Originally uploaded by Mic2006.
Jeff had only become known to me “in the person” this past weekend. Up until now I had intermittantly received commentary from D about an ambitious new caver who had some draining experience and was keen to learn about the natural underworld.
There seems to be a dispropotionately large number of plumbers who are also cavers. It is obviously a natural calling to them. They share a fascination as to where the water goes. Jeff is a plumber from Hamilton, one of several who I know to be cavers. Unusually; I being a gemologist, know of two other gemologists who are cavers. It is a rare profession and caving is an obscure pass-time. What are the odds of that mix? There must be some inner working of the human mind that drive certain types of people down this muddy path, a group of oddball automatons, bent on slithering around in muddy water-filled tubes well beneath a perfectly sunny and comfortable surface.
Many kinds just briefly dabble in caving, each type has their motivation. Some want exercise, some like the companionship, thee are some who fancy the image (???) Those who stay for the long haul are an unusual lot. They have this certain something that drives them on. I think it is curiosity of where something goes – an appreciation of natural beauty also helps. There is no more sublime landscape than the twisting water-worn tunnels in limestone.
A caver knows they are a caver right away. Their first exploration leaves them inextricably addicted. Their whole out look changes. They stop at roadside cuttings – examine likely cave bearing strata – pour over topographical maps – hack through the bush, poking in dank crevices hoping to find that illusive something. Those who knew them before this disease shake their heads in sorrow.
Be careful Jeff, I think you may have caught it! It’s a life’s obsession. Look at poor old D and I.