Playing catch up with pix as I’m running out of year, these are from March 2013, think it was an official SubBrit thing run by KURG from memory (but that’s not important).
What is important is to tell the story nobody else chose to tell (i.e. they would rather people didn’t know it happened so they didn’t get mugged off…) I quite like the truth though, especially when people try to cover it up so lets tell the story shall we? 🙂
As stated earlier this was an official/invite trip to Shorts Brothers Seaplane Factory as opposed to the DiY visits that will soon get it permanently sealed.
Some people seem to think if you go on an organised trip then its not cool and you run the risk of getting laughed at on some of the ‘narcissist/look at me’ forums out there, they fear criticism by their peers and long for praise. To me this smacks of low self esteem and a need to feel loved by someone…a bit like a dog who feels happy and accepted if he gets a nice stroke and who feels over the moon if someone tosses him a bone. Me? I couldn’t care less how I get into places as long as I get to see them and as a result of this probably 15% of what I do is ‘official’…who cares!
Getting back to the story…there’s two guys on this trip from a well known forum (actually one of them is now a Moderator), but they try to keep this quiet because:
A) They would almost certainly have been denied access and B) They would be the laughing stock of their forum. Their plan fails spectacularly on Option B as word got out on this forum and a few members did a DiY visit the night before and left a ‘calling card’ for these two guys to show them they were ‘busted’ by their forum buddies. When I say ‘calling card’ what I actually meant was strategically placed piles of fresh, glistening, human turds along with spray painted arrows pointing to their actual real world names (also spray painted) on the floor at various point in the tunnels. Naturally this shocked some members on the visit and enraged others and very quickly there was a guessing game (in pitch darkness) to eliminate the two Turd Targets.
Me and Winch found this hilarious but the organisers didn’t (understandably) but for me it goes to show the duplicity of this lot, they’ll hide in plain sight to get on trips like this, then rip and slate the hand that feeds them when in the company of others, alas this is the world we live in these days.
Here’s a few pix anyway, I did get some turd shots but I don’t want to name names, how would you feel if there was a picture of your name next to a steaming pile of turd?
Playing with the Quark RGB 🙂
‘That’ damn junction (again)
No turds were harmed during the making of this blog post…
And so it came to pass that God gave Winch and me a day off, so we climbed aboard the trusty ExplorMobile and headed out into the countryside of middle England to look for Morlocks in the Time Machine…
We never did see a Morlock in the drain but we did find Mountain Bikes, Monster energy cans, big fish (including a laid back Pike who was over 2 feet long), fanny plasters, Golden Nuggets (of the turd variety) and some nice brick porn.In the 1850’s they drained the local Holme Fen which dropped the water levels locally and in 1852 they started work on the culverts to divert Bury Brook under the town, finally finishing in 1854. At the outfall Bury Brook joins High Lode which forms part of the Middle Level Navigation which eventually joins the OldRiverNene after a mile.The main reason for the trip was the actual junction of the tunnels and the remaining underground workings of the water powered town clock. The clock is still there but in 1920 was converted to run on electricity.The main tunnel carries Bury Brook (clean-ish) water and the side tunnels are stinky CSO’s. For anyone who says otherwise then don’t believe them!
If you are planning on doing the whole culvert and reaching the outfall (approx 700m) then be a smart boy like Winch was and wear Chest Waders, lazy boy here wore Thigh Waders and suffered wad0r breach halfway through, never a good thing when you are surrounded by floaters and are over 1000 meters from dry land. I poured several gallons of shitty/pissy water out each wader when we got back to the car, much to the amusement of the bemused locals who were probably wondering why two blokes were walking down the high street in 26 degree heat dressed in black rubber ;-p
I’d like to go back when there’s a LOT more water going through, the shots would be better and all the turds will have been flushed out…
Props to Dsankt, Otter & Loops for finding this place back in 2008
The ‘Money Shot’, in fact there’s two angles here cos I can’t decide which one I like the most, the first one is neat because of the water and the second one neat because of the arches.
Reached for the4Gas the other day as we were due to snort round a CSO and it’s always a useful thing to have clipped to your shoulder strap but found it had suffered life threatening damage on the last mine trip and embarrassingly I hadn’t noticed :-/Funnily enough though it starts up and does its job properly, you just cannot see anything on the display as it’s shattered….Meh
Methinks it might be an expensive repair job though so time to get a repair estimate 🙁
Been trying to find the perfect lighting rig for the GoPro Hero2 for months and never found anything I was happy with so this was a visit to a short but sweet local culvert to try something else out…
4 x 64 LED lights on a handheld frame running at a supposed 5500K (doesn’t look like 5500K if you ask me) and the GoPro was mounted on the Chesty harness.
This is a lot of light in a small space but the Hero2 still struggles to keep up so its reached the end of the line, he’s going on FleaBay very soon and I’ll drop some shekels on a Hero3 Black Edition 🙂
There’s a handful of stills at the bottom shot on the Canon on the way back through, check the pesky flies that quite artistically fooked the long exposure shots up :-p
Exploring has made me into aself confessed bag whore and I’ve been on the search for the perfect exploring bag for years and years, the thing is there isn’t really any such thing. As long as what you’ve got gets your kit where you need to go without falling apart or damaging your stuff then it doesn’t matter.What is true though are certain bags are better in certain environments, for example in tight, flooded or really muddy spaces I prefer my Sitka Gearslinger as I can spin him round and access whatever I want without taking it off or let the bag touch the ground…..quite useful if you are in four feet of water :-)Every now and then I get an itch to try something new though but invariably they are on eBay within a few days as I’ve not done my homework properly or some ‘feature’ of the bag has annoyed me and I’ve fell out of love with it. My ‘daily driver’ up until recently has been my Maxpedition Sitka Gearslinger as he can carry my Canon, various flashlights, Gas Detector, batteries, bits of climbing gear and a side mounted tripod. More importantly its f**ing Bomb Proof which I like in a bag. I’ve had it years but it’s probably not quite as big as it should be……I hate carrying big bags but should probably upgrade him to a Kodiak Gearslinger which is the exact same design just a touch larger…
The last few weeks I’ve been taking out a Lowe Pro Flipside 300 AW that was gifted to me. He’s great in some respects, light, totally customisable and padded inside so I can get my Canon, GoPro, lighting rig, flashlights etc. in plus it has a really neat tripod carrying solution….BUT….the shoulder straps feel VERY flimsy compared to the OTT build qualityoftheMaxpedition stuff and you have to take the damn thing off to access anything inside.
The main two I keep going back to though are the Sitka Gearslinger if I’m somewhere out of sight or if I’m trying to blend in a bit the 5.11 Rush 12, he’s great as I can get the camera and tripod inside the bag so is much less conspicuous. For silly ass wet/flooded sites I take an Ortlieb heavyweight dry bag in an attempt to not kill another DSLR.
The new kid on the block is a Maxpedition Colossus which I’ve not taken out yet but like the fact I can drop the Canon/Tokina rig straight into him and access it quickly. I’m hoping it will be perfect for handheld only trips where the tripod stays at home but I reckon it will take a side mounted tripod quite easily if I needed to.
Been out week after week trying to trace an outfall so not done any actual exploring for a little while, have got some backlog trips to post up soon though.This damn outfall is proving elusive, have tried various techniques from wading up and down a river (waderless!!) to doing a full blown dye test and still nada.
On a separate note I took the GoPro Chesty out a few weeks ago in some very short culverts, quite pleased with the output (better than head mounted in my opinion).
This little video was shot in 1080p/Wide, might have been better on 1080/Medium as it starts to fisheye a bit in places.
On a screw up weekend full of dissolving plans and time that simply didn’t exist (as much as we wanted it to) we stopped quickly here while on our way somewhere else and fired off a few shots.
The signs say Danger – Keep Out and you are supposed to ‘enjoy from a distance’ but signs have never meant much to me. If you don’t want me to get in then make it impossible, then I wont…
This is ultimate designer accessory…..so you build a house in 1640 and plant it in 3000 acres of land, the trouble is the land is a bit dull and uninspiring so what do you do?
Well, you hire a well known Folly Architect and tell him you want a castle designed, not just any old castle but a derelict castle across the valley from your house so you can look out and see the ‘ruins’ in the distance. Then you pay the best known Landscape Architect of the 18th Century to build it for you.
Yep, this placed looked JUST like this when it was built in the 18th Century!!
More exciting stuff coming soon….got quite a backlog of pix to sort through from far more interesting places than this ;-P
This has to be the cleanest explore I’ve ever done and one that’s been on my list for a very long while.
In fact it was so clean that I showed up in a black suit, black shiny FBI shoes and was for all intents and purposes a bona fide business customer, in fact there’s no way you would get in here without the correct ‘credibility props’ and it certainly makes a change from wading around in cold, deep, stagnant water, human faeces or crawling around in deep, musty bunkers, hell I even got coffee and a name badge 🙂
Built between 1961 and 1964 and up until 1980 the tallest building in London weighing in at 189.0 metres (620.1 ft) makes it still a VERY neat place to visit. Another neat feature is the high speed lift which runs at 7 metres a second, getting you to the 34th Floor (Top of the Tower) in less than 30 seconds. To get that far you MUST have an invite, be on their security list, produce pukka Photo ID and go through airport type security, including walk through ‘Gatescan’ metal detectors, baggage X-Ray and Hand Held Weapons scanners……mind you none of these spotted my Polymer Koppo Stick, I’ve walked through airport security all over the world with this badboy, plus a few Crown Courts ;-p
Photography up there is a witch though as the outer section of the room is rotating relatively fast, sunlight is coming through from all angles and reflections from other panes of glass in the structure are damned hard to avoid (in fact I’ve binned 20 shots already)
I guess its as easy to lose 93 photo’s as it to lose one (and I’m still looking for my West Norwood Cemetery Catacombs shots from 3 years ago…one day they will show up on a backup drive I’d forgotten about…)
So, I stumbled across 93 pix I shot at Drakelow RGHQ 9.2 several years ago and thought I’d post up a very small selection here, mainly cos I thought I already had already blogged them.
They were all shot on the little Lumix T76 backup camera so are not that great but they still have an interest all the same.