Unto the Depth
|Date: 20th June 2009
Submitted by: Iain Miller
And Sho, a legion of troops crossed the distant oceans to the mighty Owey. An odd assortment, I pondered, as we made our way across on board Brother Dan's Noble Steed. The Belfast caving crew, Jock & Emma Read + the ever enthusiastic Haley. Noblest Brother Martin Bonner, Noble sister Caoimhe Gleeson and of course Oisin & Declan. (who were ready to "AVIN IT FACKIN LARGE" in the underground lake)
Tents up and the weather gods dictated the North end of the island was a goer, and sho, to the big stack seaward of Stackamillion we went. Two teams, us girlies comprising Emma, Caoimhe and myself romped up the obvious groove on the landward face of the beast. Whilst "The Men" Jock and Martin got spanked on a much, much harder potential new route on this face. Jock doing an excellent facial impression of the first male to give birth (I would imagine) as he clung to the overhung headwall. HURRA! A quick abseil/paddle/scramble/walk and we were all back at the campsite in time for Tea and medals. Stack done! DOUBLE HURRA!!
No sooner than the had the kettle boiled, thus the Cavers appeared. Wetsuits, static, headtorches, lock, stock the fackin lot and off we went to explore the lake under the lake. 6 adults and 2 children stood on the Silt beach on the shores of the under ground lake. Jock swam off followed by Oisin & myself in the wee dingy. Jock found a wee ledge to allow us to pass him and paddle in to the unknown. In the pitch dark lit only by our head torches, we paddled across this truly surreal unexplored cavern.
"Daddy?" enquired young Oisin from the back of the boat.
"Yes, son?" I replied.
"This is Fucking Awesome!" quipped my only begotten son. Now, I can't condone this sort of language from one so young but I tended to agree, given our circumstances!
Finally we came to a impasse where the boat could not go, allowing Brother Jock to continue the quest for another 50 or so metres. In this constricted chamber he found something so rare, beautiful and unique he called a retreat. He was indeed an excited bunny as we swan/paddled back across the lake. For the next hour or so a scheduled ferry service ran across the lake taking all assembled to the outer reaches of our imaginations! It was Truly Fackin Awesome boys and girls!! :-)
If it wasn't for the lack of sunshine, the perishing cold and the dirt/grot caving would be FAR a superior activity to climbing, imagine climbing a new route the length of which is dictated by the height of the cliff, compared to caving into the unknown which is potentialy infinate! Oisin now has a wetsuit and we have a few cunning plans!! :-)
Anyways, this was Saturdays activities, alas Sunday was a tad overcast and so we retreated to the mainland to make a few further cunning plans, drink tea and talk excitedly about what we truly enjoy whilst the low cloud lashed the windows.
Another truly excellent weekend!
Nice one, Noble Brother Tees for your foresight and planning, a swift return is planned for the last remaining Leviathan and to discover the resting place of Nautical Brother Bill's depth sounder! :-)