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Otter Hole

Sunday May 10th 2015

Members present: Adam Walmsley,  Andrew Gilmartin,  Andy Hurlbatt,  Sophie Hentschel,  Vicky Bailey

Report by Adam Walmsley

Twas reet early one morning in May
When Walmslers did rise from the hay
He thought as he ate his breakfast pie:
“Let’s go down Otter Hole in the Vale of Wye”.

So he hopped in his black chav-mobile
And stopping for coffee at Keele,
By 7 reached the campsite at Chepstowe
Finding the others all ready to go.

Andy H, Vicky B, German Sophie,
And to get them all psyched, Andy G
From there, they all did a-hasten
To meet their great leader, Pete Mason.

Now the walk through the woodland was charming
But Pete mentioned something alarming
Dependent on recent rainfall
They may not get in there at all!

On reaching the entrance they waited
For it seemed that the cave had been gated
Then releasing the bolt with a grunt,
Said Andy G: “Well that was a bit of a *&$!”

Into the cave they all started,
As someone ont’ surface had farted,
Inside it was cool, dark and damp,
So they each turned on their head lamps.

First impressions the caving was shite
All muddy and awkward and tight
Thoughteth they: “this can only get better!”
Well, in fact, it only got wetter.

Through liquid mud they slithered and slipped,
Then presently the passage dipped
Down a final slope of liquid slop,
They reached the tidal sump with a plop.

Sophie tested the water with a grimace,
And Pete assessed the air space,
Then wading in, Andy H said: “Fuck it!”
“I’m already wetter than an otter’s pocket”.

Through the duck they all passed one by one,
Most pulling it off with aplomb,
But some of ‘em threw hissy fits,
As the water rose up past their bits.

Then leaving behind them the sump
They climbed the ladder t’ rescue dump
As the tide flooded in right behind
They were locked in for a 9 hr grind.

All manner of cavingness followed,
They clambered, traversed, crawled and wallowed
Came the end of the streamway, they rested, ate grub
And had a jolly good scrub-a-dub-dub.

Pete said “Next up’s the Mendipian Way,
“This cave’s not even begun, yes yes oh yay”
While some were having a bit of a 'mare,
others were like "wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle, yeah!"

Then all at once they came across
A whopping great big calcite boss,
They looked around in bare amazement,
Thirty of ‘em, for their gazement.

Well that was just the beginning
From there on in they didn’t stop grinning
Finer formations you couldn’t conceive
Such beauty you would not believe.

All these pretties they stared at in awe
Including a sick 12 foot straw
A host of ‘thems that looked like gorgons,
Boobies, beehives and church organs.

So pure and white, so blinding bright
Round them they danced in sheer delight
In sheer delight they danced and played
And everyone pure joy displayed.

But if by chance a tackle sack,
Should whack a stal, cause it to crack
Or mud be smeared upon a curtain
There'd be hell to pay, that much was certain.

They traveled on th’intrepid bunch
And presently they stopped for lunch
Then one of them exclaimed with mirth
“We’ve reached the centre of the earth!”

Well that was that, there was no doubt,
‘Twas about time to be heading out
“Don’t go too fast now” said their guide
“We must await the ebbing tide”.

Arriving back unto the watter,
They found a more committing matter
The sump was fairly full t’brim
And so they went and had a swim.

Thence with passion, Vicky did implore:
“Once more unto the gloop dear friends, once more”
They slugged and trudged, they battled, they won
And finally they saw the sun.

Arriving there upon the surface
They felt they had fulfilled their purpose
The verdant woods so green and ferny
Imparted a great sense of journey.