Trip Date: 28/04/18

Members Present: David Botcherby, Olly Hall, Jack Dewison, Todd Rye (MUSC)

Relaxing in the Orpheus after a fun, if not particularly taxing, day of Waterways Swallet and a walk down Dove Dale, I was feeling the need to add a bit of adventure to the evening. I remembered reading about some dug out bit of cave not far from the Orpheus earlier on. Placenta Pot, as it was called, was only 300m away, visible from the hut in daylight, and was only 27m deep. Perfect for a midnight trip.

I quickly assembled a strong team of whoever was closest, and set out towards the entrance using the GPS location on my phone (cheating I know, but the description was vague and I didn’t have a compass). It was a clear night, hardly needing torches, which was lucky because some of the party had forgotten theirs. We quickly discovered the entrance on a hillside not far away, with scrap and vegetative growth covering it implying it hadn’t been opened for a while. Not to be deterred, we opened the lid (with some difficulty), revealing a rather long fixed ladder. Despite a bit of wobble this looked safe enough, and Todd volunteered to be first.

I don’t know how it got in, but when Todd reached the bottom he disturbed a bat, which flew around the ladder while Jack was descending, making a nice visual. Discovering that my pocket could fit a beverage in without tipping too much, I followed down. The ladder gets quite close to the wall at one point, adding some mud detail to my coat that I still haven’t manged to remove. When I reached the bottom I found myself in a small muddy chamber, very close to Todd and Jack.

There looked to be a way on by our feet, but the thick mud combined with our lack of caving gear deterred us, and Jack and Todd decided to go straight back out to allow some space for Olly. Jack and Olly decided to pass each other on the ladder at its narrowest point for some reason, which was fun to watch while finishing my beverage. Olly looked rather disappointed with what he found at the bottom, so we quickly retraced our steps, slamming the quite substantial lid on the way out.

During this trip I had realised how much I needed to ‘drop off the kids’, so to speak, so I made haste back to the Orpheus for use of their very nice facilities. All in all a good midnight trip, maybe next time take an oversuit to have a peek in the end – I wonder how that bat got in!

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