• Hello From Descent

    The publication date for issue 289 is the 10th of December, meaning subscribers should receive their copies during the week leading up to that date. It is also available from caving suppliers such as Inglesport and Starless River, or from our new website

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Finally East Canal!


Well-known member
This weekend I was asked by John Gunn to replace a depth logger in Giants which I have been tending to for the past 12 months, being as attentive as a cactus farmer watering their crop. John lets me know when 3-4 months are up so I can bob down and get the device switched over. A few people have joined me on this trip, but this time I took Mendip (Wessex) Andy who seems to have migrated north for the summer.

Every time in the past twelve months the water has been up and been a pool just by the spout hall. In March John gave me a logger which would last 6 months. to place down Giants. John clearly knew something was going on down there, so sent me 2-3 months early to replace the logger.

On reaching the spout hall, I realised that the water I had come so used to had disappeared. I passed under the line for the logger I had placed in March seeing the data logger lying limply in a perched pool by my boots. I carried on, getting to the elusive zig-zag, and continuing down the straight passage towards East Canal, I disappeared into several fetid welly baths of mud slopping my way through the organic smelling silt reminiscent of the smell of either "cow Arse Worms" at the connection between JH and Far Sump Extensions, a sewage Works or as Andy put it Manor Farm Swallet.

Andy later recollected that I seemed to disappear waste deep into some of these Puddles of Liquid enema.

We finally were able to place the logger in its new location in the east canal water proper, completing the task that John set me twelve months ago, "place a logger at East Canal". Then Surveyed back upstream through the zig-zag to the old logger site and where I think a known survey point is above Spout Hall, with any luck we will have caught three survey points which are used on the peak survex project model, and therefore be able to give John Gunn an accurate measurement of the logger placements past and present.

Having attempted to give Mendip Andy Hypothermia (or surveyors shiver), we returned to re-join the round trip, with whiffs of decay wafting off my oversuit. I wallowed gleefully in the windpipe, washing off some of the smell. Later on, we passed the eyehole and found some friends in the streamway below us when we were on the traverse, some welly water which had miraculously stayed in the welly from the windpipe accidently found its way down to the streamway at the exact moment my friends were passing underneath.

All in all, a very good day! Topped off by meeting Pongo who popped into the TSG to say "Hi" and ask about Mark Wright, had a good old chinwag about all the names he knew who were still caving and some names sadly no longer with us.


Well-known member
Good old Pongo - had some good times with him and others of his generation.

Haven't seen him for decades. How is he?


Well-known member
I’m afraid I didn’t get any contact details for pongo, but did tell him the name of your company. He said he would pop back at sometime, but I’m kicking myself I didn’t take details.

Pongo was very talkative, had good things to say about quite a lot of Derbyshire cavers. And had very fond memories of caving with Pete (pb) smith, who he said was a great person to cave with, never in a rush and always made the trip fun. I asked him about the maypole inlet dig, and he said yes that was him, pb and a few others. I’m guessing the inscription “the fuhrer runs this dig” is a bit tongue in cheek!
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