Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Map showing approximate location of lines and places of interest

We laid approximately two kilometres of line in #2 Mine during the expedition in spite of challenging conditions. We discovered numerous artefacts -- too many to catalog in the time allotted -- and our initial impression of the areas of mine we visited shows no apparent sign of collapse or cave-in. The depth of the seam varies from four metres to about two metres and spacing of "ribs" (the pillars of rock and ore left as supports) is quite irregular drifting from one metre (as in the area we called the squeeze) to ten metres or more. We discovered several areas with graffiti drawn on the walls including the James Bennett Room which was one of the most interesting. At first we thought the miners had used lumps of charcoal on the ribs but learned by talking to Bell Islanders that the miners turned up their carbide lamps and used the soot to trace out their designs. While visibility in some areas was a true challenge, other portions of the mine featured extremely good visibility. We put this variance down to snow melt and run-off and temperature differences in spring water and the run-off.

Our overall conclusion is that Mine # 2 should be opened for qualified divers with certain restrictions that will be contained in our final report to the Bell Island heritage Society.

The accompanying map shows approximate locations of lines laid (actual lines extend beyond borders of this map) and also shows some of the features we discovered during our exlporations. Please note that this map is intended for discussion only and in this version is not accurate enough for future dive planning.

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