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Cuevas de Bellamar

P1010076, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

Shortly after leaving the tourist section of the Cuevas de Bellamar there was this reddish hump in front – it was a rippled flowstone ramp, over which I wriggled and there in front was …..

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Raw Silver in Cobalt Mining Museum

dad 043, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

Here is my dad in the Cobalt mining museum. Sitting on top of a safe they have a chunk of silver that they dug out of the earth nearby worth around $14,000. I doubt that must be the value by weight – maybe there is some kind of value added for collector appeal. If you are big on silver this is the place to go. I would imagine that there is more you can learn about silver in this museum than any place else.

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A calculation of risk and reward. Why do I obsess over stuff like this?

IMG_8240, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

Here is a tunnel – a crawling tunnel that had once been half filled with water. It is possible to wriggle through here without touching the roof but my concern would be, how safe is it?

Three things wrong with getting squished flat. Firstly the personal cost – it would hurt, my wife and family would be upset and I would no longer be able to continue caving. Secondly a nasty accident such as that would bring a bad name to caving in Ontario and thirdly, I am our company’s on-site safety manager. I am responsible for the safety of a lot of┬ápeople. Dead safety manager! There is some irony there. Ha – always knew the guy never practiced what he preached. We have a term for that – “Disengagement”

I have mulled over the risk and motivation thing and a collegue quite neatly summed it up. I like to do dangerous things in as safe a manner as possible. How true. You cant eliminate risk from life. You need some degree of uncertainty to keep yourself on edge. Risk brings reward. To live wisely you need to minimize the risk, but you must balance it with reward. What do you have to gain? What is the certain cost? What is the possible cost? There is nothing to gain by negligence in one’s work environment. There is plenty to gain by setting goals and making reasonable calculations.

My goal is to know what lies beyond. Why? It appeals to my spiritual well-being.

My question to you is; does this look safe? I know the water goes on around the corner. There is a sound of falling water coming from on beyond. Do you think the roof might fall in if touched? It looks like some blocks have fallen already.

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This is caving in Ontario

 

Caving in Ontario – Sanctum of the Bruce!

It is what you might call a rather challenging mental problem – an exercise in self control – sensory deprivation. What is it about pushing the boundaries that is so appealing?

Physically – oh there’s no problem there. I will fit. I figured it out the first time I tried it; Asked my partner to pull me out by the ankles if I stopped kicking. But mentally, you have to lay on your back in freezing cold ground-water. Your ears are underwater so you quickly start getting dizzy. You have to fight hyperventilation as you start wriggling over the cobbles – stifling the urge to scream out as the water turns you into a blast freeze Popsicle. Too many waves and ripples and this same freezing water is lapping over your nostrils. You do the sump on your back.

This is caving in Ontario!

One step beyond the challenge of holding your breath in an icy cave pool is cave diving into the unknown with scuba tanks, Check out this new movie coming out – Sanctum in 3D, it appears to be the ultimate in cave experience without actually caving, it’s about a bunch of cave divers who are exploring an underwater labyrinth – see the trailer for Sanctum 3D here I myself will be one of the first to see this, it opens February 4th.

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An Ontario Cave

IMG_7647, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

You would be surprised how cold ground water can be in August.

While exploring an Ontario cave I heard this strange hollow bonking sound, it was really loud, a sort of chugging, slurping gong. It kind of freaked me out until I realized that it came from somewhere along this water filled tunnel that I am backing down – water pumping up against a low ceiling, a one way trip down into the sump.

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Bancroft Gemboree 2008

P1010580, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

This lady was selling pink buddhas at the Bancroft Gemboree. I have just got back from spending the weekend there and I have taken a number of interesting photos of the people and the minerals that were being sold. This was the first person that I saw as I walked in.

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The Bats Looked Healthy to me

P1010706, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

Much has been said of the mysterious disease that had been killing bats this spring. Having just seen numerous bats in Northern Ontario (Bancroft area) I was unable to notice any of the white fuzz around the nose. This disease might possibly have just shown itself earlier in the year – or maybe it has not hit the mines up around Bancroft. These bats are sheltering up at the end of a shallow drill hole and numerous other bats were flying around in the tunnels.

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