Exploring the Fairy Hole cave - Part 1

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Exploring the Fairy Hole cave - Part 1

Postby BrianFrank » Aug 29, 2012 12:19 pm

(Interesting cave story that someone just sent to me. Will post part 2 when it comes out next week.)

PART 1 - Exploring the Fairy Hole cave into Kellys Mountain

By Rannie Gillis

It was late August, 1972, when I found myself on a small exposed beach at the very northern tip of Kellys Mountain, along with my good friend Gerry Schuurkamp.

Off to our right, was the low-lying outline of the two Bird Islands, while on our left, the majestic eastern flank of the Cape Breton Highlands stretched off into the distance. It was, without a doubt, a stunning panorama, and one that very few Cape Bretoners had ever seen.

The Fairy Hole cave that we wanted to visit was out of sight on the right-hand side. In order to access the entrance we had to put on bathing suits, wade into the warm water, and squeeze through a little circular opening in the side of the narrow ravine. Once through, we found ourselves in a pool of water that was waist deep and about 30 feet wide. Over our right shoulders loomed the gaping mouth of an imposing cavern, an opening that extended up and back into the depths of Kellys Mountain.

It was a most impressive sight, and Gerry estimated that the entrance was at least 30 feet wide. The roof of the cave also extended out over our heads, to a point about 20 feet away. To our left, a row of large boulders, much taller than we were, protected the little pool that we were standing in from the full force of any incoming waves. Even if there was a vicious storm raging outside, we would have been safe and secure.

After checking out our surroundings, we climbed up a 12-foot sloping wall of rock that brought us to the floor of the cave. Once safely inside, we sat down and made sure our flashlights were working properly, and that we had our spare batteries in our pockets. Then, after turning our backs on the bright sunlight outside the entrance, we carefully made our way up the sloping floor of the cave.

As we moved upward at about a 45-degree angle inside the mountain, the entrance passage became darker and more restricted. Then, about 100 feet from the entrance, we came to a level spot where we could finally sit down and catch our breath. Our entrance passage had by now narrowed to a point where we could no longer stand up, and our passageway had become a rather confined tunnel, about six feet wide. From now on, we would be forced to stoop over or move about on our hands and knees.

Looking back, we could just barely make out the sunlit edge of the pool outside the entrance that we had left behind only a few minutes earlier. Even more important, the air this far inside the mountain was surprisingly cool, so that we were quite comfortable. We could also feel a little draft, which meant that fresh air was coming down the tunnel from somewhere deep inside the mountain.

After turning on our flashlights, we could see that the cave in front of us became even smaller, which meant that if we wished to continue on we would have to crawl through this restricted passage on our hands and knees. Should we turn back, or carry on?

Next week: the first of four chambers, inside the sacred cave.

From: http://www.capebretonpost.com/Opinion/C ... Mountain/1
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BrianFrank
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