We had heavy rain overnight and had to wait till after lunch before the tunnel was dry enough to enter. We had some minor cave-ins and were able to use a remote controlled car to assess the damage, which worked well. Immigrant Z and her brother can be thanked once again for this piece of technology.
By the end of the day it was dry enough to start working but still damp and very heavy going. We decided it was better to make tunnel repairs, clean up the lot and dump soil around the neighbourhood.
We have all been on a really steep learning curve this week. It is now 5 days of real digging and all of us are pretty exhausted but starting to get into the routine. We have solved most of the technical issues with supply clean air to those digging at the face and power and comms. We have rigged up a radio transponder for comms and run LED lights for power. Basically just Christmas lights almost. At the head the tunnel the digger relies on their own head lamp for light.
The soil conditions have been good so far. We could probably get away with lighter roof supports but we are playing it safe. Immigrant Crazy and Immigrant Roof Bolter are cautious and professional in everything they do concerning the design of the tunnel. It is fascinating to watch and learn from them. Well maybe I am not really learning a lot since most of what they say is way over my head.
Yesterday we had to take it slowly as we descended around .5 metres over 5 meters to match the lay of the land. After every half metre Immigrant Crazy Eye had to check her bearings and map the next part of the dig. It is extremely difficult to navigate underground. We don’t want to go too deep so we can limit the load we have to support and we don’t want to go too shallow. If we have a roof collapse with less than a metre of soil above us we will likely give ourselves away. We are trying to keep the tunnel 2m or more below ground.
Today has been a bit frustrating not being able to work however it is nice having two days at a bit slower pace. We will need to catch up digging hours by making up one extra shift in the coming days.