The Texas Caver

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The Texas Caver
Series Title:
The Texas Caver
Texas Speleological Association
Texas Speleological Association
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Regional Speleology ( local )
Technical Speleology ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )
United States


General Note:
Contents: Search For Cave Aboriginal Paintings / Michael Bilbo -- Polish Cave Story / Rafal Kedzierski and Pat Geery Blue Hole: A Cavern Beneath The Sea / Raymond C. Mathews Jr. -- A Versatile Gel Cell Caving light / James F. Jasek -- Couple Ties The Knot Underground / Harriette Graves -- Recent Dives In Honey Creek / John Schweyen -- Texas Cave Management Association: Cave Access Guidelines -- Sorcerer's Cave (Trip Report) / George Veni -- Age Of Speleothems (Sorcerer's Cave) / George Veni -- Fireant Relief For Urban Cave / George Veni -- Letter To The Editor -- Interesting Facts About Calcium Carbide / Frank S. Reid -- Grandpa's Catalog Compendium Of Speleo Suppliers / Mark Johnston -- The Sigma 28AF Zoom Electronic Camera/ James F. Jasek -- Minas Viejas (Trip Report) / David Herpin -- Milestone Reached At Bindseil's Well / Rick Corbell -- Book Reviews / Bill Mixon
Open Access - Permission by Publisher
Original Version:
Vol. 36, no. 05 (1991)
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See Extended description for more information.

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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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K26-04695 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.4695 ( USFLDC Handle )
11429 ( karstportal - original NodeID )
0040-4233 ( ISSN )

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90 91 92 THE TEXAS CAVER VOLUME 36, NO. S, October 1991 Seanh For Cave Aboriginal Paintings Michael Bilbo Polish Cave Story Rafal Kedzierski and Pat Geery 96 Blue Hole: A Cavern Beneath The Sea Raymond C. Mathews Jr. 99 A Versatile Gel Cell Caving light James F. Jasek 101 Couple Ties The Knot Underground Harriette Graves 102 Recent Dives In Honey Creek John Schweyen 104 Texas Cave Management Association: Cave Access Guidelines lOS Sorcerer's Cave (Trip Report) George Veni lOS Age Of Speleothems (Sorcerer's Cave) George Veni 106 Fireant Relief For Urban Cave George Veni 106 Letter To The Editor 107 Interesting Facts About Calcium Carbide Frank S. Reid 108 Grandpa's Catalog Compendium Of Speleo Suppliers Mark Johnston 110 The Sigma 28AF Zoom Electronic Camera James F. Jasek 112 Minas Viejas (Trip Report) David Herpin 112 Milestone Reached At Bindseil's Well Rick Corbell 113 Book Reviews Bill Mixon ALTERNATING FJ>ITORS This Issue Next Issue Oren Tranbarger Keith Heuss 3407 Hopecrest 1004-A Milford Way San Antonio, TX 78230 Austin, TX 78745 512-522-271G-D 512-385-7131-D 512-349-020&-N 512-462-9574-N IIAIFfONE STRIPPING: Pat Geery PROOFREADERS Bart>ara Tranbarger and Stephen Jung TEXAS CAVER LABElS: Rod Goke PRINTED BY RAINES GRAPHICS 471 Limestone Lane Driftwood, TX 78619 CAVE RESCUE: (Collect) 512-686-m34 TilE TEXAS CAVER is a bimonthly publication of the Texas I Association (TSA), an internal organization of the National Spele \ Society (NSS). Issues are published in February, April, June, ,. ugust, October, and December Send all correspondence (other than mate ial for 1be Texas Caver), subscription fees, and newsletter ext:hanges to: 11K Trus Caver, P.O. Box 8026, Austin, Texas 78713. SUBSCRIPTION for 1be Texas Caver is $15.00 per year. For Texas TSA membership is included in the subscription fee. Single or bacl issoo are available for $3.00 each by mail, post paid; $2.00 each at conven ms. ARTICLES AND MATERIAL for The Texas Caver should be sen o alternating editors listed at left. The Texas Caver openly invites artie s, trip repons, photographs (35-mm slides or any size black and white or col print on glossy paper), cave maps, equipment items, news events, cartoons 1d/or any other caving related material for publication. Deadline for sut itting material is the 15th day of the month prior to the month of publica n c COPYRIGIIT 1991 by the Texas Speleological Association. i organizations of NSS may reprint any ttem first appearing in The 'I!Xll Caver as long as proper credit is given and a copy of the nei ctter containing the material is mailed to the proper alternating editors. )ther organizations should contact the proper alternating editor about n inted materials. FRONT COVER (Andy Komensky, February 9, 1991) -The front r ; e r a reproduction of a watercolor by Andy Komensky, Carlsbad, New Andy is a park ranger at Carlsbad and is an active explorer c :Juad caves in New Mexico. 1lle painting depicts an early explorer of N e Calt viewing the Teardrop Formation. New is in Slaughter Canyor 1 outh of Carlsbad Headquarters) and is open to the public o tours conducted by the NPS. INSIDE COVER (Oren Tranbarger, June 21, 1991)-This photogrnp .. hCMl the Teardrop Formation in New taken a few hours before eting Andy (for the first time) and purchasing the: painting for the front< cr. BACK COVER (Oren Tranbarger, May 25, 1991) Kent Kelln ( Jrplll Christi) and Blaine Parish (Ingram) are standing at the rim of E ernld Sinkhole. The walls of this entrance sinkhole are green from algae, : d the ledges are favorite resting places for rattlesnakes. The TEXAS CAVER -October 1991


SEARCH FOR CAVE ABORIGINAL PAINTINGS By Michael Bilbo Cave Spedalist BLM Roswell, New Mexico Mike Bilbo and Colleagues are completing documentation of the New C a v e Pictograph Site, Carlsbad Caverns N a t ional Monument, New Mexico. Ti!e site was brought to our attention b y Ron Kerbo. Subsequent investiga t i o n revealed approximately 45 pictogr:.phs at a location well within the d;.'ic zone of the cave. The style of art i : typically Archaic, which may date ;J. from 6000 BC to 300 AD. If (: ;; i s the case, then the site may be t earliest known true cave (or deep c e as opposed to open shelter) painti .S documented in North America. The research at New Cave has .duced questions on the significance m e or deep-cave art in the Western rnisphere, and before any results are 1lished on investigations, suggesting that the New Cave site is one of the few true cave painting sites in the Americas and perhaps one of the earli est, it is necessary to review all instances of true cave art to determine if it is unique and significant or if it is one of few. Currently, there are only two other documented caves in North America containing aboriginal art: Mud Glyph Cave in Tennessee and Arrow Grotto in Feather Cave, New Mexico. Three (and possibly four) other caves containing deep-cave or dart-zone art have been documented in Mexico and Central America, these being Naj Tunich, Tunichil Muknal and one near Chichen Itza with the first six letters of the name being Juxtla. Two other caves in South America with true cave Two Of The Aboriginal Pictographs In The Dark Zone Of New Cave (Oren Tranbarger June 1991) Th 'IEXAS CAVER -October 1991 art have also been mentioned. Information would be appreciated from the caving community throughout the Americas (Canada to the tip of South America) on aboriginal paintings found within the dart zones of caves, both documented and undocumented. Drawings, sketches, photographs, and reports would be helpful. Information on art found in twilight or light transitional areas as well as areas near cave entrances also will be important to the study. Since the nature of rock-art sites is sensitive and subject to vandalism, no locational information will be pub lished. Big dots will be placed on a map of the Americas to show distnbution of sites. The dots would cover hundreds of square miles or kilometers so that the exact location of a site would be impossible to fmd (Continued on p. 114) 91


NEW CAVE DISCOVERY POLISH CAVE STORY By Rafal Kedzierski and Pat Geery Searching for caves constitutes a small yet important part of the Colorado Bend State Part Project. This is a story of a cave that swvived the onslaughts of many search parties Wlti1 March 1991 when it began to yield its secrets to the world. It is a story of discovery and explcrotion by Polish and Tews cavers of an enchanting 164-foot deep cavern known as Polish Cave. February trips are cold at Colorado Bend State Part and this evening was no exception when Donna Anderson Don Denton, Rafal and Wojciech Kedzierski emerged from Gomum Creek Crevice, an almost 2,{)00-foot long crawlway, after a 12-hour trip. They surveyed 200 feet of virgin cave and were definitely tired of small passages. While massaging his muscles, Wojciech mentioned his wish -finding a big, nicely decorated cave close to the part road. "Not in Colorado Bend" was the majority's answer. Back then nobody expected that soon Wojciech's dream would become a reality, found only 40 feet from the part road. Discovery and Exploration sinkhole was located in the middle of a jungle of junipers a few feet away from a small arroyo. This did not spell a big cave, but Rafal and Wojciech removed several boulders anyway, and within 15 minutes there was enough space for Rafal to squeeze through. With his dim light, he saw a passage leading to the lip of a pit, so they returned to the campsite for reinforcements. An hour later after removing the main obstacle in the fonn of a large boulder, Keith Heuss, Rafal and Wojciech stood at the lip enjoying the sound made by rocks tossed into the pit. Keith men tioned something about this being "the biggest thing I have ever seen in Colo rado Bend." But since they did not have a rope with them they exited and returned to the campsite to arouse curiosity in the next group of cavers. The two most agitated Pat Geery and Terry Holsinger, prepared their vertical gear for this new adventure. After descending the 25-foot drop, they found themselves at the lip of another pit. They rappelled the 60-foot drop and were impressed by its spaciousness. They got off rope in a large walking crevice with ceiling heights up to 60 feet. Terry explored the down-sloping crevice passage approximately 50 feet to fmd a third pit, while Pat was having just as much fun with the beautifully decorated upper third leveL At the entrance, Tracy Van Eps, Raf a Wojciech, Jim Wolff, and Ed Young listened for any news from below After several hours, Pat and Te decided that this was enough for o n e evening and ascended with large smile s on their faces. The March trip to the park was concentrated on locating new caves above Gonnan Cave, the longest and most spacious cave in the park. Early in the morning, Wojciech separated from the group and reappeared later to report fmding a small sinkhole Rafal joined him to investigate the fmd. The Wojdech Kedzierski In The Entrance Of Polish Cave The Day Of Discovery (Rafal Kedzierski) 92 The TEXAS CAVER -October 1991 The night was not yet over, ani discussion about the cave continued c the campfire until 3 a.m. Terry d t scnbed the cave with one wor.' primo, and that was a big complimer:. considering the source. The nam "Polish Cave was also born then, th result of pleas from Colorado Ben cavers directed toward Rafal an Wojciech to christen the newly disco ered cave with something in Polis their native language. Since words are hard to pronounce, the wor: "Polish" itself seemed to be a goo. compromise. The name stuck. Two weeks later a team consisti1 1 of Carolyn Biegert, Butch Fralia, ar: old-timers Pat, Keith, Rafal ar. Wojciech started the weekend by ii, fonning the ranger of the possib usefulness of his 400-foot rope if tl. cave kept on going in this style. F e now, cavers satisfied themselves wi; Butch's 200-foot rope and an additio n l()(Hoot rope for the last pit. TI group surveyed the flrst and seem: : pits as well as the crevice passage v the third pit. Butch descended tJ,


R !I Kedzierski Starting The 60-foot U > To The Third Level (Wojdecb 1\ .ierski) tl i drop to fmd himself 164 feet b w the entrance. He reported see i r a crevice passage going to the S! 1 Everybody exited the cave a n d sunset The April trip to the park gave a_ 11er chance to explore leads, so a g consisting of Carolyn, Pat, Rafal, V : iech, Gary Neely, and Jim did not n the opportunity. Gary and Jim d to the second level, and a removing several rocks, found a 1 >Ot pit leading to a small room, 1 Slammer. From The Slammer, a It \ ead goes southeast and a second l c heads south toward unknown parts o e cave. Meanwhile, Pat was ex-p n g a lead off the second pit that h ould later call the Northern Wild ess. It was a walking passage p 1sely decorated with soda straws, d eries, flowstone, and even format i . that resemble saguaro cactus and c e guard towers. Carolyn, Rafal, a Wojciech revisited the third level i r r der to photograph the beautiful f c ations in the Flowstone Maze and A v e Rooms. Everyone exited after h : :1g more than the average enjoya L time. The May caving trip was cut short b y o interesting archeological seminar, b u a team consisting of Pat, Rafal, V.-/o :ciech, and John Langevin fmished a g eat deal of surveying on the second ant third levels. John enjoyed the cave tremendously, and took several multiflash slides. The June trip was the last one of the season. Pat, Rafal. Wojciech, and Amy Mercer fmished surveying the Northern Wilderness, the access to which proved to be quite sporting. After rappelling 10 feet into the second pit, there is a one-foot ledge which allows the rack to be exchanged for a top belay. While the ledge widens to two feet as it ascends at a 45-degree angle, it changes from rock to slippery mud that slopes toward the 20x40-foot pit, which is 50 feet deep. One at a time, please! Pat was able to set an additional handline so that the others might feel more secure. Still, hearing loose debris fall to the bottom of the pit while traversing this ledge is heart stopping. Having been once, some may never feel the need to go back. Once inside, everyone agreed that this is the most delicate part of the cave, and again everyone praised the great sport of caving. The team also started the exploration of Jim's Lead, named for Jim Wolff who found it during the April trip. A small keyhole on the first level opened up into a narrow crevice partially decorated with flowstone. One of the passages from Jim's Lead loops back to the first pit, another is a 20-foot pit that goes into uncharted territory. The exploration of the pit was postponed because a large unstable rock was hanging dangerously just above the lip. But in the future, we will return, that is a promise! Geology One of the most interesting features of the cave is the way it was formed. It was fairly easy to deduct that the third level of the cave was created because of fault tensions that caused two rock faces to move apart, creating a two-foot wide crevice. Later this was modified slightly by sediments that were dissolved out by water in some places. The upper levels (first and second) were formed by dripping water flowing along weak zones created by the fault underneath. Another question that remained to be answered was why the third level survives with very little sediment accumulations. The most reasonable explanation was born during a campftre discussion. It was suggested that the faulting on the third level occurred in many places, but such crevices reached the surface and were easily filled with sediments. The airspace in Polish Cave was protected by a rock layer that did not break all the way to the surface, preventing the third level from being filled. This theory has been most effective so far in explaining the size and depth of Polish Cave. The fault that the cave is located on may also be related to Gorman Cave, because Polish Cave lies on the extension of Gorman Cave 1,400 feet south from the sump in Gorman. There is high probability that the (Continued on p. 1U) Amy And Pat Surveying In The Northern Wilderness (Wojdecb Kedzierski) The TEXAS CAVER -October 1991 93


94 Oue-nttssence Room 0 2 4 Plan 12 J, I Polish Cave 16 San Saba County, Texas TSS ID # 233 Suunto & Tape Survey March 23, April 13, May 11, June 9, 1991 Carolyn Biegert Butch Fralia Pat Geery Keith Heuss Terry Holsinger Wojciech Kedzierski Rafal Kedzierski John Langevin Amy Mercer Gary Neely Jim Wolff Drafted by Pat Geery September 10, 1991 The TEXAS CAVER -October 1991 20 Ftet


20 40 I I 80 100 120 140 1C.O t Quintessence Room i 1 C.4 :., Unexplored Extended Profile Polish Cave San Saba County, Texas TSS ID # 233 ___________________ ___. Th TEXAS CAVER-October 1991 95


BLUE HOLE: A CAVERN BENEA TI-l TI-lE SEA By Raymond C. Mathews Jr. (NSS 14886) A dive into the Blue Hole is an adventure in the Caribbean into the clear, blue, waters of a sinkhole. The hole was formed by the coUapse of the ceiling of a vast cavern located in the center of a tropical atoll many miles off the coast of Belize. These wann productive seas have resulted in the growth of enausting coral on the cave's stalactites and stalagmites Geological events associated with the lowering of the sea level during the ice age are linked to the formation of the cavern .system and its subsequent submersion beneath the depths of the ocean. The Blue Hole appears as a crystal blue jewel in a colorful maze of coral reefs. (Photograph Jimmie C. Smith, Copyright 1988 by Islands From The Sky, Houston Used with permission. All rights reserved.) The BLUE HOLE, a vast cavern ous sinkhole beneath the sea, was cre ated about 15,000 years ago during a Pleistocene glacial epoch. It was explored by Jacques Cousteau during an expedition in 1970 after fishermen reported a deep hole in the middle of a coral reef off the coast of Belize. From the air, it looks like a meteorite struck the earth where this isolated atoll lies in the azure blue Caribbean waters. Surrounded by a shallow green sea alive with colorful corals and spon ges, the cerulean water of the Blue Hole descends to a depth of 428 feet The deep blue circular depression in the center of the reef is more than 1,000 feet in diameter. As our boat entered one of only two narrow passag-96 es on the northern rim, the immense size of this geologic structure became immediately apparent A feeling of being captured in another dimension struck me as the bottom essentially dropped out from under us while glid ing across this deep expanse of reef cavern complex which cast hues ranging between green and violet in the spectrum. Nowhere else on the planet has nature created such a unique sculp ture of limestone and coral, merging two usually distinct natural features of oceans and caves. WORLDS WNGEST UNBROKEN CORAL REEF To fully appreciate the environ ment in which the Blue Hole exists, a deeper understanding of the isolation The TEXAS CAVER October 1991 LITTLE BIG NORTHERN /). ... J 1(/ ,:: : v \ \ :-.'....._ BLUE HOLE X \ \ '._1:.; ''J . 1 J00 I HALF MOON CAY NAT'.9NAL MONUMENT /

oj)air of banded butterfly fish swim through this colorful setting of gorgonian and sponges on Lighthouse Reef. (Ray Mathews Jr.) down the strip. We then switched a 50-foot charter dive boat, the Reef amer II, operated by Out Island vers, which took another kind of toll our stomachs until we got our sea : ;s. It took another eight hours of unding through rough seas and wea) g through a myriad of islands and 1llow reefs to get to the Blue Hole. ; e Belize barrier reef system is the largest in the world, and it is longest unbroken reef of living :ral. Coral reefs extend almost 140 lies and contain a spectacular array coral caves that provide habitat for any organisms such as the "sleeping 1rse sharks" and longspine squirrel h Three of the four major atolls in e Western Hemisphere are located in An atoll is a ring-shaped coral ef or a string of closely spaced small ral islands, enclosing or nearly en Jsing a shallow lagoon. The Blue ole is on the Lighthouse Reef, one of :1ree major atolls located within the barrier reef system. : < 0 WILDLIFE A TOLL? Although many people consider 'Tiall, isolated, offshore, tropical land ,,.Jasses that just barely rise above sea :.:vel to be deserted places, each atoll r;as several small islands, or cayes. T h eir lagoonal mangrove swamps, beaches, palm trees, and shrubs p rovide habitat for colonial nesting watertowl, shore birds and reptiles. The sandy beaches are composed of particles of coral that have been digest ed by coral-eating fishes, such as the parrot fish. These fish eat the coral polyp and discharge the now-buoyant skeletal remains that are then washed ashore. Among the island dwellers is the magnificent frigate bird that nests in colonies in the bushes and low trees. High in the tropical sky, the long, black, angular silhouette of the magnificent frigate bird's six-foot wingspan give it an ominous elegance. A booby bird sanctuary on Half Moon Caye is a beautiful place to watch the birds. With these sea birds is an ungainly creature living in and around the crowns and branches of gumbolimbo trees, the iguana. Each iguana guards its own private shelter and sundeck, where it spends much of the day sun basking. It forages both on the ground and up in the trees, eating everything from plant material to small birds and bats. Iguanas have cryptic coloration designed to camouflage and conceal. As they grow older they transform into the colors of the underbrush and trees, with bands looking much like shadows. This coloration will lighten or darken according to temperature and activity. Iguanas are very good swimmers, in case you are wondering how they got so far out to sea. The TEXAS CAVER -October 1991 We spent our frrst night anchored along the island shoreline of Light house Reef. "Bambino," the Mayan Indian divemaster on our charter dive boat, informed us that we were welcome to take our sleeping bags on the island and spend the night there, a thought that seemed very appealing to me. Later that night, after listening to many sea stories from all sides, Bambino informed us that he had recently seen a large saltwater croco dile swimming along the shore and wandering across the island. Saltwater crocodiles are the largest reptiles in the world, some measuring 23 feet and weighing over a ton, complete with cryptic smile. They often drag their victims underwater to drown them and reportedly sometimes even wedge them under coral reef ledges until they are more easily dismembered. Since they prey on creatures too large to swallow whole and since they cannot chew, per se, they must tear their meals into handy mouthfuls. The great white shark horror stories sounded tame after listening to these crocodile tales. Both Quentin and I agreed that we would not only sleep on the boat, but on the upper deck with a dive knife between our teeth The maverick fish-eating bats, represented by the Mexican bulldog bat, also are found in Belize. Its elon gated hind legs come equipped with long, sharp claws with which this lowflyer snatches small fish from just below the surface of the water. It then carries its prey to a tree where, upsidedown from a branch, it quickly dissects the fish, storing pieces in cheek-pouch es evolved especially for this purpose. ORIGIN AND GEOLOGY OF SUBTERRANEAN CAVERNS There are probably more subter ranean caverns in Belize than anywhere else in the world. These huge caverns formed when freshwater flowed through the limestone deposits, which also are the skeletal remains of ancient coral, algae, and shellfish. These caverns are the result of geologic deposition and sculpturing during the Pleisto cene glacial epoch, which spanned a period from three million to ten thou sands years ago. A series of approxi mately nine glacial episodes occurred during the Pleistocene resulting in alternating periods of dry cave develop ment and inundated reef development 97


During glaciation, enormous quantities of seawater were frozen in the ice sheets, causing the sea level to drop more than 350 feet in some cases. Caves formed during these glacial episodes in the exposed limestone strata in the same manner that caves are created elsewhere, e.g., by tt}e dissolution of limestone through the acidic and erosional processes of water seeping and flowing through cracks and crevasses. The ancient limestone de posits in which the Belizian caves formed are nearly 6,000 feet thick, and accumulated over a period of about 70 million years. Since coral reefs grow at approximately one inch per century or roughly one foot per thousand years, the 428-foot limestone through which the Blue Hole cavern formed is about 400 thousand years old. The present day Belizian reefs formed when the ice sheets melted about 15,000 years ago and tropical seas again covered these limestone strata. Since then, the roof of one huge cavern collapsed locally to form the sinkhole known as the Blue Hole. Lighthouse, Glover, and Turneffe atolls remain a geologic frontier in their origin and development. We do know that none of the coral atolls originated from volcanic activity as they often do in the Pacific; instead, the rock composition suggests that they are a result of the movements of huge fault blocks, some moving vertically and others moving horizontally!. As a result, impressive submarine canyons formed with drop-offs exceeding 10,000 feet. Wall dives over these near-fath omless depths are adrenaline-producing experiences. Huge sharks and pelagic fishes forage along the productive can yon walls, providing a unique spectacle of life forms. DESCENT INTO THE BLUE HOLE By any measure, a dive into the Blue Hole's cavern of stalactites and stalagmites makes an extraordinary diving adventure. Because maintaining proper orientation is very important in any submerged cavern system, we listened intently as our divemaster told us to stay close to the wall on the descent until it crested at 45 feet and angled back inward to a depth of about 90 feet before proceeding vertically to 140 feet where a passageway extends below the reef. Because bottom time is limited on a dive of this depth, Quentin and I coordinated so that we would descend simultaneously as fast as possible. In that way we could spend more time on the bottom of the cave during our eight-minute no-decompression stay. Dives that deep entail severe physiolog ical hazards, not to mention other hazards posed by the cave environ ment. Nitrogen narcosis can cause The feathery gills of this tube worm in front of the smooth star coral shows the contrast between the delicate and rigid components of the reef ecosystem. (Ray Mathews Jr.) 98 The TEXAS CAVER October 1991 light-headedness resulting from the supersaturation of nitrogen gas under intense water pressures, and ascending too rapidly can produce an embolism in which gases in the bloodstream expand under reduced pressures. Every experienced diver carefully con-. .siders and plans for prevention of these potentially lethal events. The initial descent into this dimlylit domain produced streams of adrenalin flowing through my body. However, as we dropped beneath a ledge at 100 feet, I could see that the overhang formed a cavern ceiling for coral-cov ered stalactites more than 3 feet in diameter and up to 20 feet in length. Suddenly, a feeling of calm fascinatio n with this immersion in a natural under reef cavern outstripped all other sensa tions. Along the north wall of the Blue Hole, a narrow cave floor about 50 fee t below the crest of the ceiling collec t s fallen stalactites and sediments. While drifting leisurely along the bottom o f the cavern at 150 feet, I could see tha t the dimly-lit walls of the cavern wer e covered by a variety of fllamento green algae, boring sponges, and encru sting worms. Sharks, turtles, and re e f fishes reportedly enter the Blue Hole but do not maintain residence there. I continued limited penetration o f one dark passage that led to an unex plored portion of the cavern. Alont. the way I picked up a segment of < broken stalactite from the floor. L bore a close resemblance to anoth e ; saltwater cave phenomena that I inves tigated many years ago from an inlan( cave on Grand Bahama Island. AI though it is an inland cave, it hydrolo g ically communicates with the ocean The similarity was striking. Just lik the speleothems from the their cross sections had a tree rin[ appearance. By using radiocarbon anc' thorium-uranium dating on th Bahamian samples, I found that thes rings represent intermittent growtl phases of a cavern system and a n affected by the alternating terrestri a and submerged conditions from the ice agel. Obviously, the Blut Hole stalactites had formed alonr similar profiles influenced by sea !eve: fluctuations linked to the ice age phc: nomena. Understanding the geo-ecolo gy of cavern systems allows for an enriching cave experience. (Continued on p. 111)


[ EQUIPMENT ----------------J A VERSA TILE GEL CELL CAVING LIGHT Since our eyes are unable to funct in total darkness, we need a -1rce of artificial illumination to light way through caves. More fre : ntly, cavers are turning to the elec light for most of their caving, al ugh the carbide lamp still holds a y important place as a reliable light lrce. This article provides informa on building an inexpensive, rugged, able, compact, and bright electric :;11re 1. Battery And Connection c eptacle (Jasek) 1 e light. The system uses parts of a s uite electric head lamp, a 6-volt Gel II, and a simple trickle charger to the battery. Together, these ; o items cost less than $30. Any elec i c head lamp that accepts the minia i' e screw base bulb will be suitable r the system. I personally prefer the S trite because it is made of metal 1 d will last for years. The one I have : s operated for 1 e r 20 years and by James F. Jasek Figure 2 Filament Wrap And Receptacle Mount (Jasek) will work with the Gel cell. The two main bulbs are the 31 and the 605. The higher the current drain, the brighter the light. The 605 bulb draws 0.5 amps and will provide the brightest light and two hours of burn time for every ampere hour (Ah) the battery is rated. A 6-Ah battery will provide 12 hours of light using the 605 bulb. The lower-rated 31 bulb will provide more hours of light from a given battery, but as seen from the table, this bulb would not be as bright as the 605. 1f a lot of light is not de manded, then the 31 would be a good choice for longer cave trips. The 31 and 605 are the normal round-shaped bulbs generally preferred. The 40 and 46 bulbs are tubular in shape rather than round. These two bulbs can be BULB RATINGS used for long burn times underground. The 40 bulb only draws 0.15 amps and will burn for many long hours, but would be very dim. The 46 bulb draws slightly more current, and is somewhat brighter. Since the Justrite can be Figure 3. Beldoop Hooks And Duct Tape Wrap (Jasek) focused, the tubular bulb should not be any problem. There is also a 1-A Halogen bulb available as a miniature screw base bulb. This would be the brightest bulb possible, but it would only provide one hour per Ah burn time. A 6-Ah bat tery would give 6 hours of light. The old still in good J n dition. Be \use the Gel cell .:q uires 6 volts, 1is limits the : u mber of bulbs Lamp Voltage Current Ule Candle Power Bulb standby bulbs like the 502, 27, and 425 are all 5-volt bulbs and should not work on a 6volt Gel cell, al though, I know some cavers who have been using a 425 bulb on 6-volt Gel cells without l a t can be used c;ith the battery. T h e table at right shows bulbs that Number 31 60S 40 46 6.15 6 .10 6.30 6.30 (Amps) (hours) (Foot Candles) Shape 0.30 15 2 0 Globular 0.50 15 3.4 Globular 0.15 3000 052 Tubular 0.25 3000 0.90 Tubular The TEXAS CAVER -October 1991 99


Figure 4. Justrite Replacement Cord (Jasek) early burnout. The Gel cell is a 6-volt lead acid battery in which the acid is in gel fonn. The battery is sealed and will never give any problems even when used underwater. The cell can be recharged countless times to reduce battery cost A simple 05-A trickle charger or a 6volt car battery charger can be used to recharge the Gel cell The trickle charger looks like a battery eliminator used with a small stereo and requires 14 hours to recharge the battery. Bob and Bob sells a simple trickle charger for less than $10. The trickle charger can be left on the battery for a week at a time without damaging the battery. This way the battery can be left on the charger all the time so that it will be fully charged when needed. The Gel cell is fully charged when the tenninal voltages reaches 7.12 volts. Just charg ing the battery to 6 volts is not enough for full charge. You should own a small voltmeter, available at Radio Shack for a few dollars, so you can properly recharge the battery. If a 6volt battery charger is used, monitor the battery tenninal voltage during recharging to prevent overcharging and damage to the battery. attach two short wires to a standard 110-volt female plug (item 2) as Figure 1 shows. Attach a solderless quick disconnect (item 1) on each wire by using a crimping tool. If a crimping tool is not available, use a pair of wire cutters. Be sure to color code the female plug so you will know which side goes to the positive tenninal of the battery. Red is the nonnal color for positive. By using a voltmeter, the polarity of the voltage can be deter mined after the battery has been wrapped with tape. The Gel cell is a very powerful battery and can deliver high current in the event of a short A short circuit on a cave trip could result in the wires being burned to a crisp, and the caver might get a burn. It is possible to place a circuit breaker between the positive tenninal and the female plug. The tripper can stick out of the battery so that the circuit can be reset in case of a short. By insulating the tenninals and using a heavy gauge wire the danger of a short will be minimized. After the battery has been con nected to the female plug, the next step is to wrap the battery using filament tape. Place the plug on the side of the battery as shown in Figure 2. Putting the plug on the side of the battery keeps the cord from snagging easily in the cave Use filament tape to: (2) wrap the battery in all directions; and (2) attach two beltloop hooks (item 4 ) from a military canteen cover on th e battery. Figure 3 shows the mountin g position of the hooks. When the hooks are secure and cannot move, wrap th e battery using black duct tape (item 5 ) to complete the battery pack. Use r. number of layers for protection sinc e cave walls will wear the tape thin at th e corner. I use the military hooks on battery because I was tired of the ba t tery snagging on every small projectio n sticking out of the walls. I used t c simply put the Gel cell in an Arm} ammo pouch I found that the pouct seems to stick out so far that I was always snagging the pouch in the cave (Continued on p. 114) The first step in construction is to Figure S. Battery With Charger (Jasek) 100 The TEXAS CAVER -October 1991


And Debbie Sawyer A wedding, caveman style in the Caverns of Sonora ilat describes the June 29, 1991 maniage ceremony of J ebbie Whitaker of Lubbock and Bill Sawyer, a former 3rownwood resident. After meeting at Fort Stanton Cave in New Mexico, h e two decided in early June that nothing would do but to ,yed 146 feet underground. The wedding occurred in the '\uditorium Room in the natural setting of the cave. "Our C hurch of Christ preacher, Don Jones, performed the service, tying in the wonders of nature with the ceremony. J ur families and friends went down in the cave to join us," D ebbie Sawyer said "The preacher told us it was the first time he had ever performed a ceremony in a cave." "People have wondered why anyone would want to m arry in a cave. The two of us met while spelunking," she said, explaining that spelunking is exploring the under g round. Debbie's parents, Pat and James Copeland of Brown wood, voiced no objections to their daughter's out-of-the o rdinary wedding. "My mother is also a spelunker, and it was she who introduced Bill to me," Debbie said. The romance started on February 9, 1991, when a g roup of spelunkers got together at Fort Stanton Cave and Sawyer was in the crowd. "'Bill, this is my daughter, Debbie,' my mother said, and that was all it took," Debbie laughed. "In that first exploration, we all spent 13 hours caving. COUPLE TIES THE KNOT UNDERGROUND By Harriette Graves (Used With Permission From Brownwood Bulletin, August 5, 1991.) It was just magic at the very start -love at flf'St sight," she said. 'We were a group of happy people, since we all love the same thing. A cave is such a beautiful place some thing that God created, not man." "Caving isn't always easy. Sometimes, there's barely enough space to crawl. I remember the flf'St time caving with Bill and how we laughed with the others, encouraging one another through the cave." "Even though the weather was extremely cold that day in February, the friendships were very warm and lasting," she said. After that flf'St caving experience, Bill and Debbie spent as much time together as their jobs would allow. He works at Sonora Caverns, and his wife, the 115-lb spelunker, is a cross-country truck driver on an 18-wheeler. Bill Sawyer is a guide at Sonora Caverns, a job he started two months after meeting Debbie. For their honeymoon, the couple decided to go above ground and travelled through Mexico. After this month, 28-year-old Debbie Sawyer will retire with 10 years of trucking behind her. "I'm going to become a wife, mother to my daughter, 8-year-old Amanda, and help my husband at Sonora Caverns." "I wil never get tired of caving. It's exhilarating, fascinating, and satisfying," she said. TSA WINTER MEETING January 31 February 2, 1992 Plans are being made this weekend for the TSA winter meeting. Seminars or classes (five sessions) will be conducted on surveying and map making procedures. The seminars will be held at a convenient place (warm) in San Saba. The winter meeting will be a learning experience in actual caves, and is intended to train and get more cavers involved in map making, which is a key element in the caver-la.'ldowner relationship. Arrangements are still pending on a new location (for most cavers) in San Saba County that is really an exceptional place. POWELL'S CAVE February 21-23, 1992 These are the dates for the next survey trip to Powell's Cave. This will be a good time to apply the experience gained at the TSA winter meeting in surveying. Trips to Powell's Cave occur on the fourth weekend during the months of October, February, and June. Arrangements for the trip should be made through Terry Holsinger, 512-445-7340. The TEXAS CAVER October 1991 101


RECENT DIVES IN HONEY CREEK By John Schweyen Cueva Cheve, Oaxaca, Mexico March 1989 It was early evening. Cavers were mill ing around the campfire area, foraging for the next meal and getting restless for a fire as chill air filled the llano. Things were winding down, and there was post-expedition chatter: travel arrangements, stopping points on the way back north, this spring's results, next spring's prospects, and what would be going on in the interim period. Mark Minton had pulled out a multi colored line plot of Honey Creek Cave and was reviewing potential leads. It looked like a rectilinear maze. At the far southwest comer of the cave were a couple of sumps that might lead to a major extension. The problem was they were sort of remote, about 4 kilo meters from the artificial entrance. I expressed interest in helping out with a dive, and we agreed to get a trip to gether later that year when the water levels were low. Honey Creek Cave August S, 1989 I had heard from reliable sources that the shaft entrance of Honey Creek Cave had some unusual rigging. What it really has is a poor man's elevator, powered by a farm tractor, with a rated capacity of four cavers with duffels. Hanging above the narrow shaft with several other people, I noticed that there was no emergency stop button. It was too late to object though be cause we were already descending. If anyone snagged, we would all be in for an epic descent. At the bottom of the pit, we un clipped from the rope and waited for the next group. On the support team for the dive were Wayne Bockleman, Mary Thiesse, Mark Minton, Bill Steele, Don Morley, Don Denton, and Terry Holsinger, enough people that we could take turns hauling the dive duffels. After the others arrived, we took a head and pack count and started wading upstream through deep, gin102 clear, 70-degree water. Most of the duffels were buoyant, and bobbed up and down in the wakes of the Sherpas, attached by tethers. It was a far cry from caving in the northeast, where continual submersion in deep water could lead to hypothermia. I didn't know how to act in a warm cave, so I just followed the others with an open mind. We turned up the Boneyard Pas sage. Some people continued to drag their packs behind them as we started losing depth, occasionally sloshing through mud and crawling over rim stone dams and jagged rocks. A few of my new homemade equipment duffels were already showing signs of runway rash from being dragged around. This would be a good shake-out trip. Up ahead, the passage was turning into an obstacle course. Mark Minton stopped to adjust his pack straps at the start of the Boneyard Crawl. I bent my head down towards the floor and looked through a jagged bedding plane. Damn ... so much for walking passage. An hour later we were back off our stomachs and wading through a dark, organic-smelling mud. Just as I was feeling good about staying reasonably clean, the ceiling dropped. The next thing I knew, we were sala mandering through the stuff up to our necks. The quad-busting stoopways that followed marked the approach to the sump. It was about time. The ensolite padding that peeked out through the holes in my duffels looked like hamburger, and it wouldn't be much longer before the dive gear start ed falling out. Four kilometers from the en trance, we arrived at the beach and unpacked what we had. The support crew had gotten spread out over the last couple of hours, and it wasn't until twenty minutes later that the last of them showed up. Bill Steele brought up the rear, carrying his stuff plus a tank he inherited from a couple of The TEXAS CAVER October 1991 people who remembered they had other things to do. He sat down and examined the tank pack. "Hey John, your duffel had a blow-out." Puzzled by his choice of words, I went over to examine the hole. He wasn't kidding. One whole side had split apart, creating an extra open ing through which the duffel was giving birth to an ensolite-swaddled SCUBA tank. .. sideways. Mark Minton had a needle and thread with him and of fered to make repairs. He asked Steele what had happened to the others. Bill shrugged, "Oh, just the usual: can't keep their lights on, don't know how to move, and don't know where they're going." I fmished kitting up ---twin Acurex bottles at 100 cubic feet apiece 600 feet of guideline, buoyancy com pensator, etc. It was probably mor e than I would need, but we had decide c to go for broke. If I didn't ge. through, this would likely be the lasi dive in this area. Burdened with 9 C pounds of kit, I slithered into the mud dy water and groveled my way the sump. Mark followed to show m r where the dive started. We hooked t ( the left and started wading througl deep water again. Up ahead was lov airspace. I put my mask on and wen through, coming up in a small room. Further on, the ceiling dipped dowr again. I held my breath, bounced for ward through the water, and stopped Mark was shouting something. backed up and found that we hac passed the last survey station. Wt quickly tied the line off near the ceil ing, and I disappeared underwater. Seconds later, I emerged from the cloud of silt that we had stirred up and cruised through a 5-foot diamete i borehole. A deep layer of mud coatec the floor, so I fmned along the ceiling Up above, small air pockets reflected light back toward the bottom and walls One of them stretched into the dis tance. I swam up to it and slowly stuck my head out of the water. They were right --the sumps at Honey Creek were short, and this one was less than 40 feet long. I bounced forward on tht tips of my fms until I could walk. With no beach in sight, I continued through deep water in full kit, occasionally swimming through the deep sections and enjoying unlimited visibility.


THE NSS CONVENnON IN TEXAS, 1994 A Modeat Proposal from the TOTR, Wimberley It has been proposed that Texas submit a bid to host the 1994 National Speleological Society Convention. Sunday morning a resolution was passed to form a Convention Committee. Officers were elected and volunteers signed up for the committee. Ideas were tossed around, plans were made for a second meeting, and a deadline for site selection was set. Ron Ralph and Jay Jorden are the co-chairmen of the committee. Donna Anderson is the secretary. A subcommittee was created to select a site for the proposed convention. The contact is Carl Ponebshek and the members are Bruce Anderson, Martha Meachum, Blake Harrison, Gill Ediger, Peter Strickland and Jon Cradit. A second meeting will be held at Colorado Bend State Park on December 14, 1991. The final site selection will be made at the TSA winter business meeting February 1-2, 1992. This meeting is tentatively planned to be held near San Saba. Details will be published in the December issue of The Texas Caver. The first phase of this very large project is to select a site. If you have a suggestion for a convention site, which is suitable for a crowd of 1300 for this week-long event, a planning guide is available to assist you in researching and communicating with the site-selection subcommittee. To send for your convention planning guide, write to: Convention Central, 300 W. Mockingbird Lane, Austin, Texas 78745; or call (512) 441-0050 or 441-3500. Thank you in advance for your support of this proposal. The Ideal NSS Convention Site should have . Indoor, air-conditioned facilities in one or a group of adjacent buildings that include: an auditorium seating 1300 (for the photo salon); a small auditorium seating 500 (for larger sessions); a banquet hall seating 1300; several meeting rooms seating 75 to 150 (for small sessions and meetings); a gym or other high-ceilinged room (for the climbing contest and vertical training); plus rooms for exhibits, registration and the convention office, and indoor vendors. A cafeteria or lunchroom serving inexpensive breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, and a snack-bar open all day. A large, immediately adjacent, shady field where 1100 can camp with nearby toilets and showers, expendable turf, a nice stream and swimming hole, a secluded spot on the water for the traditional hot tub, and no close neighbors. Adjacent inexpensive dorm or motel rooms for perhaps 150 members who don't want to camp. Numerous great caves within a short drive. An adjacent site where the Howdy Party, a noisy "booze-it-up" with a band, can be held. Obviously, the NSS convention is a hard group to accommodate, and compromises are always required. For instance, at the 1991 convention, the photo salon and banquet were held in a fieldhouse using folding chairs and tables, the water was a muddy little creek, driving and fires weren't permitted in the campground, showers were three hundred yards away, and the Howdy Party was several miles away with bus transportation provided. jay Jorden, Co-Chairman 'fr (H) 214-398-9272 Ron Ralph, Co-Chairman 'fr (H) 512-441-0050, (W) 512-389-4663


A couple of hundred feet from Sump 1, the passage turned a comer at a deep pool. I swam along the surface again, but quickly turned around and r e treated. It was another sump. I found a :;uitable tie-off, anchored the guideline, : m d descended down along the ceiling. ; r was only a 5-foot duck-under. I ,couted ahead in full kit to check for sump before ditching my gear .t a mud bank. It was a crude comass and pace survey as I followed the 1 a ter downstream through an 8-foot ; ide stoopway. Several hundred feet o m Sump 2, I could hear water run ing in the distance. Yuk, yuk. If the dling held up, I might get to walk trough some of this. Further on, the 1ream poured over a couple of short : eps before disappearing through a ile of breakdown. At the top of the ; toke, a small, dark void peered down etween the rocks. A brief excavation xed that, and I was soon walking trough an upper level that was 15 feet X>ve the stream. Thirty feet from the reakdown pile, the floor dropped way down a steep mud slope. A large x:k near the lip of the drop teetered ack and forth under my weight. I ilecked my watch. It was getting late. : o t wanting to mess with this alone, t d without seeing what was at the ottom of the drop, I headed back to 1 y gear. I reached the others after a 1 ree-hour absence. They were already cold, so we quickly loaded the uffels and bolted for the entrance. > / e reached the surface after a 14-hour ip and a 1000-foot scoop. ump 1, Honey Creek Cave '1Iluary 17, 1990 When Bill Steele, Mark Minton, a d I caught up to Brian Burton at the ump 1 beach, he was cat-napping in a foggy passage. Brian had gotten a ead start while Bill and Mark made a ial run with their dive gear in a deep ool near the entrance. Our objective ;as to do the drop that I had found August and continue mapping. We ach had a pony bottle, regulator, and 1ask to tackle the short sumps. We lso had a bolt kit and rigging with us n case we couldn't free climb back up h e drop. At the start of the dive, we an h ored one end of a haul line near the eiling, and I dragged the other end hrough the sump. On the far side, I pulled in the slack and tied off at a muddy projection. Then I gave a few tugs and waited. Moments later the line started .twitching, and a faint glow appeared up ahead in the cloudy water. Mark Minton popped his head above the surface and pulled himself over to where he could stand up. We tugged at the line again. This time Bill Steele showed up, pulling himself hand over hand. Brian swam through last. We checked our air pressure and proceeded toward Sump 2. This one was a cinch on one breath, but we brought the gear along just to be safe. There was no place to leave it anyway until we got downstream of both sumps. We reached the breakdown pile twenty minutes later, moved a few more loose rocks near the ceiling, and climbed through to the upper level. Brian picked his way down the drop on the far side. It looked like an easy climb back up, so the rest of us followed. At the bottom of the mud slope was a smaller hole that dropped to the water level. We chimneyed down this to a sumped pool. It was a constricted, muddy thing, the kind of sump that a diver would back into feet first. We surveyed back up to the mud slope, checked out a small lead that dead-ended at a mud choke, and con tinued back to the upper level. Off to the left, we spotted a ledge that obscured a high lead. I climbed up to this but found that the way on was a dig at the end of a belly crawl. Back where the water disappeared, we probed the breakdown until we were satisfied that we couldn't get through. It was a wrap. We had netted 50 feet of booty. We had also been Ghar Parau'ed. Honey Creek Cave September 29, 1990 It was time to check the sump just upstream of the point at which Jim Bowden made his connection dive. This is where most of the water was coming from and could lead to miles of trunk. We had a large push team --Wayne Bockleman, Don Broussard, Mark Minton, Bill Steele, Brian Steele, Page Callaway, Mary Thiesse, Don Morley, and me. Planning for a shallow but long sump, we brought in 1070 feet of line packed on a single reel and two 40 cubic-foot tanks. Four hours from the Shaft En trance we picked up the lead weights at The TEXAS CAVER October 1991 the last junction and struggled up the fmal leg to the upstream sump. We intersected the main stream passage and unpacked the gear piece by piece as I kitted up in waist-deep water. Looking downstream, we spotted Jim Bowden's guideline tied off at the ceiling. Upstream, the walking passage continued as low air space. I put on my mask and helmet and headed in that direction. A hundred feet farther, the ceiling dipped below the water level. I an chored the line to a nubbin underwater and began to swim. Now this was a fme lead ---an 8-foot diameter tube, unlimited visibility, 70 degrees, shallow water, no flow, and little silt. Such are the hypothetical conditions when the reel starts to get hot and the diver scoops booty in high gear. Two air bells passed overhead for a combined length about 100 feet. Neither had any leads. Twenty minutes into the dive, I reached the end of my line. I stretched it out a little, trying to see what was up ahead, and regretfully turned around to look for a tie-off. My pressure gauges told me I had plenty of air to survey. I pulled out my compass and slate, read the depth at the tie-off, and started counting knots on my way downstream. (Survey results indicate that the end of the line on this dive is within a few hundred feet of the sump that we found on the January 1990 trip.) Thirty minutes later, I was back at the downstream end. We got out of there as quickly as possible, partly because people wanted to warm up, partly be cause the air was very stale. The lead weights got stashed in the cave again for another push. Back at the surface after a 14-hour trip, we ate like pigs and crashed. HILL COUNTRY NATURAL AREA PROJECf March 27-29, 1992 The work started previously on this TSA project remains to be completed. This weekend will be devoted to wrapping up the project with TPWD. Keith Heuss will be the pro ject manager and will be providing additional information later. TSA needs a good turnout to complete a successful project, so plan to partici pate. For more information, contact Keith, 512-462-9574. 103


TCMA TEXAS CAVE MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION: CAVE ACCF.SS GUIDELINF.S BACKGROUND In 1986, a small group of Texas cavers started the Texas Cave Management Association (TCMA) in order to protect Texas caves. Since then, a great deal of progress has been made; one cave is owned! To assist in the effective management of these cave resources, cave visita tion guidelines have been developed. The TCMA Cave Management Committee has attempted to use common sense in the development of these guidelines. If any questions arise, please contact appropriate TCMA represen tatives. WHIRLPOOL CAVE The first cave acquired was Whirlpool Cave in Austin, Texas. The cave and the surrounding 4.5 acres form the Whirlpool Cave Preserve. To visit the cave, contact one of the five Cave Access Coordinators: Doug Allen 512-476-9031 Lee Jay Graves 512-326-1297 Alex Villagomez 512-280-5507 Mike Walsh 512-629-2169 Jim Wolff 512-444-4203 The Preserve Manager is Mike Walsh. Please contact Mike about any problems or to make suggestions. Call one of the above cavers before 9:00 p.m. to request access. The combination of the property gate and the ground safe will be given to TCMA members, TSA members, and other known cavers. The key to the cave gate is in the ground safe along with the release and waivers and cave visitation procedures. Sign the release and waivers, and follow the visitation procedures. Camping is permitted on the property while caving in the Austin area. Dogs also are allowed on the preserve. When camping, it is requested that this preserve be given the same respect as would any other cave-owners property. Remember to: TAKE Nai'HING Blff PICIVRES, LEAVE Nai'HING Blff FoaTPRINI'S, AND KILL Nai'HING Blff TIME! AMAZING MAZE CAVE Amazing Maze Cave is the most recent cave to be managed by the TCMA. It is located in Pecos County near Ft. Stockton. It is the third longest cave in Texas and may someday become number two. It is a caver's cave with crawls, duck walks, and lots of walking passage. The Cave Manager is Mike Warton (512-250-8143), and until the owner is known better, all trips will be work trips organized by Mike. Apprise Mike about any interests in assisting in exploration, survey, trash removal, etc. The cave will ac commodate 100 or more cavers, and the campground is spacious. Please do not drive outside the campground area Open frres are not allowed since the grass is high and dry most of the time. Some of the West Texas ranchers have been known to shoot or poison dogs when they have she e p on the ranch, so to avoid problems, do not bring dogs to the Amazing Maze Cave area. o-9 WELL 0-9 Well was the frrst cave that came under TCMA management. It is a fairly difficult cave since it contains drops and a stream. Mike Warton (512-250-8143) is the Cave Manager. Up to four trips per year will be availab l e Mike has to make a series of phone calls in arranging trip s with the local ranchers. Because of this factor, a $ 1 0 nonrefundable fee is charged for each trip. Since it requir e s 2-3 weeks to make arrangements, please do not back out o f a trip commitment. Cancellation requires additional phone calls. The trip leader should contact Mike, set the date, and send the $10 fee. For the trips, one caver must be present who has visited the cave previously and is familiar with cave so that the gate can be opened and others can informed about the problems related to the 125-foot dro i A TCMA member also must be present on each trip. TCMA member will insure that the TCMA procedures followed. Each visitor must have: (1) vertical experienc ; (2) their own gear, and (3) a wet suit. The Cave Manag e may approve trips for as few as three but no more than tel . No dogs are allowed. Fires are allowed inside the rock ta n, when the winds are not high. Standard cave conservati o measures apply at all TCMA caves. SUMMARY In the near future, other caves probably will be undc TCMA management. Access guidelines will be publish e on any new TCMA caves as soon as possible. This fac sheet is a condensed version of the TCMA policy Readers requiring more detailed information on the TCM philosophy and management goals should: (1) contact Ja c Ralph (512-379-4221), Executive Director; and (2) plan t attend a meeting of the Board. By working togeth e greater access to the closed caves of Texas will be possib k If any problems arise with some of the TCMA requirements, please discuss them with TCMA repr e sentatives. The TCMA will work only if cavers work wit the TCMA, so become a member of the TCMA. 104 The TEXAS CAVER -October 1991


TRIP REPORT SORCERERs CAVE (Terrell County, Texas) May 24-26, 1991 Who: Sharon Darnell, Robert Hemp e r ly, Russell Hill, Joe Ivy, Jay Jorden, T e d Lee, Mark Malone Jim Mcintire D ale Pearson, Audrey Bill and Janet Joe Sumbera, Kevin Thuesen :u1d George Veni. On Friday night, the 24th of May, J s mall group went into Sorcerer's ::::a v e to answer a long-standing ques :io n that had far reaching implications can Joe Ivy fit into the cave? The ')roblem area was The Crack at the top } f the cave's second shaft, Poltergeist :>i t. Joe was joined by Mark Malone, ) ale Pearson Kevin Thuesen and me, 5 he slowly squeezed into and down h e Crack an inch at a time, making ure he could squeeze back up each .:1c h he went down. He went far n ough to convince himself that he ould climb out of The Crack using a and line. The next day our quintet headed -.ack into Sorcerer's Cave followed by Hemperly Ted Lee, and Bill t e ele. The usual hoots of "delight : c c urred as first-timers waded through t e putrid pudding-guano of the Bub e Bubble, Guano and Trouble Pas : 1ge. In the Sanctum Sanctorum, the a v e 's biggest room, Ivy, Pearson, and h uesen stayed to help me photograph 1 e room while the others went down J the Sirion River to complete the bolt lim b up Echinoid Aven. After several multi-flash shots of i 1 e big formations, our photo team ..... gao climbing down through the r e akdown to the River Pit until Joe o t stuck! Well, not actually stuck, but e could only fit his thighs through the n l y small spot in the breakdown area. V e unsuccessfully looked for other o u tes that could be opened. Finally '.:e asked Kevin to rappel down the ''ver Pit and run 400 meters down : tr e am to get the hammer from the i olt team. Kevin is too young and too ull of enthusiasm to realize he was :\eing abused. SORCERER'S CAVE By George Venl While we waited for the hammer, two groups who had arrived slightly late at the cave breezed past us. Jim Mcintire and Joe Sumbera from San Marcos were the first team, and Sharon Darnell, Russell Hill, and Jay Jorden comprised the DFW team. Both groups explored as far as the first downstream sump; the DFW folks also took photos of the river passage. To contribute to the Sorcerer's Cave project, both teams on their way out of the cave moved a pile of rotten manila rope, hose, metal hardware, and bro ken cable ladders to the top of the Nuisance Drop. This material had been used and left behind by local explorers in the mid-1970's, and the recent project has been slowly removing it from the cave. It is heavy and awkward and its fme guano-dust cov ering makes it even more difficult to handle. When Kevin arrived at Echinoid Aven for the rock hammer the bolt team was not there. Bill had taken Robert and Ted downstream to see the waterfall near the sump before starting the climb; fortunately Kevin didn't have to wait very long before they returned. It was also fortunate that Robert brought his new cordless drill to try out in setting bolts so that the bolt crew could continue their work without the hammer. Kevin returned to the breakdown more than an hour after he had left, and Joe began to hammer the offending tight spot. Periodically, Dale teased him for being too big, which raised Joe's adrenalin so he would start pounding even harder. After two hours, the hole was Ivy-sized, and just in time because the bolt team sent word that they couldn't make much progress since the bolt kit was in Joe's pack. As Joe, Dale, and I headed down to the dome climb, Joe Sumbera and Jim Mcintire headed out of the cave with Mark Malone and Kevin Thuesen. Originally, Mark and Kevin were to continue their work on the archaeology in the cave's entrance but I easily convinced them that it would be useful to see the other parts of the cave The TEXAS CAVER October 1991 AGE OF SPELEOTHEMS In February 1989, I collected some speleothem samples in Sorcer er's Cave to determine their age and implication on prior climatic condi tions (first reported in February 1989 Texas Caver). The samples were analyzed by Dr. Derek Ford, McMaster University, Canada, and the first results are now available The analyzed samples were taken from the Sirion River from and near a large flowstone mass known as The Sentinel. The innermost layers of The Sentinel are 10,000-1 5 ,000 years old (the large variation is due to excessive clay which increases the error margin), and the outer layers are progressively younger. A small nearby stalactite, located 1.7 meters above the present water level was dated at 8,900 600 years old. More samples await testing from Sorcerer's Cave and other Texas caves, but these early data indicate a much higher and chemically undersaturated flow during the last Ice Age which prevented speleothem growth. This appearance of speleothems may indi cate the time when the wet Ice Age climate ended and changed to its present dry West Texas condition. The drier climate decreased the cave s flow volume and increased its saturation with respect to calcite to allow for speleothem development where archaeologic material had been previously recovered. They made several important observations and Kevin found a piece of a projectile point at the bottom of the River Pit After a 3-hour delay Hemperly Lee, and Steele were fully equipped with bolt gear. As a good safety mea sure and to prepare the dome for a (Continued on p. 106) 105


FIREANT RELIEF FOR URBAN CAVES By George Veni Fireants move into areas of South Texas that become wbanized. In the past few years, flreants have begun to invade caves in the Austin and San Antonio areas as development has progressed into the karst. Hordes of the beasties have been found as far as 100 meters into some Austin caves, decimating the native cave fauna and making the caves a lot less fun for cavers. Recently, I spoke with cave biologist James Reddell who offered the following information to alleviate the frreant problem. For quick relief from flreants, take Amdro with you on your next trip to an infested cave. Prior to entering the cave, put a tablespoon of Amdro on a piece of paper next to each mound within about 50 meters of the entrance (the instructions on the container say to use more but it isn't necessary). By the time you come out of the cave, all the Amdro will have been consumed by the frreants (it is often gone within 30 minutes). Pick up your papers and any leftover Amdro. Do not leave any Amdro behind, and do not use it if you'll be coming out of the cave after dark -some cave species come out to forage on the surface at night, and Amdro will kill them. Fireants from neighboring areas will reinvade the cave within a few weeks after treating with Amdro. For a more long term but slower response solution (it may take a couple weeks for the ants to die off), use Logie. Follow the instructions on the label for the amount of Logie to spread. Cover a radius of 50-100 meters around the cave; do not spread it on the mounds, and do not use it if there is a chance of rain within the next 2-3 days. With Amdro, you may have to retreat every few weeks, but with Logie, only one retreatment may take care of the problem for the year. Do not use Logic or Amdro within caves! Do not use any other products because they may be harmful to the cave life. Both products cost about $5-15, 106 depending on size, if they are on sale, etc. Both are available at all nurseries; Amdro is often available at hard ware stores, supermarkets, and depart ment stores that carry lawn and gar den products. Split the cost with 3-4 of your regular caving friends, and for just a couple bucks each, everyone will have a much more pleasant time underground while helping to protect the natural cave ecosystem. (Continued from p 105) fmal assault during the next trip, they decided to replace the bolts set by Steele and Mark Minton ten years ago. Meanwhile, Joe, Dale, and I went downstream to photograph the sump and waterfall for the owner, but the late start kept us from getting as much done as we had hoped. As we were the last three cavers to head out, we noticed how Joe s earlier bashing of the breakdown boul der could not be differentiated from the rock's natural breaks after a few mud-covered bodies had squeezed by it. As we left, we derigged the lower section of the cave below the horror of the guano pools, an action that was appreciated by Malone, Mcintire, and Sumbera who completed the derig the next day. When it was all over, I was pleased to hear how much everyone enjoyed themselves and this great cave. In retrospect, I've decided to change future trips in two ways. First, no more 3-day weekend trips. The theory of getting more done is great, but in practicality, no one is really up to returning for the third day, and we always leave on the second. The second change is to not arrange future trips for the months of May through August. Although I have previously been to the cave during these months, this is the second consecutive year that the cave has housed a nursing colony of bats. Last year, it was the Ghostfaced Bat, Mormoops megalophyla, and this year it was the more common Myotis velifer. Exploring caves is a privilege; threatening cave ecosystems violates that trust. The TEXAS CAVER October 1991 LEITER TO THE EDITOR This is in reference to your recent article dated March 1, 1991, in the June 1991, VoL 36, No.3 issue (of The Texas Caver) by Bill Steele titled "Saga of an Underground Death." I cannot rest until some misconceptions are cleared up. First: It was a totally natural and humanly compassionate response for Indiana cavers to want to go to Cheve and do what they could to help. From everything I know and love about these cavers, there are no prima donnas here. No one ever thought they could do something the boys in the field could not do. I feel the intentions of Indiana cavers were greatly misunderstood. No one in Indiana thought for a moment they could g o down there and take over. They wanted to help, they wanted to comfort the family. Think of this, if it were not f o r the Indiana cavers and their compas sionate response to the family, the Yeager's were alone to deal with the cold reality of world-class caving. Second: In reference to Henry Gilsdorf, Steele says, "he had con vinced the Yeager's that he couk recover their son's body." This is t sad misrepresentation of fact. M r Yeager wanted to go to the cave which held his son. He wanted a caver tog with him, a family member, a clos; friend, and someone who personaU knew the cavers down there, to heh him assess the situation. What h wanted were caring and understandin people in his party who he knew h could trust. No, Henry never prom ised Durbin Yeager anything, nor die he convince him he was a super cave1 Think of this, it is only nature for a father to want to see frrsthan1 why his son's body cannot be brough back. It was difficult to accept the fac that a body recovery was not possibl' as told by people he did not know. Third: It was misleading f o Steele to print in his article his imagin ing about a "drama taking place as th relatives arrive at the llano to fetch th body" and "I hoped the scene did n c get heated." Steele further writes tha "Jill Dible was emotional, raising h e voice about getting Chris' body out c the cave." In retrospect, perhaps should have actually behaved this w a (Continued on p. 114


An infonnal swvey borhood like cold lava, at I conducted reveals INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT overturning trucks and at many cavers do not knocking houses off their lOW from where cal-CALCIUM CARBIDE foundations. The news-urn carbide comes. paper published a photo lay believe that it is of a sign on someone's t ined from the earth, front lawn reading, 1d that carbide was By Frank S. Reid "Don't nudge the sludge." ;ed before electric Much of the stuff was were invented. This article originally appemwl in Oe.te 0 dumped into an abanJames Burke, histoGrotto Vol. Jl, No. 3, March 1991 doned quarry. an of technology, and was adapted for The Tems Ower with Perhaps the derites: Henri Moissan of permission. crease in carbide produc-aris, France discovered tion, along with environllcium carbide in 1895 Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provoke flames mental-protection costs, hile attempting to (so to speak) about carbide vs electric cave lights. For a explains the sharp price lake artificial diamonds full discussion of their relative merits, see the excellent increase in recent years. 1 the newly-invented Large metalworking lectric-arc furnace. articles by Donald Davis and Tom Kaye in Caving Basies, operations still use carJter many tests, he NSS, 1 988. bide to generate acetyried a mixture of lime lene. The producers nd carbon at a temper-======================= could conceivably stop ture of 2,000 o C. The result was uninproduce calcium cyanamide, an in exselling "miner's lamp" carbide if some e resting until he brought it into conpensive fertilizer!3 lawyer/accountant decides that liability a ct with water. It gave off a gas that The process uses calcium oxide risk exceeds potential profit. (This is t urned with brilliant white light. Acet(quicklime) and coke, and takes place not a rumor, only speculation.) Hope'lene light was a sensational discovery in a modified art-resistance furnace: fully, cavers will never be reduced rl the era of dim coal-gas light and (pun) to manufacturing their carbide. ery expensive electricity. The acetyCaO + 3C + CO Ronco is unlikely to produce a kitchen e ne industry attracted much investappliance for doing so. n ent, and competed successfully with The carbon monoxide is usually Thomas Edison's carbon-ftlament :as and electricity. By 1899, there recovered. Materials and energy relight bulb was patented in 1879. v ere nearly a quarter of a million quired to produce one ton of calcium French experimenters had made incan i cetylene gas jets operating in carbide are: (1) 1,900 lbs of lime; (2) descent lamps previously (1854), using J ermany, served by over 8,000 acety1,300 lbs of coke; and (3) 3,000 kWh of expensive platinum ftlaments. Electric e ne plants. The gas cost half as much energy. These figures are accurate, mine-safety lamps were used as early tS electric light, and required a quarter since there happened to be a suitable as > f the space needed to provide the reference book lying on my table. Among its virtues, carbide light is ;arne illumination by coal gas. Before Probably the most common use of aesthetically pleasing. Although elec l900, there were acetylene plants near calcium carbide today is the manufactric light is older, some cavers argue n ajor sources of hydroelectric power ture of cyanamide by combining it with that carbide is more "basic" (true, in N here the electric-an: furnaces necesnitrogen. The use of calcium carbide that the residue has a pH greater than j ary to produce the carbide could be for production of acetylene has mostly 7). cheaply. Acetylene also was declined. Acetylene is today more It takes about 1.5 kWh of electric Jsed to produce lampblack, and as a commonly manufactured from natural ity to make a pound of calcium carbide m bstitute for coal gas in engines (it gas by pyrolysis and partial oxidation of (not counting the heat energy needed Nas four times more efficient), and methane. There are various processes to make calcium oxide from lime t o gether with oxygen, it produced a operating on this principle, one of stone). A pound of carbide will fill a ; ery hot flame ideal for welding. which (the Du Pont Process) employs cap lamp about 10 times, yielding per-ThenAuervon Welsbach invented a special an: furnace with a rotating haps 30 hours of light under caving r h e gas mantle, which greatly increased magnetic field for quenching the an:. conditions. the luminosity of coal gas. At the Union Carbide used to manufacA new Wheat Lamp battery stores :>arne time electricity became much ture carbide and acetylene in Louis-14 Ah at 4 volts, or 56 Wh. One less expensive. By 1905, the acetylene ville, Kentucky. It is a dirty process; pound of carbide represents the electri i n dustry was in trouble, and there was they were cited many times for air-cal energy of 24 Wheat Lamp charges a great surplus of unused carbide. pollution violations. Circa 1961, their (at 90-percent charging efficiency). C hemists of the Gennan BASF comtailings pond of spent carbide (calcium Using a 1.2-A bulb, there are 280 pany, looking for new ways to make hydroxide), approximately 0.25 miles hours of light (but you must leave the dye, heated calcium carbide to 1,000 o C square by 100 feet deep, broke its dam cave to recharge). dild passed nitrogen gas over it. The (a hardened crust of the same rnaAlthough carbide light appears n itrogen combined with the carbide to terial) and flowed through the neigh(Continued on p. 109) The TEXAS CAVER October 1991 107


Dealer: Phone: Items: Prices: Dealer: Phone: Items: Prices: Dealer: Phone: Items: Prices: Dealer: Phone: Items: Prices: Dealer: 108 GRANDPA'S CATALOG COMPENDIUM OF SPELEO SUPPLIERS Compiled by Mark Johnston (Lubbock Area Grotto) The following is a compendium of speleo suppliers for buying caving (and other outdoor) equipment that lists: name of company, address, phone number, primary products, and an assessment of prices. This list first appeared in The lAG News, Vol. 6, No.1, 1991. Ben Meadows Company Paramus, NJ 07653-0997 Phone: 3589 Broad Street Phone: Free Catalog: 201-445-5000 P .0. Box 80549 Order: 800-526-4784 (M-F Atlanta, GA 30366 9-9, Sat. 9-6 EST) 800-241-6401 Items: Hunting, fiShing, outdoor Items: Forestry gear, survey, and gear. A very wide selection mapping. of outdoor clothes and supMost items used for caving plies. Prices: are higher than other speleo Prices: Reasonable suppliers, but they have equipment that others do not have. Dealer: Carbide, Ltd. Dealer: 1015 Noelton Lane Nashville, TN 37204 B&B Phone: 615-297-0139 (evePhone: P.O. Box 441 ningsjweekends) Lewisburg, W.VA 24901 Contact Charles J. (Chuck) Frase 304-772-5049, or 772-3074 Items: Carbide lamps of all sorts, Caving gear. lamp repairs, and used Items: Good old B&B prices. wheat lamps. Prices: Reasonable. Prices: Brigade Quartermasters 1025 Cobb International Dealer: Cascade Outfitters Blvd. 145 Pioneer Pkwy E. Kennesaw, GA 30144-4300 P.O. Box 209 Dealer: 800-228-7344 (M-F 8:30-9, Springfield, OR 97477 Sat. 10-4 EST) Phone: 800-223-7238 (M-S 8:30-5 Outdoor action gear, cloth-PST) Phone: ing, military new /surplus, Items: Whitewater equipment and packs, canteens, and books. drybags. Items: Reasonable. Prices: Kind of high. Prices: Cabela's Dealer: Custom Cave Gear 812 13th Ave. P.O. Box 7351 Dealer: Sidney, NE 69160 Charlottesville, VA 22906 800-237-4444 (24 hours) Contact Ron Simmons Hunting, fishing, outdoor Items: Simmons Roller, Simmons Phone: gear. A very wide selection Racing Roller, and replace Items: of outdoor clothes and supmentparts. plies. Prices: Good prices. Prices: Reasonable. Dealer: Eddie Bauer Dealer: Campmor P.O. Box 3700 P.O. Box 997-F Seattle, WA 98124-3700 The TEXAS CAVER October 1991 Order: 800-426-8020 (24 hours) Customer Service: 800-4266253 Very good outdoor clothing. A few supplies and knick-knacks. Little high, but they have very good quality. Dunn's Highway 57E, PO Box 449 Grand Junction, TN 38039 Order: 800-223-8667 (M-S 6-11, Sun. 1-9 CST) Customer Service: 800-367-2940 Excellent quality outdoor clothing. High quality hunt-ing and camping gear. High, but they have excel-lent quality. Edmund Scientific 101 E. Gloucester Pike Barrington, NJ 08007-1380 609-573-6250 (M-F 8-8, Sat. 9-4:30 EST) Optics and scientific equip-ment. Very good. Forestry Suppliers, Inc. PO Box 8397 Jackson, MS 39284 800-647-5368 Forestry, surveying, drafting and outdoors. Fair. Gander Mountain, Inc. P.O. Box 248 Wilmot, WI 53192


Phone: 800-558-9410 (24 hours) Items: Outdoor and hunting sup plies, and clothing. Prices: Reasonable. Dealer: Gonzo Guano Gear 4019 Ramsgate San Antonio, TX 78230 Phone: 512-699-1388 C ontact: Linda Palit (owner) 1 terns: Caving gear, Petz.l, and PM I. ;'!ices: Very good prices. D e aler: Hubbard P.O. Box 104 Northbrook, IL 60065 ;:;hone: 800-323-8368 t erns: Raised relief topographic maps. 'rices: $15.95 unframed, and $37.95 oak framed. .1ealer: Inner Mountain Outfitters 102 Travis Circle Seaford, VA 23696 hone: 804-896-2809 Alex Sproul ; ems: Caving supplies. A lot of special speleogoodies. ices: Reasonable. ) ealer: J.E. Weinel, Inc. P.O. Box 213 Valencia, PA 16059 hone: 800-346-7673 Rescue, sport, climbing, and safety equipment. rices: Reasonable. Lab Safety Supply PO Box 1368 Jamesville, WS 53547-1368 hone: 800-356-0783, Tech. Line: 800-356-2501 ,:::ms: Scientific laboratory suprices: plies and safety gear. Reasonable. ) ealer: L.L. Bean, Inc. P hone: Freeport, ME 04033 800-221-4221 (24 hours), Customer service: 800-3414341 ems: Outdoor gear and clothing since 1912. Prices: Reasonable. Dealer: Mass Anny Navy Store 15 Fordham Road Boston, MA 02134 Phone: 800-343-7749 (24 hours) Items: Military supplies new /surplus. Canteens, and surplus packs. Prices: Rather high. Dealer: Mountainsmith 15866 W. 7th Ave. Golden, CO 80401 Phone: 800-426-4075 or 303-279-5930 Contact Mark Vaughn, Western Sales and Service Manager Items: Handcrafted equipment for adventuring. Backpacks, luggage, and expedition sleds. Prices: Unknown. Dealer: Phone: Items: Prices: Dealer: Phone: Items: Prices: Dealer: Phone: Items: Prices: REI P .0. Box 88125 Seattle, WA 98138-2125 800-426-4840 (M-F 6-8, Sat. 8-4:30, Sun. 10-4 PST) Outdoor gear and clothing since 1938. Reasonable. REI is a coop, and pays dividends (based on orders) at year end. Smith Safety Products Box36 Potaluma, CA 94953 707-763-5948 Climbing supplies, tents, packs. Kelty, Northface, Omega, and SMC. OK. US. Cavalry 2855 Centennial Ave. Radcliff, KY 40160-9000 800-626-6171 (8-11, 7 days EST) Outdoor I military gear, flashlights, knives, and clothes. Reasonable. The TEXAS CAVER October 1991 (Continued from p. 107) inefficient by the above calculations, it is still unbeatable for caving in tenns of volume, weight, reliability, and cost. A kilowatt-hour from the power company costs perhaps 10 cents at con sumer rates in the US., far less for large industries (there are large re gional variations in cost of commercial electricity). One kWh from alkaline D cells at retail price is about $67 ( calcu lated at 15 volts, 15 Ah, $150 per cell). Alkaline cells contain mercury, and should be considered toxic waste. During cave cleanup projects, separate them from the rest of the trash. They should not be disposed of in landfills. I am not sure how to properly get rid of them. Another safety note: acetylene-air mixtures are explosive over an extremely wide range, which is why carbide cannons worlc so well. The following table is taken from the CRC Handbook Of Chemistry And Physics. Flammability Umits (percent by volume at atmospheric pressure and room temperature) Gas Lower Upper Butane 1.86 8.41 Propane 2.12 9.35 Methane 5.00 15.00 Hydrogen 4.00 74.20 Acetylene 250 80.00 References 1. Burlce, J., Connections, Macmillan, London, 1978. 2. Historical article on mining lamps by Chuck Young, Potomac Caver, 13(1)4-7, (2)13-17, re printed in Speleo Digest 1970, pp. 302-305. Partial reprint in Spele onics 15, Vol. 4, No. 3, October 1990. 3. Young's article includes referenc es from Scientific American, February 9, and February 23, 1895, about the invention and production of calcium carbide, and reports that Scientific Ameri can ran many articles about carbide and acetylene over the next 15 years. 109


I PHOTOGRAPHY THE SIGMA 28AF ZOOM ELECTRONIC CAMERA Every photographic magazine has been featuring articles and ads on the point-and-shoot cameras brainwashing their readers into thinking these cameras are the only way to go. Well, I decided that it was time to give one a try. If a small compact camera could take good pictures, I would not have to always carry a lot of camera gear underground. These point-and-shoot cameras are designed for the nonphotographer, and the camera does it all except press the shutter release. The cameras have built-in auto focus, auto exposure, and built-in strobe to provide the photographer with a camera that is supposed to produce error-free pictures. I selected the Sigma 28AF Zoom camera because it is one of the very few that has a 28-mm wide-angle lens as part of the zoom lens. Most of the cameras only have a 35mm lens, which is just not wide enough for cave photography. Besides, the 28-mm wide-angle lens, the Sigma has the passive auto focus built into the camera. The majority of the point-and-shoot cameras use a stepped auto focus system. This means that the camera only has a set number of focus distances. If the subject happens to be at one of these step distances, the picture will be very sharp, but if the subject is off the step, then the pictures will be slightly out of focus. This would account for many out-of focus pictures obtained using these types of cameras even though you did everything right when the pictures were taken. The Sigma focusing system has provided razor-sharp pictures frame after frame. The zoom lens on the Sigma is the step less zoom from 28 to 50 mm. This means the lens can be stopped at any focal length for exact composition. The wide-angle lens is a 28-mm f4.2 lens with a 75.4-degree coverage, and the normal lens is a 50-mm f7.0 lens with a 46.8-degree coverage. The small strobe built into the camera body also zooms with the lens to give correct flash coverage, and there is no edge flash cutoff at 28 mm. The range of the flash is very limited and depends on the speed of the film, but best exposure is from 6 to 12 feet. Since all point-and-shoot cameras are totally automatic with no real control over the exposure, you have to learn to operate the camera within a very limited area to insure good results. One feature of the camera that helps to obtain a sharp picture is the focus lock that is activated by pointing the camera at the center of interest and depressing the shutter release halfway. This locks to focus so that the camera can be moved for better composition. The shutter is then pressed all the way down, and the camera then makes the exposure. I have been able to get very sharp pictures every time using this simple method. I think that most point-and-shoot cameras have this feature. There is also an infmity lock on the side of the camera that will lock the camera to infmity when outdoor scenic pictures are taken. The auto-focus mechanism has a problem fmding infmity and will not allow the camera to operate without the infmity lock. The Sigma camera has a rubberized coating that makes holding the camera easier and provides a more positive feeling in your hand. Other features include: tripod socket, midroll film rewind, hot shoe for additional flash to extend flash range, switch to tum off built-in strobe for daylight and time exposure, date back, and built-in selftimer. The camera uses a Type 2CR5 lithium battery costing about $12.00. According to the specifications, the battery should be good for about 30 rolls of 24-exposure film. Since I have been using the camera for nothing but cave photography, I have found the battery does not perform anywhere near this figure. The battery seems to operate satisfactorily for 20 to 25 rolls of 24-exposure film. I have used some 36-exposure rolls, but the motor seems to strain when rewinding such a long roll, so I now use the 2 4 -exposure rolls. I have found the camera seems to e a t batteries, and these lithium batteries are expensive. The film speed is set automatically by the camera b y the DX coding on the film cassette. If there is no DX code on the film cassette, the camera will default to a film spe e d Cave Photograph Taken With The Sigma 28AF Zoo 1 Electronic Camera (Jasek) 110 The TEXAS CAVER October 1991


of 100. Since I only shoot back-and-white fllm, the DX coding presented a serious problem. I did not have a OX coded cassette for loading bulk film. This would mean a serious increase in film costs. One film that I normally use i s ISO 125, which presented no real problem in exposing it at ISO 100. The other film I use all the time is ISO 400, so until tb.e proper cassette was located, I was forced to use factory-loaded film. This increased film costs considerably. The camera does not have a readout indicating the fi! m speed at which the camera has been set by the DX c r : d e on the film can. You have no way of knowing if the v.:nera has actually been set to the correct fllm speed. This very bad. The flrst rolls of fllm used in the camera were ISO 1 l, and I was very pleasantly surprised at the sharpness of f pictures. I then began to notice that even though the c j n subject was very sharp, the rest of the picture was s : : htly out of focus indicating there was very little depth of f d I assume that this was probably due to using slow < e d mm. Since the strobe is not very strong, I figllfed the N-speed fllm was not allowing the lens to stop down even jose range I then switched to ISO 400 film thinking ; would solve the problem, but I was not able to increase depth of fleld. I was very puzzled because the camera : not working in a manner that I could understand. I e d Sigma in New York and learned the camera locks to J second for flash, but because of the language r ier, I was unable to make my request for information i e rstood. I then talked to a camera technical r esentative, and he indicated that many of the point-and o t cameras lock wide open during flash to gain the atest distance possible. This would account for the total : of depth of fleld observed. For 28-mm setting, the 1 era was locking at f4.2 for flash. At this f-stop, only the ject would be in sharp focus. Since the lens locks at a s hutter speed of 1/30th second and a set f-stop during h the camera will always have a very limited depth of :J, and at times, deliver a blurred exposure. The electric t from helmet lights can blur the photo if the light is e d directly into the camera lens since the shutter speed sync is 1/30th second. This limited depth of fleld may mitable for normal indoor photography, but for cave 1tography, I fmd this shallow depth of fleld unacceptable. In spite of the problem of depth of fleld and a couple > ther minor problems described below, I have found the :na camera to be a near-perfect camera in all aspects. very light weight, but not too small making it hard to d The camera flts in my hand comfortably and is very pie to use. The focus lock works very good and has r ; cator lights near the view fmder for determining when t focus has been set. The camera will not function if the f u s is not proper. The flash recycles rapidly and has a f :h-ready light also visible in the view fmder. Some inconsistencies have been observed in exposures v ? n using the flash. At least one frame per roll will be t c illy underexposed and unprintable. I flrst thought that t1 ; problem was due to shooting too fast and not allowing t L strobe enough time to recycle, but waiting longer b ween exposures did not solve the problem. To avoid UJ, l erexposure problems, shoot more than one frame of the m,r e important pictures. If one is bad, the other one will probably be good. Shooting a second frame can be expensive, but often, someone may close their eyes ruining the exposure. The second shot can save the day. Another problem is occasional fog on the lens or the appearance of fogged frames. Since I am careful and always watch for fog on the lens, the origin of this problem was puzzling. This problem may be due to temperature and humidity differentials that occur when the camera is removed from the camera box. In the box, the lens cover is closed when the camera is in the off mode. When the camera is removed from the box and turned on, the lens cover automatically opens. When it opens, the lens can fog for a few seconds. If pictures are taken immediately after removing the camera from the box, fog may be present on the lens. It is best to wait a short period after removing the camera from the box since the fog will disappear very quickly. Prior to shooting, observe the lens and wait until the fog clears. Fogging problems also can occur by breathing on the camera just before exposure or by having an unusual amount of steam coming off the body. Overall, the camera is limited in performance because of the depth of fleld problem and the minor problems described above. These problems will limit my overall use of the camera. I had planned on using the camera for a majority of my action pictures, but now I will only use the camera in small caves. If shallow depth of fleld does not bother you, this camera would be a very good choice for your simple cave pictures. Note: Technical specifications and a tlwrough description of the Sigma 28AF Zoom camera can be fowul in recent issues of Popular Photogrophy. (Continued from p. 98) A less than gentle nudge by my diving buddy let me know my mind had drifted far enough for this dive and that it was time to think about diving physiology and the present situation. As we ascended, I left with a perspective on geologic events that few probably consider, and as I rose toward the brightly-lit, coral encrusted rim walls looming above, an inspirational feeling of having been through a sensational experience fllled the moment. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to express my gratitude to my diving buddy, Quentin Martin, Ph.D., for continuing to participate in the exploration of underwater caves with me despite the hazards and often rigorous experiences. Several people edited this document. Notable among those were: (1) Rick Hubbard; (2) Ron Bond; and (3) Danny Fox of the Texas Water Development Board. Special thanks also are expressed to Jimmie C. Smith of Islands From The Sky for permission to use his beautiful aerial photographs of Lighthouse Reef. I also would like to extend thanks to the Gulf Publishing Company for allowing permission to use a map of Lighthouse Reef showing the location of the Blue Hole. REFERENCES 1. Meyer, F.O., Diving And Snorkeling Guide To Belize, Gulf Publishing Company, Houston, Texas, 1990. 2. Mathews, Jr., RC., "Observations From Inland Caves On Grand Bahama Island," Perry Hydro-Lab Journal, Volume 1, Number 1, 1970, pp. 43-46. The TEXAS CAVER October 1991 111


TRIP REPORT MINAS VIEJAS Labor Day Weekend 1991 Finding Tarantula Cave And Exploring Cuchillo By David Herpin -Age 9On Labor Day weekend, my brother and mom, Phil Moizer, Frank Hall, Joe Ivy, Linda Palit, Libby Ovemolt, and I along with some other cavers went to Minas Viejas. I was bored on the long drive and in the long line to cross the border. We stopped in Bustamante for breakfast, and my brother tried to order orange juice for me but got an orange drink. We had a flat on the way to camp, so se got there at lunch time. We hiked up to look for Cuchillo, and on the way, it rained on us. We walked around and looked and looked for Cuchillo. We could not fmd it. We went and waited for Joe Ivy to come out of a cave so he could show us where it was. While we waited, we hiked around looking for caves. I found a little cave. Linda went in first, then mom went in to help me down. To get into the cave, you had to chimney down about 20 feet. At the bottom, I saw a cave cricket and a tarantula. The cave had neat forma tions, but it was small. When we got out of the cave, they told me that since I found it, I got to name it, so I named it Tarantula Cave. Then Joe came out of his cave and led us to Cuchillo. Phil and Frank went into it. When they got out, we went back to camp. We ate supper and then went to bed. We woke up Sunday morning and went to Cuchillo. I went into it. I hooked my Jammer on the handline and went to where the drop was rigged. I rappelled down and got pulled over to the ledge where the cave passage starts. I ate a snack while everyone else came down. Then I went to ex plore the cave. It had neat formations. The middle of the floor had a flat place so the cave was easy to get around in. One place was all muddy so my boots stuck to the floor. When 112 I was ready to leave the cave, Joe let me over (to the highwall) on the rope. I started ascending, and my light went out. Frank wanted to trade me a light for my knee pads, but I told him, "Oh Frank, quit whining." (The pit had been double rigged, and Frank was climbing out beside David.) We got out of the cave and then waited for everyone else to come out. Then we walked around and looked for caves. We found a cave, but I didn't go into it. My mom went in and screamed when she saw a snake. After that, we went back to camp. We ate supper and went to bed. We got up the next morning and then headed for home. We had two flats on the way home. I was glad when we got home. This trip was fun. I like being a kid caver because you can crawl fast if you are small. I would like to have other kids on some of the trips I go on. I think other kids should try caving. (Continued from p. 93) stream flowing out of Gorman Cave is also trickling 60 feet below the explored depth of Polish Cave. Biology A large family of white mice lives in the cave. They can be observed most often on the first and second levels. Since very little organic materi al of any kind is visible, few other organisms appear to make Polish Cave their home. Summary After many exploratory and sur veying trips, Polish Cave still hides several secrets. Jim's Lead and passag es going out of The Slammer may prove quite challenging to explore. The most promising lead is, of course, passage going off to the south at the bottom of the third pit. Exploration of this part of the cave will require a well organized group of die-hard cavers to be able to go underground for ten or more hours and be willing to carry a few hundred feet of rope and digging tools. It is possible that the cave goes deeper, but even so, it is already the deepest cave at Colorado Bend State Park and the third deepest in San Saba County. The cave has potential to be deeper than 200 feet, but the depth wiii be limited by the Colorado River's (Continued on p. 114) The TEXAS CAVER October 1991 MILESTONE REACHED AT BINDSEIL'S WELL By Rick CorbeU August 25, 1991 will be remem bered by the San Antonio caving com munity as a momentous occasion. On this day, the floor of the original dry well was uncovered. A hole in the floor beckons project leader, Randy Waters, and a band of die-hard cavers to push for more at a later date. Late ness in the day and lack of a heavy sledge led a triumphant crew to cal! it quits. No one was disappointed to leave even such a promising lead. Why get in a rush now after six years? One reason would be the tremendous air flow. Bindseil's well is also known as Bindseil's Wind Tunnel, and Bindse;J's Blow Hole. Survey tape has lx e n blown completely up and out of r \1e well when conditions were right. '\s bucket after bucket of household tra h bottles, and cans were lifted out of '1e first 5 meters of well, fierce air fl :w would blow dirt out of the floor iJ to the faces of eager cavers. Tl 'n through rock and dirt, to a total deJ th of 20.7 meters (68 feet), the air cc 1tinued to wreak havoc on dust-fil :d eyes of the digging crew. Finally, le found where nearly 100 years ago, : e well diggers gave up. Now we cor d tell Dan Bindseil that we had found e bottom of the well and that we hac a pretty good reason why the origiJ 11 diggers quit. We are sure he will let ;s continue to push the search for me e cave. It is not just a dry well filled 1, Two meters from the surface, a le was explored in January of 1963 by I II Russell and Terry Raines (Caves ii Comal County, TSS, 1971 ). Then October of 1985, Randy Waters, B J Cowell, and Alan Cobb opened me ( of the lead with charges (Coma! Cm ty cave file). Water well drilled nea1 all blow air. They all are deep into 1 Edwards Limestone over 200 feet thi If those men who dug the well h J known as much about the Edwai ; Aquifer as is known now, they WOl rl have waited for better technology. (Continued on p. 11 J


l mguilla, Jewel Of The UnderF nd, Edited by Midurel Ray Taylor, S .:-o Projects, Basil Switzerland, 1991, 1 np. Order from Speleobooks, Box j( New York 12157. Hanlb d: $46.00. Postage and handling: ( <.'; Buy this book and keep it handy, c. v ou will never again have trouble e ining to anyone why you are a c: Almost 120 photographs, of 1 only eight are black and white. al of the photos occupy an entire age spread, which makes them 12 7 inches in size. Most of them lr in two large photo sections, one ; age. The photographs are uni y excellent. I can imagine some e buying a copy of the book just r out and frame some of the picThere are also a couple of geo diagrams and a crude map of the which functions mainly as an ; to the locations of the scenes in >lwtographs. And five of Linda ) p's drawings from slides are in1. The book is a visual feast, s to some of the best cave : graphers in the world. T he real credit for the book d go to those who picked the ; graphs and did the graphic de especially U rs Widmer. Some of 'lay recognize his Speleo Projects ..e publisher of those beautiful g Calendars. Michael Ray Taylor !it the text, which includes a geol :hapter by Art and Peg Palmer Donald Davis, trip narratives by (ambesis and Sura Ballman, and z:r contributions by Davis and Ron .o. No expense has been spared in ; roduction of the book. The re uction of the photographs is im J.ble; it is hard to believe that even a rgest of them is blown up from a m slide. The endpapers bear the I have ever seen of selenite es. Even the few black-and-white os are printed as duotones. The ( made two passes through a four press; margins around the photo ;:Js are printed a solid, light tan, ,. the photos are covered with a protective lacquer. On the text pages, the border tint is replaced by the text itself as the fifth "color." The book has a sturdy, sewn binding. A nice touch is a section at the end where the photo credits appear, keyed to miniature images of the pages in the rest of the book. Just so nobody thinks I am losing my touch, I will report two tiny flaws, the only two I could fmd: The dreaded alleged word helectite appears in a caption, and the tan border tint is not exactly the same throughout my copy. This book is the most beautiful cave book in the world, about the most beautiful cave in the world. Carlsbad Cavern, The Early Years, by Robert Nymeyer and William R. Halliday, Carlsbad Caverns Guadalupe Mountains Association, Carlsbad, New Mexico, 1991, 156 pp. Order from pub lisher at 3225 National Parks Highway, Carlsbad, New Mexico 88220. Soft bowul: $9.95. Postage and handling: $1.25. This fme book, published posthu mously in the case of Robert Nymeyer, is a photographic history of the early exploration and development of Carls bad Cavern, up to about 1930. It con tains scores of photographs from those early days, including some taken in the bat cave in 1907 that are the earliest known surviving photographs taken in the cave. The accompanying text is fascinating reading and clearly reflects a tremendous amount of historical research, although it does not pretend to be a defmitive history or to settle the well-known conflicting claims of discovery. Anyone interested in spele an history, Carlsbad Cavern, or early cave photography should buy this rea sonably-priced book. Caving In America (The Story Of The National Speleological Society 19411991), Edited by Paul H. Damon, NSS, 1991, 445 pp. Order from NSS Book store, Cave Avenue, Huntsville, Alabama 35810. Hardbowul: $21.95. Postage and handling: $3.50 with mail orders. The main title of this book is seriously misleading. The subtitle is a better description. This book is an institutional history of the National Speleological Society, prepared for its The TEXAS CAVER October 1991 fiftieth birthday. The material is divid ed into four sections. The first section, 30 pages long, covers the founding of the NSS. The second section, 58 pages long, contains chapters chronicling, in roughly decade chunks, the evolution of the NSS. The longest section, 214 pages, contains numerous chapters covering various specific aspects of the history of the society, such as its: con ventions, awards, office in Huntsville, and publications. The fourth section, of 66 pages, is a summary of cave ex ploration at home and abroad by American cavers. Appendices contain lists of grottos, directors and officers, and award recipients. And there is a thorough index. Large print, numerous illustrations, a sturdy sewn binding, and a color dust jacket show the NSS's intent to make this book an impressive birthday present to itself. (There is a color photograph on the dust jacket that represents the present of caving. Two of the three cavers in it are not NSS members.) This book seems to have been a hit with quite a few NSS members at the convention, judging by the number of people going around asking the famous and not so famous to auto graph their copies. But I doubt if many people will actually read it. Little of the writing is particularly gripping. Even the section on cave exploration will put the most avid cave explorer to sleep; it is mainly a table of major explorations, sorted by state and decade and set into prose. But the book's format lends itself to selective browsing, and most readers will fmd something of interest somewhere in it. And everyone will fmd his list of favorite errors and omissions. Omis sions are, of course, inevitable. The book could not include everything. In a book as crammed with facts as this one, some errors are pretty much inevi table, too, unless unlimited time is available for double-<:hecking every thing. I know, for instance, that con siderable effort was made to get the cave-exploration section checked, but no doubt some of those to whom drafts were sent did not bother to help out. There are more errors (and more sloppiness in production) than I like to see, but it is particularly a miracle that such a large book, assembled by com mittee of NSS members, was published on time at all. 113


This book is a fairly nice, fairly priced souvenir of the NSS's fiftieth; sort of a high-school yearbook for NSS buffs. Batman: Exploring The World Of Bats, Uzuretu:e Pringle, Plwtographs by Merlin Tuttle, Scribners, New Yort, 1991, 42 pp. Hardbowui: $13.95. This is a book for young people about bats and Merlin Tuttle, the famous bat photographer and conserva tionist. There are about twenty of Tuttle's fme bat photos, in color, plus a few photographs of Merlin himself. There are some interesting remarks about his techniques for photographing bats, which typically involve catching and training the bats and doing the photography with contrived sets indoors. So his pictures are not quite the near miracles they often appear to be. Nevertheless, he shoots hundreds to get each one that is good enough to print. Two more recent editions of the Speleo Digest are now available from the NSS Bookstore, Cave Avenue, Huntsville, Alabama 35810. The 1986 edition was edited and prepared for printing by Sue Bozeman. It is 426 pages long. The 1987 edition, of 468 pages, was edited by Scott Fee and prepared for printing by Tom Rea, Nancy Baker, and Bambi Erwin. (These and other recent Speleo Digests were printed by Terry Raines of Austin.) Each issue contains much of the best information from local caving newsletters for the year. The majority of each issue is cave descrip tions and maps, but articles on equip ment and techniques, cave science, spelean history, and so on are also included, and there are numerous car toons. These issues are $14.00 each, plus $2.00 postage and handling for one or $5.00 for both. (That is what is says. They would probably rather you send just $4.00 for both than send in two separate orders.) (Continued from p. 100) Since I do a lot of crawling, I need the smallest and most compact light possi ble. By attaching the hooks to the battery and wearing the battery close to my body, I rarely get the battery caught 114 while crawling. This made all the difference in the world for comfort. I replaced the thin lamp cord (item 6) on the Justrite with a heavy duty cord as shown in Figure 4. I also connected a male plug (item 7) on the end of the cord. Having a plug at this point provides a weak link in the light system, which is a safety feature for the light. If the cord gets snagged in a cave, the plug will disconnect preventing any damage to the electrical cord. The charger can be connected directly to the battery for recharging. As a fmal word, I went one step further with my own light system and made a steel jacket for the battery. I took a large coffee can and cut off the rims and flattened out the can. A hammer was used to pound the can flat on a concrete floor. A pair of tin snips was used to cut and fold the tin can so that it formed an outer shell around the battery. This was done after the battery was wrapped with ftlament tape and the hooks were in place. The shell was then taped around the battery with several layers of black duct tape. With this extra protection, there is no need to worry about the battery being damaged during any crawl. The shell has been used for several months now, and I have been well pleased with the extra durability. The shell is totally optional. The Gel cell light provides the caver with a very dependable caving light source that is rugged and inexpensive and is one that should provide years of use. (Continued from p. 106) so his imagination would approximate reality. Fourth: Steele's article mentions that a team of Swiss cavers had phoned stateside to volunteer their assistance. These guys were well versed in vertical rescue. Here was an abundance of qualified cavers right next door, and yet no one made mention of this to the Yeager family. In fact, we were told that it would be next to impossible to contact them for help. Fifth: The last point I would like to make is about the manner in which your article ends. Pushing your point of view about cave burial is Wlacceptable. Remember this, once you are gone, only your family remains behind to make the fmal arrangements. It is The TEXAS CAVER October 1991 up to them to decided what to do with your "body." You did not need this to justify the group's decision. It is in bad taste to use Jesus to further justify the cave burial. The fact that it was too dangerous is the only justification needed. Perhaps it would have been more thoughtful to have ended the article (which the Yeager's did read) with some expression of sympathy for their permanent loss. It is my personal point of view that Steele's article is an attempt to make it seem ridiculous for the friends and family to want Chris' body out of the cave and to have the boys in the field come out smelling like a rose. Let us not forget, when we deal with tragedy, that is when the competition and the games are over. Jill Dorman Dible 17 Chester Drive Beech Grove, Indiana 46107 (Continued from p. 91) Similar requests are being sent to the American and Canadian rock-an research associations, respectively, and to the International Commission o n Monuments and Sites. Please sen d information to: Michael Bilbo, Cave Specialist BLM Roswell Resource Area P.O. Drawer 1857 Roswell, New Mexico 88201 (Continued from p. 112) level. If a connection could be m For now, cavers can still enjoy Poli h Cave's large dimensions, attract ; formations, and good air. Acknowledgments We would like to thank all part i i pants of our exploration trips for th :.r help in sUIVeying, care for cave cons vation, and personal safety duri. g sometimes long, physically strenu < t s tours. Also, special thanks to all c leagues from the Colorado Bend P l ) ject for their friendly spirit and int1 : esting campfire discussions.


(Continued from p. 112) It was such air flow that encouraged digging to start into the well. At first, the going was easy through the household junk. Plastic buckets were easily handed up to the surface. Progress was fast when in just a few digs, a crude frame of Juniper posts was erected, and a pulley rig used. By May 1987 (Bexar Fads), the depth was "nearly f orty feet." A more elaborate wood frame was built, and a platform was added around the well opening for safety. Buckets were fabricated from freon cylinders and chain bails. Loads weighing 80 lbs were being pulled by "mules," som e requiring two "mules." By this time a safety board also was suspended just above the digging crew. It was a slce t of pl)Wood with a bucket-sized hole. A gasoline p.; w ered winch built by the author and Arnold Lesley was a ded to the arsenal in the summer of 1990. Due to a ong concern for safety, the going was very deliberate T Y slow). Lift distance also played a delaying role. m munication was hampered by the winch engine so an e rcom was rigged on this last dig proving to be an /I improvement to safety and speed. The winch operator could hear all sounds from downhole and immediately start up with the winch. Previously, top-hole bucket handlers had to strain to hear the diggers and then signal for the winch to lift. Ofttimes, the commands were not issued as needed causing some anxious moments and delay. We will always be vigilant on safety and maintaining our good record. At 18 meters, a side lead was dug through a shattered layer of rock. After much collapse, a 4-meter horizontal crawl now leads to a narrow crevice angling downward and away from the well. It appears to turn in the direction of the lead in the bottom of the well. A connection seems to be likely, judging from the air flow. Terry Raines and some guests visited the dig on this eventful day, some 28 years after frrst seeing the well. What a remarkable coincidence for Terry to see the well again on the day it was fmally emptied. Our motto might be, "If you don't already have a cave, dig one." To join in future digs, contact Randy Waters, 512-342-2729. -_ The Explorer-Southern California Grotto, April1991 (Mark Augustyn) The TEXAS CAVER -October 1991 115


THE TEXAS CAVER P.O. BOX 8026 AUSTIN, TEXAS 78713 BULK RATE U.S. Postage PAID Austin, Texas Pennit No. 1181 -------------------------------------------------------------

Contents: Search For
Cave Aboriginal Paintings / Michael Bilbo --
Polish Cave Story / Rafal Kedzierski and Pat Geery Blue
Hole: A Cavern Beneath The Sea / Raymond C. Mathews Jr. --
A Versatile Gel Cell Caving light / James F. Jasek --
Couple Ties The Knot Underground / Harriette Graves --
Recent Dives In Honey Creek / John Schweyen --
Texas Cave Management Association: Cave Access Guidelines
Sorcerer's Cave (Trip Report) / George Veni --
Age Of Speleothems (Sorcerer's Cave) / George Veni --
Fireant Relief For Urban Cave / George Veni --
Letter To The Editor --
Interesting Facts About Calcium Carbide / Frank S. Reid
Grandpa's Catalog Compendium Of Speleo Suppliers / Mark
Johnston --
The Sigma 28AF Zoom Electronic Camera/ James F. Jasek --
Minas Viejas (Trip Report) / David Herpin --
Milestone Reached At Bindseil's Well / Rick Corbell --
Book Reviews / Bill Mixon