"Right then, lets find the bloody cave, have a quick look, then go for a stroll in the Almonda", suggested the intrepid leader, optimistic as ever. However, as the previous day had been spent following a dodgy French grid reference we resorted to the tried and tested method of supposition, carefully calculated measurements and plotting TB infected spewtum from Bloomster, to decide where it was.
Warp 5 drive over to the correct village and a 1˝ hour tab around a scurf covered hillside turned up nowt, but a few small holes and some girly wood ants. Simon found a local hick and using his Portuguese skills learnt by sitting next to the pool he asked the kindly looking hick where the cave was. The hick replied that he would take us to the cave if Simon stroked his huge scurf dog and grunted in time to the techno blasting from his stereo. Simon agreed and the hick took us to the mouth of the cave located in a Eucalyptus plantation 300m southwest of Barrus (now wasn’t that easy!)
The hole was dark and started in fine fashion with dire rigging. I lost all faith in my ability to cope with Portuguese spits (rotating with no threads), threaded studs (no glue), cave spiders (huge, really huge) and a dry rope tied to a manky pine tree. Ugh. Luckily Webbo had left his brain in the bidet and shot straight down, bravely swiping all dangers ahead of him. We landed in a stinking pighole of a cave, spent 4 hrs underground then left.
What we thought we would see.
What we actually saw.
The rigging was straight forward but fearsome. I kept telling myself that if the main belay went it was unlikely that the big knot would go through the 3 deviation krabs ! Eventually Dave arrived from above bringing reassurance and new rope. We arrived at the bottom to find a festering stinking pile of shit (romantically described as a debris cone in the guide). The whole place stank and I had to suppress the urge to prussik straight back up and say fuck it. There were some pretties, but I missed them. Piles of minging bat guano adorned the walls and bones were strewn around. The route out was eased by the use of a parallel eucalyptus bark rope, which was cunningly woven over an ivy root pulley to form some sort of primitive Z-rig (like).
Talking of primitive, we went to see Pearshapes fossilised footprints in a disused quarry. Freakologists had identified characteristic knuckle dragging marks outside a donkey spunk warehouse.
Late in the afternoon I began to feel like shite. Stevey Bloom had purposely given me a dose of TB by stirring a lump of his infected lung into my supper. I knew that my only hope was port, but alas we soon ran out that very evening. I was forced to suffer just for Steve's vindictive amusement. (There was plenty of cheap red wine, but Simon scorned our advice, Dave).
At last after days of fever today I have felt a little better. This is our 3rd day at sea and so far no sight of land. Two icebergs were seen but they drifted harmlessly by. Captain Dave is a cruel man and though he only has one testicle, one eye and one leg I find I can have little sympathy for him. Today we were sent into the hold to fetch some bats up for our tea. First we laid a line from the mainmast down the for'ad hold and cabinboy Simon was forced to go down first though he protested mightily saying, "Verily do not send me thus into the unknown." He was gone some time before be beckoned the rest of us down. I can truly say I have never been so afraid in my life. The hold was dark and the sides were covered in a sort of dry dust, which was most uncomfortable to my throat. Eventually we were all down and we started to search around. It seemed to have been some sort of hardware store at one time for the floor was littered with all sorts of supplies, shoes and kitchenware being especially profuse though there was also a fair scattering of bones, bicycles etc.
Stevey Bloom looking 110% (AP)
Stevey being woken after wimping out of another late evening (AP)