Two days of surveying

After two days of surveying Gobholo cave is 83 meter long and 24 meter deep. But this is only the beginning! I’m expecting it to be way longer, it is a formidable labyrinth of passages everywhere — the number of survey loops will be hugh! We are a small survey team of three persons working in the cave; it’s me, Manu and Sipho, one of the cave guides at Swazi Trails. Sipho is doing a great job, and I’m expecting us to gain speed in surveying soon now when we starts to learn to know each other and how to work together. Also how to work together with the instruments and the cave. The compass is a Suunto, produced to work well in Scandinavia, but Swaziland is so much closer to the equator and the angle of the earth magnetic field is not the same here, making aligning the compass quite tricky. It took almost a day to learn how to properly tilt the compass so it didn’t get stuck, so the first day’s reading might be a little unprecise, and we will probably redo the compass readings from the first 14 survey stations. Also sketching the cave is tricky, since the walls are not well defined, this cave being a boulder cave. What is a wall may a meter away turn into a ceiling for a lower passage… We plan next survey session to Friday, and we will try to be in the cave for at least five hours, with the goal of reaching the river (yes, a river in a granitic boulder cave, and not an accidental one, rather I belive it to be crucial for the formation of the cave!).

Tagged with 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title="" rel=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>