Cave Exploration

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Cave Exploration

The worst day of my life began innocently enough with my small group of friends preparing to explore a cave. Each month the four of us, I, Jill, John, and Ted, would choose two or three caves and spend our weekends engrossed in exploring them. Today’s cave was a special one; it afforded just a small window of opportunity for exploration because it flooded completely with each high tide. As we checked our packs and made sure all our spelunking and survival gear was in order, a rather jovial, but sizable, fellow by the name of Scott Porker happened by and asked if he could join our group. We agreed, as we were always happy to be in the company of a kindred spirit, and since the tide had just gone out we began our descent into the cave.

Our newly acquired fifth member was the last in and got wedged in the opening so tightly we thought we would never be able to pull him loose. Finally, our persistent tugging prevailed, and Scott came loose like a cork from a bottle. We quickly set about probing the cave and didn’t give that incident another thought, since we had just three precious hours in which to achieve our goal of exploration.

After just two hours, our very large friend said he’d had enough for the day and was heading for the surface. We told him we’d be out in a few more minutes and to hang around so we could discuss what we’d found. As we began our ascent toward the entrance, we became acutely aware of the complete absence of light the entrance usually emanated. When our flashlights finally found the source of the unusual darkness we were horrified; the big guy was stuck in the cave’s opening again. This time Scott’s head and shoulders were outside, so instead of being able to pull him through, we would have to try to push him out of the opening. We pushed in every combination of ways possible, and needless to say it did not work this time. The paramount problem was that the cave floods from the interior out, so we would all drown if we couldn’t get Scott unstuck, and unstuck quickly.

We began to panic, picking up rocks and using them as hammers in an attempt to loosen the rocks around the opening.

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