Wednesday, July 13, 2011

MSI: Mapping Walsingham Caves

Just off the causeway, traveling away from St. Davids, the MSI program followed Robert Chandler down a beaten path through the caves of Walsingham. This morning the interns were assigned the task of mapping out Subway cave, one of many caves in the area. Armed with transect tape, a GPS device, an inclinometer, headlamps, sketch pads and compasses, the interns laid out transect lines through the three chambers of Subway cave and proceeded to record measurements and observations that will help them recreate the cave in the Bermuda Laboratory later this week.

Six headlights, settled upon the interns' inquisitive brows, made their way through the depths of darkness only a cave can supply, illuminating century old stalactites and stalagmites that cast shadows on the cavern walls. Measurements were taken by headlamp light. John recounted that he, "enjoyed drawing profiles of the cave entrances and the third chamber. I found this very fun and I look forward to doing a full diagram of the cave on all of its axises when we have gathered all the information in order to create a 3D diagram of the Subway cave. Sketches by Kori and John were made to fill in what could not be expressed by mere measurements.

Once the mapping of Subway cave was complete, Mr. Chandler led the interns on a tour around the area. Kori especially enjoyed hiking on the Walsingham nature reserve. Taylor, an intern from the States, recounted that Today I got to explore the natural world of Bermuda for the first time. I also learned a lot about the various botanical species that live around the Walsingham caves from Mr. Chandler.

 As the day was coming to an end Andreas remarked that, “It was wonderful to explore one of the most densely cavernous places in the world.

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