This was another caving weekend set up by our friend Tim at the SWCC. These caves are bigger than those found in the Mendips, and oftenl house some beautiful features that are separated by some really sporting caving.
The first cave was Dan-yr-Ogaf, a showcave with dinosaurs and who knows what else, but it also has an abundance of fun caving beyond that. As a wet cave, this was the first time that we had to wear wet suits under our oversuit. Jess and me used our scuba suits, and my 3mm shortie worked out perfectly.
This was because we would need to wade through freezing cold water in the lakes 1,2 and 3 and the green canal. We also got wet crossing the sump into mazeways, although we just waded through as the water level was so low. Lots of left behind dive gear and sumps that lead further into the cave, it seems like some real adventures had happened here!
Another key feature of this cave is the long crawl, which believe it or not is a crawl, that’s pretty long. There is a longer crawl option but we never had a look at that. We had to do this both ways, and I’m not sure which felt longer…
The green canal was an experience in its own right. Initially Tim waded in and set off around the corner and disappeared to get more life jackets and rubber rings, these were used to help keep us afloat. As a group we all chatted star wars until he got back. Then we all donned life jackets and rubber rings and set off in a weird upright doggy paddle. One of our party was struggling a bit, but with some assistance we all made it through. It was amazing how clear the water was throughout, although this and the twists and turns of the cave was not quite enough to take your mind off how cold it was!!
After exiting the water there was a rise which lead to a wonderful collection of straws hanging from the ceiling. A chance to rest and take some photos, although not for too long as it quickly got too cold. We also walked through flabergasm oxbow, a picturesque tunnel where my pictures didn’t come out well, but a perfect sphere of pockmarked black rock gives an other dimensional feeling to this section.
On the way out we retraced our steps through the lakes and ended up back in the show cave. It felt a little bit eerie being in a tourist attraction after it had closed, a bit like a horror film, but we were soon out of the small hatch and comfortably back in the Jurassic era and strolling through the legs of a diplodocus to finish the day!