Screen Hill Passage of Marble Arch Cave, which included the largest section of cave passage in the system.

Interestingly, on that first occasion Mike "hitchhiked" from Canada!

he will be missed, left with memories that took place only yesterday.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NSB-wKYL4w (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NSB-wKYL4w#)


Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: Badlad on January 28, 2015, 01:15:03 pm

I have fond memories of doing a few Dales classics with Mike Boon in the early eighties.  Mike was the inspiration behind the 1984 Untamed River Expedition to Papua New Guinea, which sadly in the end he wasn't able to come on and we lost touch.

In 1989 after a caving trip to Mexico four of us decided to travel down to Guatemala for a look around.  We crossed the Mex/Guatemalan border at a fairly remote border post and took a bus to the nearest local town.  It had a 'wild west' sort of feel and as we checked into the only hotel I noticed a familiar face sat in the small foyer reading a book.  Of course it was Mike.  We cracked a few beers and went on our way the next day.  Never saw him again.

There must be so many stories about cavers which often die with them.  I am thinking of opening up a new section of 'obituaries' on UKcaving so that people can record their memories or pay tribute as they wish.  Do people think this is a good idea and will it get used?
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: Bottlebank on January 28, 2015, 01:30:19 pm

There must be so many stories about cavers which often die with them.  I am thinking of opening up a new section of 'obituaries' on UKcaving so that people can record their memories or pay tribute as they wish.  Do people think this is a good idea and will it get used?

I think a website is far better suited to this sort of thing than a forum - the forum has far too many irrelevant threads cluttering things up and becomes too reliant on searches.

Maybe the Wiki would be much better suited to this?
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: paul on January 28, 2015, 05:43:18 pm

There must be so many stories about cavers which often die with them.  I am thinking of opening up a new section of 'obituaries' on UKcaving so that people can record their memories or pay tribute as they wish.  Do people think this is a good idea and will it get used?

I think a website is far better suited to this sort of thing than a forum - the forum has far too many irrelevant threads cluttering things up and becomes too reliant on searches.

Maybe the Wiki would be much better suited to this?


Yes - I think you have a valid point. Forums are more of a conversation whcih is recorded whereas a Wiki is more like a document whcih can be maintained and consulted easily.
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: bograt on January 28, 2015, 05:54:12 pm
I think an active thread will bring back a lot more memories than the Wiki, as this one is doing.

 Sometimes I think of many of my mates who have 'Gone Dead' and recall occasional incidents that are not worth composing an article for but may be worth a quick post.

 Someone might be willing to edit and compile a Wiki entry from the posts.

 The tribute to Keith Joules in the last 'Derbyshire Caver' is a good example of a 'communal obit'.

WRT to Pauls last post which came up as I was previewing mine, the best reminiscences in my opinion come from a chat in the pub, ( Do you remember when so&so did so&so?) I think these sort of chats are more likely to be revealed on a live thread than constructed into a Wiki article.
 
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: paul on January 28, 2015, 06:03:54 pm
There is probably room for both chats on the forum reminiscing and trading stories about the person's life and an Obit. on the Wiki.

Forum posts would only involve those who knew the person. Having  a more formal obituary on the Wiki would be more of a historic record. For example, how many younger cavers even know who Mike Boon was or any of his outstanding achievements?

Forum posts, like chats in the pub with mates, are fleeting whereas a Wiki post is more permanent.
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: bograt on January 28, 2015, 06:16:31 pm
There is probably room for both chats on the forum reminiscing and trading stories about the person's life and an Obit. on the Wiki.

Forum posts would only involve those who knew the person. Having  a more formal obituary on the Wiki would be more of a historic record. For example, how many younger cavers even know who Mike Boon was or any of his outstanding achievements?

Forum posts, like chats in the pub with mates, are fleeting whereas a Wiki post is more permanent.

Agreed :thumbsup: but recollections on the forum would add additional an insight to the character of the corpse? as I said, both are valuable and an editor would have more material to work from to compose a Wiki entry. Why should 'chats in the pub' (or on forums) be 'fleeting'?
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: Simon Wilson on January 28, 2015, 10:37:40 pm

There must be so many stories about cavers which often die with them.  I am thinking of opening up a new section of 'obituaries' on UKcaving so that people can record their memories or pay tribute as they wish.  Do people think this is a good idea and will it get used?

I think a website is far better suited to this sort of thing than a forum - the forum has far too many irrelevant threads cluttering things up and becomes too reliant on searches.

Maybe the Wiki would be much better suited to this?


Yes - I think you have a valid point. Forums are more of a conversation whcih is recorded whereas a Wiki is more like a document whcih can be maintained and consulted easily.

It's funny that you should say forums are a conversation; I remember saying the same thing recently but I'll say no more because this is definitely off topic.
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: bograt on January 28, 2015, 11:02:45 pm
I Also seem to recollect sugesting obits on Wiki !!, but---What the hell---?? :shrug:
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: paul on January 29, 2015, 12:21:22 pm

There must be so many stories about cavers which often die with them.  I am thinking of opening up a new section of 'obituaries' on UKcaving so that people can record their memories or pay tribute as they wish.  Do people think this is a good idea and will it get used?

I think a website is far better suited to this sort of thing than a forum - the forum has far too many irrelevant threads cluttering things up and becomes too reliant on searches.

Maybe the Wiki would be much better suited to this?


Yes - I think you have a valid point. Forums are more of a conversation whcih is recorded whereas a Wiki is more like a document whcih can be maintained and consulted easily.

It's funny that you should say forums are a conversation; I remember saying the same thing recently but I'll say no more because this is definitely off topic.

Global Moderator Comment The Topic in question is about the recent death of Mike Boon. Bottlebank brought up the point about whether the discussion (about this recent death and any others in the future) would be better placed on the Wiki rather than a separate Obituary Forum section as suggested by Badlad. So the subsequent points raised were still regarding Mike Boon's death and the discussions about this. So they are On Topic. A conversation can either be about a single subject and still be on topic, or can drift off onto irrelevancies and then be off the original topic.
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: Simon Wilson on January 29, 2015, 12:54:33 pm

Forum posts, like chats in the pub with mates, are fleeting whereas a Wiki post is more permanent.

So a forum, like a chat in a pub, doesn't necessarily have any organised structure.
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: Bottlebank on January 29, 2015, 01:04:12 pm
Maybe Badlad should seek a few Wiki volunteer editors to began compiling a "Caving Hall of Fame" - certainly Boon would be a fitting place to start by all accounts?

I'd be happy to help with that, and I'm sure others would?

Looking at the Wiki the basic structure seems to be in place already? See http://ukcaving.com/wiki/index.php/People (http://ukcaving.com/wiki/index.php/People)


Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: rsch on January 29, 2015, 01:17:58 pm
As far as a "Caving Hall of Fame" goes, there is a distinct cross-over here with the pen portraits (+ photos) in place for people interviewed on the audio archive, especially this subset of those already gone.

http://caving-library.org.uk/audio/intlist.php?type=deceased (http://caving-library.org.uk/audio/intlist.php?type=deceased)
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: Badlad on January 29, 2015, 01:56:29 pm

Apologies for the on topic/off topic thing.  If anything it was an error on my part.  I have been considering making space on here for memories of the departed and the Boon topic seemed a good place to bring it up.

I was not really talking about a formal obituary, that maybe best placed in Descent or on a Wiki as has been suggested.  I was thinking more of peoples [fond] memories of a person.  These are not always included in an obituary and not everyone who knew the deceased gets included in writing it.  Personally if a caver passes away I am always interested in hearing stories about them, be they about great achievements, funny anecdotes, or both, and we have seen a number of these written about Mike Boon in this topic.
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: Bottlebank on January 29, 2015, 02:02:32 pm

Apologies for the on topic/off topic thing.  If anything it was an error on my part.  I have been considering making space on here for memories of the departed and the Boon topic seemed a good place to bring it up.

I was not really talking about a formal obituary, that maybe best placed in Descent or on a Wiki as has been suggested.  I was thinking more of peoples [fond] memories of a person.  These are not always included in an obituary and not everyone who knew the deceased gets included in writing it.  Personally if a caver passes away I am always interested in hearing stories about them, be they about great achievements, funny anecdotes, or both, and we have seen a number of these written about Mike Boon in this topic.

Personally I think it's a good topic for discussion, and couldn't care less whether it's on or off topic.

Totally agree on the content - there's some great stories to be told.

How about a compromise - encourage people to add links into the Wiki to specific forum threads, links to the BCA archive if material is there, external links and try collate the best stories directly on the Wiki as well?

I've never really been involved in Wiki's. What's to stop us just going ahead and doing this?
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: bograt on January 29, 2015, 02:30:43 pm
What's to stop us just going ahead and doing this?

Nothing as far as I can see, lets go for it!!.
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: Bottlebank on January 29, 2015, 03:21:51 pm
Easy enough - http://ukcaving.com/wiki/index.php/Boon,_Mike (http://ukcaving.com/wiki/index.php/Boon,_Mike)
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: Dolly on February 02, 2015, 02:33:19 pm
Hello all,
My good friend Mike Boon died peacefully in his sleep while taking an afternoon nap on the 20th December 2014.
I am inviting all to a gathering to say a final farewell to Mike.
Where: Jasper Alberta Canada
When: May Long week-end, 16 and 17, May 2015
Saturday 16 May:
Athabasca Hotel 7pm, renew friendships and swap stories of Mikes antics.
Sunday 17 May:
11am meet at the picnic site next to the bridge on the Maligne River for a celebration of life for Mike.
Directions:
Drive east from Jasper approximately 4 km to the Maligne Canyon junction and turn right.
Drive 37.7 kilometres’ to the bridge and look for picnic site parking area on the left, just before the bridge. :beer2:
This location was chosen because Mike challenged others to a race down the river. His collapsible kayak made of wood bottom and canvas sides was crushed and destroyed. Mike’s strong swimming skills saved him. ( see Pete Thompson’s story attached also Mike’s obituary is attached.) Mike stories… we all have our favorites if you would like to share yours I will put them in a binder for us all to see.

Cheers,
John Donovan
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: Dolly on February 02, 2015, 03:03:34 pm
John Michael Boon (1940 - 2014)
Mike Boon loved water in caves. He delighted in discovering a clean-washed stream-way, leading in Mike’s imagination, if not in practice, to The Main Drain or a Master Cave that collected all the subterranean waters and carried them to a clean, clear spring. Mike moved easily and gracefully in cave passage, but to see him excel, he needed water. He would slide like an otter into a pool and with scarcely a ripple glide away into the unknown. His inventiveness and cool determination were obvious from his early explorations in Swildon’s Hole in the Mendip Hills of the UK where he became the first cave-diver to remove his air tank completely and push it ahead of himself through tight passage. His powerful swimming was needed in Mexico in the waters of Yochib where he swam through raging flood waters to save his companion and himself. In Canada even glacial melt-water could not cool his determination to explore Raspberry Rising, where he took sections of a may-pole through the sump to climb the water-falls on the far side. Perhaps his strangest exploit was the exploration of Agua Escondida in Guatemala by kayak, taking two days to progress upstream to a camp site, and taking two hours to exit, kayaking downstream by the light of his caving lamp.
*********************************************************************************
Mike Boon was one of the best-known British cavers of modern times. Boon explored caves throughout Europe, North America and Central America, and epitomized the penniless caver traveling the globe in search of unexplored caves. Respected by his peers, and revered by some, his drive and unique personality often made him difficult to work with.
Boon first went caving at age 17 in Somerset, southwest England, and soon joined the Shepton Mallet Caving Club. He began caving energetically throughout Britain and, later, further afield. Boon became a bold sump diver, learning his craft in the tight, murky sumps of Mendip caves. He pioneered the change from oxygen re-breathers to compressed air and was one of the first sump-divers to use a hip-mounted “tadpole” tank of 26 cubic ft. capacity, extending its duration by careful control of his breathing. In 1962 the records of the Cave Diving Group show 11 divers active in the UK, and Boon made 18 out of a total of 48 dives, being the only person using compressed air. In 1966 he wrote A Technical Review of Cave Diving On Air.
He led or participated in
* Breakthrough dives in Sump VI and Sump VII in Swildon’s Hole, Somerset, Britain.
* Explorations in Mossdale Caverns, Yorkshire, once considered the most difficult cave in Britain.
* Survey of the entrance crawls in Daren Cilau, south Wales.
* Exploration of passage on the far side of sumps in Predjama in Slovenia.
* An eight-month expedition documenting the river-caves of Jamaica.
This period is covered in his book Down to a Sunless Sea.
In 1963 he participated in a trip to the Gouffre Berger (then the deepest cave in the world) when Ken Pierce dived the final sump.After the Jamaica expedition Boon moved from Britain to Canada and joined Dr. Derek Ford’s Karst Research Group based out of McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario where Boon also studied for a degree in English Literature. The KRG summer camps in the Canadian Rockies were the first organized cave explorations there.
Significant exploration here included:
* Survey of the main stream passage in Nakimu Caves.
* Initial exploration of Castleguard Cave, with Peter Thompson to Thompson’s terror.
Boon moved west to Alberta in 1970, joining the Alberta Speleological Society and continuing his participation in western cave explorations.
* In 1970 Boon undertook a solo exploration in Castleguard Cave past the previously-unclimbed pitch that now bears his name (Boon’s Aven) to discover the Ice Plug under the glacier.
* Bottoming of the 536m deep Arctomys Cave, for many years the deepest cave north of Mexico.
* Boon participated in a British caving expedition to Pierre St. Martin in the Pyrenees.
Living in Canada made inexpensive road trips to caving regions further south feasible for Boon. In addition to trips to the eastern United States, Boon spent much time in Mexico and Guatemala where he undertook his best-known explorations, including:
Mexico

* Rio Iglesia –535m
* Sotano de San Agustin –612m
* Cueva San Agustin
* Agua Carlota
* Joya de Salas
* Sotano de Tenejapa
* Sumidero de Chenalho
* Cruz Pilal
* Huixtan Resurgence (Mapachero)
* Sumidero Yochib
* Guayateno and other caves in Cuetzalen
* Sumidero Chicja
* Sumidero de Agueyaco
* Sumidero de Tenejapa
* Xumula
Guatemala and Belize
* Investigation of the sinks of Chiquibul
* El Sumidero (Rio Huista)
* Sumidero de San Ramon
* Agua Escondida, explored in kayaks
In 1980 Boon wrote The Great San Agustin Cave Rescue, by dictating the text over a three day period, so giving a very personal perspective on his participation in the rescue of two seriously-injured Polish cavers.
In 1983, due to illness Boon was forced to abandon the planning of a British-Canadian expedition to Nare, a huge river-cave in New Britain, and spent some time recovering in hospital.
Following his retirement from active caving, Boon pursued small-scale political and human-rights causes and spent some years as a one-man, hands-on aid program to the Jacalteco natives of Guatemala and helped some specific families put their children through school. In later years Boon lived quietly, studying Buddhism, on a modest disability pension in Calgary, Alberta. He passed away on December 20, 2014.
==References==
J. M. Boon. Down to a Sunless Sea. The Stalactite Press, 1977.
J. M. Boon. Solo. Inside Earth, no. 3, 1974.
J. M. Boon. The Great San Agustin Rescue. The Stalactite Press, 1980
I. McKenzie. An Interview with Mike Boon. The Canadian Caver, vol 25 no 1, 1993.
W. Steele. Yochib, the River Cave. Cave Books, 1985
Martyn Farr. The Darkness Beckons – The history and development of cave diving. Cave Books,
St. Louis, Missouri, 1991.
Various authors, The Canadian Caver, no 1 through vol 15 no.2.
Sent via John Donovan. :clap2:
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: T pot 2 on February 05, 2015, 07:42:20 pm
I am seriously thinking of making a trip to jasper ab in order to see mike put to rest.
Anyone up for a two week jolly pm me.
T pot
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: Dolly on February 08, 2015, 11:47:04 am
Seats already booked - Calgary here we come :beer2:
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: Pegasus on May 17, 2015, 08:32:06 am
Posted on FB today....

'Mike Boon farewell event, Jasper, Alberta, Canada'


(https://scontent-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpf1/v/t1.0-9/p296x100/11245793_10203907850162315_5814593223057709367_n.jpg?oh=f70e0de01853dfea815814258c09082f&oe=55C1E8B9)
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: rhychydwr1 on May 17, 2015, 12:03:13 pm
With the ropes dry. It is time to cut, measure, and inventory them. Here is part 2 of the history of British cave diving. Look for an interview with the late Mike Boon.

CAVE DIVING STORY, PART TWO, THE DEVIL IS A GENTLEMAN:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBw1pBfumIs&feature=youtu.be (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBw1pBfumIs&feature=youtu.be)

The part with Mike Boon starts at 13 minutes in.

Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: ianball11 on May 17, 2015, 12:13:23 pm
I watched the Sid Perou cave diving films recently on youtube which featured Mike Boon, blimey, he was a fearless trailblazer.  Then reading the Descent memorial, you can see why his book is so hard to come by.
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: rhychydwr1 on May 28, 2015, 12:15:19 pm
Did you know Mike Boon? You might be amused by some of the tales told at the farewell gathering weekend before last in Calgary. Bill Steele recorded these; somebody recorded Steele's own comments, but I haven't seen them.

Peter Thompson

https://vimeo.com/128752622

Ian Drummond

https://vimeo.com/128756114

Daryl Donovan

https://vimeo.com/128754207

John Donovan

https://vimeo.com/128757686
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: richardg on May 28, 2015, 08:30:32 pm
Thank you for posting these Tony and Bill for recording them....

Richard  :beer2:
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: ianball11 on May 29, 2015, 12:18:30 am
Great stuff.
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: Dolly on June 10, 2015, 07:22:16 pm
Mike’s Farewell.

17th May, 2015.
The day had finally arrived. Donny & Daryl set off early so they could arrange everything before the gang of hungover cavers arrived; John and I luxuriated in their shower. We didn’t make it back to camp so Donny & Daryl kindly gave us one of their beds in the Chateau Jasper. We had hot coffee, buns and even watched the telly for a short while.
We arrived by the Maligne River at about 10.30am, Mike’s farewell was to begin at 11.00 prompt. The day was sunny, although quite crisp, and the mountains were clear. Lots of speakers took their turn in entertaining us with Mike’s escapades around the globe. This confirmed all my personal feelings and experience of Mike… laughter and tears were exchanged in equal measure.
We each took a handful of Mike’s ashes and tossed them into the Maligne River, where he’d spent many a happy hour doing dangerous stunts….but that was Boon! My ashes fought back and left a covering on my new jacket. I also had trouble getting the grit out of my long nails, so I expect I’ll always have a bit of Mike in my left pocket.
We drank whisky, hot coffee; ate cranberry muffins, chocolates and enjoyed our time together. I even managed to get sell some of my books... as we sat on the riverbank, enjoying our last moments together, I noticed an eagle which kept soaring above. I also noticed lots of chipmunks, cheekily playing close by.
I began to think of Mike’s Buddhism – I thought of the eagle with its sharp eyes staring down on us. It looked so proud, strong and brave. I looked at the chipmunks, they with their cheeky little faces, watching us from a distance; it was then that it occurred to me that the eagle and the chipmunks both portrayed aspects of Mike Boon, our friend, caving legend; benefactor of people less fortunate and thoroughly nice guy.  :kiss2:
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: Pegasus on September 28, 2015, 12:44:52 pm
A film in memory of Mike Boon


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adoKD0vkiuU&feature=youtu.be (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adoKD0vkiuU&feature=youtu.be)

Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: andychapm on September 28, 2015, 02:39:01 pm
Hi,
I recorded these interviews with various American cavers about Mike Boon and his time in Mexico whilst on expedition earlier this year. Hope you enjoy them :).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjXbGmQTpDY (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjXbGmQTpDY)
(Mark Minton talking about the San Agustin rescue)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DX68xghm-kc&feature=youtu.be (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DX68xghm-kc&feature=youtu.be)
(Ernie Garza)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rkh1jE7A5Cg (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rkh1jE7A5Cg)
(Bill Steele talking about Mike Boon in Yochib and also about the PESH expedition)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1-nh7Jbj80 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1-nh7Jbj80)
(Jim Smith talking about Mike Boon in Yochib)


Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: T pot 2 on September 28, 2015, 08:30:14 pm
Pegasus
Thank you so much for posting Mikes u tube link. I spent time with him in is later years and enjoyed his humour, his candidness, his friendship and most of all his being what he was. I sadly miss the guy.


T
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: Pegasus on February 22, 2016, 11:37:14 am
http://caving-library.org.uk/audio/selected.php?id=266 (http://caving-library.org.uk/audio/selected.php?id=266)
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: garethjdavies on March 01, 2016, 02:55:37 pm
As some of you will know I too spent time caving with Mike in Chiapas, and Cuetzalan, Mexico.  I first met Mike in Denver, CO at Norm Pace's house (1976).  A US caver, Wil Howie, and I were on a caving/hiking/climbing tour of the US west when we heard of a caving trip to Yo Chib when  we stayed at Norm's house.  Mike was clad in his usual (I came to realize) set of anyone's discarded clothes, with a pair of RD Super Guide mountaineering boots but, with the soles worn out,  flapping loose at the front, no laces etc.  We went to a McDonalds and got a Big Mac (my first) apiece and then returned to Norm's house to hear about Yo Chib; on hearing of Mike's passing, I had my second ever Big Mac).  The dire nature of the Yo Chib cave was emphasized, but Mike was a very persuasive person and convinced us to join the expedition.  Later he was separating me and coaching me to join the British/Canadian contingent (him and Wes Davis) and his plans at Martine's houses not Yo Chib (one of only a few in the village) over beer, that of course I bought (actually gladly, 1 peso each or something).... My Mike Boon recollections of that are...

We arrived at the Yo Chib campsite.  Mike had travelled down with Wes ("weasel") Davis in a Toyota Estate Car - that I'm sure belonged to Wes.  They had a rather eventful trip where they, in a thick fog, had driven into the back of a cow, which "buggered up the headlights."  This meant the police saw them sans lights in Mexico City, where (the starter was a bit dodgy) they had to push run and start the car to avoid (or escape) the fine by the police...... Later this car carried on Mike's tradition of resourceful living....from Mexico City to Austin, TX, the last part of my writing here.

This of course was all typical Mike, he conned a friend to drive him to Mexico so Mike could go caving.  Mike, being the person he was, had a suspicious nature (about some of the US contingent) and often told me this when he dragged me to Yo Chib village for a beer at Martine's.  Anyway I ended up on a trip into the cave with Mike, Wes, and Carmen Soileau - with the aim of extending a phone line to Camp 1 and then Camp 2 so there would be warning system in place in a flood. This would introduce me to the cave....(see Bill Steele's book Yo Chib, The River Cave for all the details).

There was a nice long boulder hopping river entrance passage but a 75 ft waterfall into a lake, at the end, and that was the end of the... introduction.  I had not arranged my gear well, was not exactly positively bouyant and I could have drowned in the lake (2 - 3ft higher waves from the 40 cubic feet/second River hitting it from 75 ft)....I struggled and coughed and spluttered across...Mike yelling at me.

Mike saw my carbide light was out and as I dragged myself up the beach he leaned forward and relit it, screaming at me (the noise made normal speech impossible) " are you f***ing up for this, you can very easily die here?"  He then told me not to clip into any horizontal line, because of the chance of being swept away was high and I would need to not be tied to anything if swept over a waterfall..... I followed Mike's advice except for the time clipping in saved my life...below Bad Dreams...... 

Anyway we reached Camp 1, but before, at Fool's Falls, when I got down that rope, Mike was diving the pool with a mask to look for a gear bag lost earlier in the week, in the hurricane conditions at the bottom. We stopped at camp and dumped food, sleeping bags etc. and then proceeded down Bad Dreams - a set of the most violent and swiftly flowing (really thundering, crashing) falls and rapids, that turns a corkscrew downwards below Camp 1.  The way beyond this was a tyrolean rope across and Boon went across. We were to go as far as Camp 2 (some hammock on a ledge affair) but met Bill Steele and others coming upstream.   Here I witnessed the Mike Boon Mike Van Note finger jabbing incident, that I watched from across the maelstrom, after Wes and I had crossed the tyrolean and returned (we had reasoned Camp II was a futile goal after 12 harrowing hours in a constant Hurricane and Tsunami.  We retreated to Camp 1 (much to my relief, I could not imagine what Camp 2 would have been like....

I heard, later in the trip, Wes had been shopping for souvenirs and Mike got upset that he had spent so much money, Wes's money of course, and if my memory doesn't fail me I heard Mike went back into San Cristobal de Las Casas and sold the souvenirs back. Wes had taken enough abuse and left Mike in San Cristobal de las Casas with no money, but the Toyota, but with an empty gas tank, and dodgy headlights etc.

Mike stayed with France's Mendez a lady Pete Lord? had met and who was friendly to cavers passing through. Apparently to get money to drive back to the US Mike removed a filling in a tooth he had filled there a year ago, and got his money back and a new filling (Mr Resourceful, par excellence).  This enabled Mike to drive as far as Pete Lord's house in Mexico City - where the second part of my association with Mike in Mexico story begins, a year later in Cuetzalan. 

One year later (1977) I was again in Mexico, with Jim Eyre, Wil Howie and John Sevenair enroute to do Sotano de las Golondrinas, El Sotano del Barro and some exploration in Cuetzalan.  Mike was already at the house near Greengates School  (Pete Lord and Cathy Pryce-Jones, lived there) - and he was living entirely on black beans and tortillas.... We arrived brought beer, and all went shopping  for a slap up nosh, T-Bone steak, chips, which Mike loved of course....If I remember, Mike indulged in Cana + Tang powder to the point of sleeping on the stone stair case.

We heard that only Cathy and someone else was there when he arrived unannounced and they mistook Mike for the local dustman, (trash collector) and tried to shoo him away.

Whatever, we loaded into Wil Howie's van and set off for Cuetzalan.  Mike rode with us, and en route we stopped for gas and a toilet break, but there were no conveniences. Mike grabbed a toilet roll and walked some (short) distance away from the gas station, and proceeded to have a crap under a lone tree. Jim Eyre and I thought this was pretty funny - what a silouette against a cloudy sky, but Wil and John were pretty amazed.....

The house at Cuetzalan (Casa Carmen) became home and soon we were joined by a huge group of McMaster University cavers (all packed in one van), Marge Saul, Chas Younge, and cavers from all over the US, Norm Pace, Joe Liebertz, and Pete Lord and Cathy from Greengates/Mexico City, and Mike Colishaw. (Norm Pace told me when he arrived Mike was warming a candle on the gas stove to use as temporary treatment for his hemorrhoids)...   

So, an epic trip was organized into Sumidero Atepolituit and we all made camp in a great chamber on a huge sandy beach next to the roaring river (about 12 people, lots of McMaster Univercity cavers).  Chas being well organized fed us and off we went in three parties, two to go deep and Chas to look at some prospects, with the less experienced cavers, above a technical obstacle called the Black Cleft, below which the whole river for a short section, assumed Yo Chib like characteristics. 

This is written up in Jim Eyre's book The Cave Explorers.  Several kilometers downstream Marge Saul and I found a passage (that I think later connected to Chichicasapan) while Mike and company went even further downstream. We met back at a huge mud bank at the junction and Mike said we should get the stove out and eat. He told me to go over to the wall of the passage and dig up a tin of baked beans he buried in a sand bank there two years ago...

I was as hungry as the rest, and there was this large (UK large) tin of beans, which looked a bit new... And was buried in disturbed sand. Whatever we ate and enjoyed them (a couple of spoonfuls apiece).  After a very long trip back upstream we got our lesser experienced McMaster group safely back to camp, where Chas was cooking up a meal, muttering, "I know I am missing a tin of baked beans, but I cannot fathom where it is....."

The New Year's celebrations in Mexico are special, and Cuetzalan had a town square do, where there is a high pole with a revolving platform that the locals tie the feet to and spin around unraveling some fabric until they reach the ground, of course Mike climbed to the platform (20 m or so). 

A year passed and Mike wrote to me talking about even bigger river caves in Honduras, and this conversation continued at UMIST and the BCRA meeting.  Mike turned up there, his luggage consisting of two black rubbish bags, one with all his traveling stuff, and another with copies of his book (Down to a Sunless Sea).  His sleeping bag was his Aunty Gladys's discarded eiderdown..., of course.  On Saturday night we were joined by John Frankland and Jim Eyre, had a great curry, and prepared to retire to sleep. I, along with my first wife, Carol, had arranged a place to stay, but I lost the address.... So with Mike and some others, we set up camp on an demolished area next to UMIST.  Carol and I slept in my 1972 Triumph 2000 and Mike slept under the stars in his eiderdown - somebody else pitched a ten near Mike.  The friendly Manchester police came to inspect our little encampment about 3 AM.  They searched the Triumph and then moved to Mike and the tent.  They gently shook Mike in the feet to wake him up and asked who he was and where he was from.  When he said Calgary, Canada, one policeman said "but this is the middle of Manchester" Mike sat up looked around and said, " is it, Good Lord..."  We tried in vain to be serious.  Finally when the policeman shook the tent - the zipper came down and a head emerged to puke at the policeman's feet and then disappear back inside....  They walked off disgusted, shaking their heads, at a loss for words.  Carol and I bought Mike a great big breakfast the next morning and whilst selling his books later than day, when he signed my copy, was the last I saw of him In person.   Later I was reading my copy of his book when I got a letter from Mike saying I never paid him, which I did not, accidentally.  I then realized that I was missing a duvet jacket, and a foam sleeping pad Mike had borrowed that night.  He agreed they were a fair swap for a signed copy of his book.   

Now, there is still one more piece.  The Toyota's fate, + jail time....  Pete Lord, Cathy Pryce-Jones, Mike, and Cathy's mother and I heard this story from Mike in a restaurant in Cuetzalan on New Year's Eve, 1976.  Mike managed to collect enough money (by selling McMaster University Caving gear to local cavers) to drive the Toyota from Mexico City to Austin, TX.  He stayed a while, because Jean Jancowicz was living there.... (See Jim Smith's YouTube video interview about Mike infatuation with Jean).  Jean resisted his advances again and again, and Mike then proceeded to piss off just about every caver (that he could stay with) in Austin.  He went to a pub/bar and got rather forlorn and drunk (someone probably bought him the drinks of course, or he simply went "mine sweeping").  Then some people began singing the US song  (probably prompted by Mike) that has the same tune as our God Save the Queen.  Mike dutifully informed them what the song really was and started a kerfufle and got kicked out of the bar.  While he was sitting lying/sitting on the kerb, a police car came by and stopped; Mike promptly ran away (he said he had no idea why) but got arrested.  He was booked into the local jail. Since he was now to the caving community, missing, Bill Russell (I think) looked for him, and found him, and tried to bail him out. Mike said this upset him greatly, reasoning that they were very nice to him and it was the best accommodation he had experienced in years (lots of free food, a great bed, and all the books he could read). 

The Toyota was bought and thence driven back to Huautla by Gerry Atkinson? Apparently en route near Huautla it collided with a burro.  I believe Gerry gave the car to the Burro owner as compensation.... The owner thought this was excessive compensation and awarded a goat in "change." The owner's daughter was getting married and Gerry (or whoever, I will check) gave the goat as a wedding present...or something like that, it's been a few years. 

I feel very privileged to have caved with Mike, and become his friend.  He was a special person, always very sure of his situation, and very confident he was correct, but often to the suffering of others.  He was a very confident caver, and he left me in awe in that respect, often caving with his carbide lamp in his hand, only to put it on his helmet when necessary.

Gareth
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: rhychydwr1 on March 02, 2016, 02:22:34 pm
What a fantastic story.  Brings back memories of Mike when he caved on Mendip.
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: Badlad on March 02, 2016, 03:28:09 pm
A great insight. I also enjoyed reading about Gareth in the Cave Explorers.
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: mikem on January 24, 2017, 02:10:11 pm
On Alberta Speleological Society website:
http://www.caving.ab.ca/boon (http://www.caving.ab.ca/boon)

Mike
Title: Re: Mike Boon
Post by: rhychydwr1 on October 04, 2017, 08:18:13 pm
Couple of videos and some comments!

https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=22563.msg284821;topicseen#new