Author Topic: Mike Boon  (Read 24570 times)

Offline Joe Duxbury

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Re: Mike Boon
« Reply #25 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.





Offline Badlad

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Re: Mike Boon
« Reply #26 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?

Offline Bottlebank

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Re: Mike Boon
« Reply #27 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?
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Offline paul

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Re: Mike Boon
« Reply #28 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.
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Offline bograt

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Re: Mike Boon
« Reply #29 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.
 
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Offline paul

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Re: Mike Boon
« Reply #30 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.
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Offline bograt

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Re: Mike Boon
« Reply #31 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'?
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Offline Simon Wilson

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Re: Mike Boon
« Reply #32 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.

Offline bograt

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Re: Mike Boon
« Reply #33 on: January 28, 2015, 11:02:45 pm »
I Also seem to recollect sugesting obits on Wiki !!, but---What the hell---?? :shrug:
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Offline paul

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Re: Mike Boon
« Reply #34 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.
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Offline Simon Wilson

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Re: Mike Boon
« Reply #35 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.

Offline Bottlebank

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Re: Mike Boon
« Reply #36 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


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Offline rsch

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Re: Mike Boon
« Reply #37 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

Offline Badlad

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Re: Mike Boon
« Reply #38 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.

Offline Bottlebank

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Re: Mike Boon
« Reply #39 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?
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Offline bograt

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Re: Mike Boon
« Reply #40 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!!.
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Offline Bottlebank

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Re: Mike Boon
« Reply #41 on: January 29, 2015, 03:21:51 pm »
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Offline Dolly

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Re: Mike Boon
« Reply #42 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

Offline Dolly

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Re: Mike Boon
« Reply #43 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:

Offline T pot 2

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Re: Mike Boon
« Reply #44 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

Offline Dolly

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Re: Mike Boon
« Reply #45 on: February 08, 2015, 11:47:04 am »
Seats already booked - Calgary here we come :beer2:

Offline Pegasus

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Re: Mike Boon
« Reply #46 on: May 17, 2015, 08:32:06 am »
Posted on FB today....

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



Offline rhychydwr1

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Re: Mike Boon
« Reply #47 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

The part with Mike Boon starts at 13 minutes in.


Offline ianball11

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Re: Mike Boon
« Reply #48 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.

Offline rhychydwr1

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Re: Mike Boon
« Reply #49 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



Ian Drummond



Daryl Donovan



John Donovan