Depth through thought

OUCC News 10th February 2004

Volume 14, Number 3

DTT Main Index

OUCC Home Page

Editor: Anette Becher,

Editor's bit

I had to go to Egypt last week, so apologies to those of you who sent me copy that appeared to be ignored by me.

Caving in New Zealand

Jonathan Cooper

I've just got back from holiday in New Zealand, where I did no caving what-so-ever as above ground was way too nice and I had plenty of other necky activities to occupy my time. I did, however, spend some time researching caving possibilities including contacting local cavers and reading up on decent trips. I'm hoping to go back in the next year or two and amongst other things have a go at Nettlebed which is an 880m deep through trip in an unspoilt wilderness at the north end of South Island. As it is a long way away, the trip would probably involve some other caving as well as other outdoor pursuits. Would anyone else be interested?

The main down side is that it is on the other side of the world and hence will be expensive to get to (approx £600, out of season, much more at busy times e.g. round Xmas), but it is a fantastic country, the cost of living once out there is very cheap, New Zealanders are great people and they speak English. For Nettlebed, groups of four are about the right number (it takes on average 20 hours for a party who does not know the way well, and there is a camp for 5 about half way) and in any case I would try to time things for when a local club was doing the cave, so we could make use of local knowledge of things to do above and below ground.

[Editor: You could always try Snablet and Anette, as they will be based in New Zealand as of the end of this month]

OUCC Strata Waterbed Mattress

I'm a web master, and I was just searching Google for strata water bed mattress. I found your domain, ranked 31, which is pretty cool.

My site is all about Home / Garden, too . Maybe we should link up? I wouldn't be stealing any of your sales, because all I do is write informational articles...not selling anything on my site at all. And most of my visitors write back to say that they love the fact that I only write good, quality info. As a matter of fact, I've got a pretty loyal following of people that come back over and over again (they use the site as a reference), so if you link to me, you should get some pretty good traffic from it -- which is always nice.

Anyway, let me know if you'd like to swap links. I've already linked to you, and will keep it up there for a few days until I hear back. Hope to hear from you soon!

Sarah Green RAC IM: 321010.

[Editor: Sent in by Steve Roberts. I see a fair amount of similar random spam and would not normally propagate spam in DTT, but I thought this was sufficiently amusing...]

Caving in Venezuela

Keith Hyams

There may be an opportunity to spend two weeks exploring the caves of Roraima with Venezualan cavers this Easter. If you are interested and would be able to commit within a week please contact

Re: DTT14.2 and Keith's tale of woe and 4.5v flatpacks

Bill Ford-Smith

It might be of vague interest to people to note that I suspect it's going to get increasingly hard to easily get hold of 4.5v flatpacks in anywhere other than serious specialist shops. The reason for this is that the Zoom has been discontinued in its standard form and is only currently being made in the halogen version (as far as I know), which seems to be hopelessly outclassed by the newer Myos. Most retailers seem to have replaced the Zoom in their ranges with the Myo series (AA batteries) and an awful lot of punters have moved to the smaller LED headtorches e.g. Zipka and Tikka series (AAA batteries).

At the moment, sales of 4.5v flatpacks still justify stocking the things, but I suspect this will change over the next year or three. So, worth making sure you have batteries before heading off into the middle of nowhere!

Library news

Steve Roberts

Descent 176 has the cover photo from the Hong Meigui expedition (i.e. "our" China lot), and an excellent article from Rich Gerrish on the same. Interesting to see a Gerrish article with the expletives deleted, a bit like a bag of chips without the salt... Other articles are on the titan shaft story and on the BCA (mostly about PL insurance, what a surprise). Various other discoveries are reported, but judging by the photos, I'll give them a miss... In fact, apart from the China photos, I'm afraid that the pictures in this issue would not entice the hordes to take up caving; it seems to be a theme issue on "MUD". The awful truth revealed!