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    Archived pages: 573 . Archive date: 2013-12.

  • Title: JCO - The Jamaican Caves Organisation
    Descriptive info: .. The Jamaican Caves Organisation.. Speleology and Cave Exploration in Jamaica.. Resources.. News.. Guidance.. The Jamaican Caves Organisation is a registered non-profit group dedicated to the discovery, exploration, and preservation of the caves and karst of Jamaica.. Submissions of news, notes, and data are welcome.. Collaboration is invited.. Please support the.. JCO.. All text, images, and videos of Jamaican caves, persons, and scenery  ...   Reservations" [2], are copyright Stewart, Pauel, Slack, Garrez, Van Rentergem, Fincham, Kennedy, McGinnis, Hyde, Bellinger, Roggy, Lee, Eastwood, or McKenzie, and may only be reproduced with the permission of the rights holders.. [1] Many thanks to The National Land Agency of Jamaica for the use of the topo maps on this site, and [2] Anthony Bourdain for the use of the St Clair clip..

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  • Title: Jamaica Caves - The Jamaican Caves Organization Main Page
    Descriptive info: Jamaican Caving News.. Field Notes.. Databases.. Funding.. Equipment Reviews.. JCO Publications.. Mapping and GIS.. Articles and Advisories.. Cave Preservation.. Photographs and Videos.. Associated Websites.. Who we are.. Jamaica Caves and Sinkholes..

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  • Title: Jamaican News - Caving News From Jamaica
    Descriptive info: The JCO Jamaican Caving News.. JCO Main Page.. JCO on Facebook.. Tuesday, December 10, 2013.. Contact the JCO.. Jamaican Caves Organisation Update.. (Dec 10/13).. T.. he rainy season component of the Malvern wind farm bat EIA was finished last weekend.. So far, we've collected data for bats at 18 sites.. Next comes an interim report that puts the information into a useable form for NEPA, et al, which will be soon done.. A few weeks after that, we return to look at all of the sites again in the dry season.. The photo to the right is of the smaller of the two fruit-eating bats found in Jamaica, Ariteus flavescens (aka the Jamaican fig-eating bat), taken last weekend (capture and release).. The Ariteus is endemic to Ja (only lives here), and is also the only species in its genus.. Quite a cool, little critter, and we're always glad to find them.. During the EIA hiatus over Christmas, we'll arrange a JCO group caving outing or two.. We need to take a break from the ratbats, and get some of our bredren and sistren underground again.. Sites that need work are Crofts River Two for mapping and exploration, St Clair Zambia Entrance to recover gear and finish exploration, and possibly a return to the Acheron at St Clair.. For long term projects, 2014 is a brand new year, and we intend to stay busy.. The possible blind cave fish at Jackson's Bay is high priority, as is mapping and assessments of a number of sites on our to-do list, and research into the caves of the Goat Islands.. (Dec 5/13).. S.. tewart and Pauel will be back in St Elizabeth tomorrow working on the wind farm EIA.. We would like to note that the company constructing the turbines is receptive to our suggestions with regard to minor changes in site location (micro-siting) based on our research so far.. It could be key in preventing a negative impact on the bats living in the area, and we're glad to see their recognition of the importance of bats to Jamaica.. (Nov 28/13).. O.. ur apologies for the lack of News items recently, but we've been busy, and will make amends for it now.. First off, Stewart and Pauel have to date completed 13 nights of capture and release netting at the Santa Cruz Mountains as part of a wind farm environmental impact assessment, which leaves 7 more nights to go as part of the rainy season component.. We'll be back at it this weekend.. Along with netting at the turbine sites, we've determined that Blair's Cave is a duplicate of Campus Cave, and have good recon info for another, with a visit planned for this wekend.. Our main priority is to locate the site listed as Palm Tree Cave, which we believe to be the best/only real bat cave in the area.. Also, Stewart has recently assisted several arachnologists studying cave spiders at Carambie Cave, and Hartie Caves 1 and 2, plus visited the Peterkin-Rota system in St James, St Clair Cave in St Catherine, and taken a large group of people from the NHT across the Troy-Windsor Trail.. With regard to the St Clair visit, which happened this morning, feces of what we believe to be a yellow boa,.. Epicrates subflavus.. , were found inside of the main, Polly Ground, entrance, and in the Junction area of the cave.. We've seen it before at the Zambia entrance, but not there.. It seems there's a viable population hanging on in the hills south of Ewarton.. (Oct 18/13).. P.. auel and Stewart will begin fieldwork next week on the bat component of an environmental impact assessment (EIA) for a planned wind farm in the Santa Cruz Mountains, St Elizabeth, being constructed by Blue Mountain Renewables.. This component will be a first for Jamaica, so we intend to be very thorough, and try to establish a method that might serve as a model for future projects here, and in the wider Caribbean.. The funding we receive as part of it will also enable us to carry out more of our pro bono work, for which we are very grateful.. The data collected will initially be proprietal, but at some point it will become public, and we hope to receive permission to publish a paper based on it once it is.. (Oct 3/13).. he website admin was off-island for the last couple of weeks, with no internet access, but is back a yard and tings a gwaan.. First up, some info on the cave in St Catherine visited by Pauel and Conolley on August 25.. Locally, it is known as Archer Cave, but we believe it is the site listed as Top Mountain Cave in Jamaica Underground.. The cave was found to contain a Taino petroglyph by the JCO crew, and is now listed in the JCO database with that information.. November is shaping up to be quite busy, with a couple of crossings of the Troy-Windsor Trail planned, a search for the giant swallowtail butterfly (.. Papilio homerus.. ) in the Cockpit Country, and probable work on an EIA for a project in south St Elizabeth.. We're hopeful that we'll be able to post more on that next week.. (Sept 10/13).. A.. group led by the JCO was at Swansea Cave in Lluidas Vale over the weekend.. The visit went well and we'd like to thank everyone who was with us for coming along.. We'll do something similar at a different cave in a month or so.. (Sept 2/13).. lease have a look at the following items regarding the threatened Portland Bight Protected Area:.. Press Release - Goat Islands.. and.. Jamaica Observer - Goat Islands.. (Aug 28/13).. he JCO is very concerned about GoJ plans to give the Goat Islands to the Chinese, which will have a severe impact on the Portland Bight Protected Area (PBPA).. The PBPA is the most pristine area of dry coastal forest left in Jamaica, and harbours many rare species (e.. g.. the Ja iguana).. There are also a number of important caves that have Taino artefacts, Neogene fossils, and large bat colonies.. We will post a dedicated page soon that supplies more information.. (Aug 27/13).. he Jamaican Caves Organisation will carry out a fund-raising outing at Swansea Cave on either the weekend of Aug 31/Sept 1 or Sept 7-8, depending on interest.. Swansea Cave, in Lluidas Vale, St Catherine, was first recorded by De la Beche in 1827, and first mapped by the Geological Survey Dept of Jamaica in 1960.. It is quite long (over 1km), and still not completely explored in its further stretches.. Physically, it is beautiful, with many fine formations, and biologically, it is important, with a large bat-roost, and a variety of cave-adapted invertebrates that include the rare endemic Onychophoran, Speleoperipatus spelaeus, which is known from only two sites in Jamaica.. The hike to the entrance is easy, and takes only 10 minutes, and the drive to where we park is 1 1/2 hours from Kingston, mostly along the A1.. On the way, near Worthy park, we will visit a location with several fine Taino petroglyphs, and then head to the cave itself where we will spend about two hours underground.. Videos of previous visits to the cave can be found on YouTube at:.. Swansea - January 2011.. , and.. Swansea - January 2013.. The cost of the outing is 2,000 J$ per person.. We do not supply food, but we do supply helmets, headlamps, and expertise.. For more information, please contact Stefan at info@jamaicancaves.. org or 876 397 7488.. (Aug 2/13).. F.. riends at UWI have forwarded some interesting aerial photos of a cave entrance in Hellshire, one of which is posted to the right.. At this point, we don't know if it's listed, or unlisted and unexplored, but we intend to find out first chance.. This depends on funding (more on that lower).. What we can deduce from the photos is that it seems to be rift-developed, and there appears to be some degree of continuation (it certainly isn't a shelter cave).. If it's similar to caves in the sister karst of Portland Ridge, it could be extensive, and because of a relatively thin layer of surface material above, could have multiple collapse entrances.. With regard to biota, notable likely residents are bats, and yellow boa (Jamaica's largest snake).. On funding, in a general sense - we're going to post something we usually don't - a proposal, with a budget (although we often write them).. It has to do with a search for a possible blind cave fish that was reported at Jackson's Bay Great Cave (JBC) several decades ago.. We have reason to think it still exists, and if it does, our research will be the only definite record of a cave-obligate fish so far in Jamaica.. The odds are good that it will be a new species.. The.. JBC proposal posted here.. was written in response to a request from an environmental foundation in the Portland Bight area.. However, to date, they don't have the funds to go ahead, and we don't have the funds to do it pro bono.. We invite sponsors to help make it possible.. More details are available upon request.. (Jul 22/13).. few of the principal JCO members have been on hiatus this month for various reasons, but things will kick up come August.. On the to-do list are Jackson's Bay Cave (in search of a blind fish), Thatchfield (in search of an undiscovered entrance), the rest of the sites we haven't assessed yet in St Elizabeth (mostly pro bono for NEPA), and possibly some bat monitoring near Smokey Hole (the only large bat-roost in south Manchester).. We also hope to arrange a group outing or two - more to follow on that, here and on the Facebook page.. (Jul 3/13).. auel and Stewart (JCO) were at Jamaica's longest cave, Gourie, last Saturday, June 29, 2013, to establish if the outer part of the cave between the three entrances can be visited safely by the general public during the rainy season.. Our investigation indicated that this is so if certain precautions are taken.. We've posted an interim report here,.. Gourie Cave - June 29, 2013.. , as well as a video that accompanies it, which is available in high resolution on our server,.. Gourie Cave Video - June 29, 2013 - High Resolution.. (826 MB MP4 - Very large file!), and in lower resolution on our YouTube channel,.. Gourie Cave - YouTube.. (Jun 24/13).. W.. e've posted a video clip of.. Professor Silvia Kouwenberg on rope at Thatchfield Cave.. last Sunday (59 MB WMV).. Pauel and Stewart will be in the field this weekend at Gourie Cave, in Manchester.. (Jun 20/13).. K.. ouwenberg, Pauel, and Stewart were at Thatchfield Cave last Sunday, June 16, with two guests.. An interesting observation was made - one of the frogs,.. Eleutherodactylus cundalli.. , was heard deep in the cave in the area of the avens.. This frog is only found in caves near entrances.. We have been sure for some time that another entrance exists somewhere within the "new" cave, as evidenced by a constant breeze flowing inward at the constriction that leads from the "old" cave.. We've suspected that the unfound entrance might be in the area of the avens, and we now have another data point that reinforces the possibility.. In April, Van Rentergem and Stewart carried out an accurate line survey from the avens to the lighthole entrance, where a good GPS position has been recorded.. The survey stations for the avens were then turned into GPS waypoints so that a surface search for the entrance could take place, similar to how we found the new, third entrance of St Clair Cave.. However, the positions were found to be on the other side of a cow pasture (with resident cows), and as we had no pyro (tick spray) with us, and no desire to become infested with nasty, little ectoparasites, we declined to complete the search.. A return, armed with pyro, is now very high on our to-do list.. (May 17/13).. tewart will make a solo run across the Troy Trail this Sunday/Monday in support of future work.. No one has been across in over a year, and considering that Hurricane Sandy came through last October 24, we expect the trail to be a bit of a mess.. Recon is in order.. The plan is to hike to the south end (Tyre, near Troy) on Sunday, overnight it, and then hike back to Windsor on Monday.. If he goes missing in the course of it, he'll have at least disappeared in the part of the world that he loves the most.. The following weekend, Stewart, Hyde, and others will be in the field working on JCO projects.. The tentative plan is a return to Swansea Cave to search for more Onychophora.. This critter, Speleoperipatus spelaeus, also known as a velvet walking worm, is an incredibly rare cave invertebrate known from only 5 specimens, one of which the JCO found in the past at Swansea (the other 4 were found by Peck at Pedro Cave, not far away).. (May 14/13).. nother fund-raising hike will take place in the Cockpit Country on May 18.. We'd like to thank Marguerite Phillips for helping to set it up.. If possible, we'd like to do these outings every other weekend.. More info can be found at a new page we've put online,.. Caving and Hiking for Jamaicans.. (May 5/13).. tef and Carema were hiking in the Cockpit Country yesterday, Saturday, with some JCO supporters.. It went well, and we all enjoyed it, We'd like to thank Nicole, Johan, Yanique, Nick, Marta, and Isabella for being with us.. (Apr 30/13).. dam Hyde, Silvia Kouwenberg, and Stefan Stewart were at Worthy Park Cave 2 on Sunday, April 28.. The team succeeded in reaching the known end, 750m into the cave, and searched out potential routes for continuation.. On that, time ran short, but we found at least one possibility that we will return to when time permits.. A different species of roach than what we're familiar with in Ja caves (P.. americana) was found in abundance at the only roosting area for bats, about 200m in.. One specimen was collected, which has been stored in 70% ethyl until we can forward it to our friends at UWI for identification.. The morphology of the cave is very particular.. Bedding is strong and distinct throughout.. In parts, it's controlled by the strike (90 degrees to the dip/slope), although this is less apparent in other sections.. At the very end of the passage is an obvious fault, perpendicular, which is very impressive.. At this point the passage is mostly blocked by large breakdown slabs, but a way can be found through that leads to what might be a sumped continutation through a bedding plane.. Although much of the passage is relatively low (1-5m), several large chambers open up en route where obvious joints intersect.. The entire cave is well-decorated, with very fine formations (stals, columns, flowstone, rimstone pools), and it is truly one of the more beautiful caves on the island.. That said, periodic flooding has deposited very slippery silt/mud in parts, the rock is sharp (echinolith), there's a vertical pitch of 12m through rocks to even enter it, so it's not particularly easy to explore.. Along with that, there's a flood-risk during heavy rains.. We ask that any who read this post not get themselves into trouble just to have a look.. (Apr 25/13).. J.. CO members Conolley, Hyde, and Stewart attended an interview at the Institute of Sustainable Development - University of the West Indies in Kingston yesterday regarding the Cockpit Country boundary.. We'd like to thank Dr Webber and his associates for the opportunity to share our view of the boundary, and also supply reasons why we think it is so important to preserve the area within.. The JCO will be underground this weekend at Worthy Park Cave 2.. None of us have been to the furthest part of what is one of Jamaica's more impressive river caves, and we're very much looking forward to it.. (Apr 22/13).. meeting of the Cockpit Country Stakeholders Group took place last Friday, April 19, at the Jamaica Environmental Trust (JET) offices in Kingston regarding the recently released.. University of the West Indies (UWI) study.. (8 Mb pdf), commisioned by the government in 2007 to define the Cockpit Country boundary.. RS Stewart attended for the Jamaican Caves Organisation (JCO).. The JCO generally supports the UWI study.. It is a close match to what we used as the boundary in 2005 for the Parks in Peril Project, funded by The Nature Conservancy, and agrees with what our group has always thought of as the Cockpit Country.. We would like to commend the authors, Mitchell, Miller, Ganapathy, and Spence for producing what we believe is a fine piece of work.. We don't know where things will go from here - whether the GoJ will again consider mining in the Cockpit Country, for bauxite or limestone - but whatever happens, the members of the JCO commit themselves to helping to protect Jamaica's last wilderness area.. It's the heart and soul of the island, and can't be lost.. (Apr 18/13).. he JCO has been very active lately, despite the lack of News updates.. We'll start posting reports, photos, and videos very soon on what we've been doing.. For now, the first order of business is to address the passing of our dear friend and JCO member, Dr David Lee, on April 2, 2013.. Dr Lee's participation in Jamaican caving extended for decades.. He was one of the first members of the University Caving Club, which went on to become the Jamaica Caving Club.. Afterwards, he became part of the JCO, thereby being part of every organised caving group in existence in Jamaica from the very beginning until his recent passing.. For us in the JCO, he was not only a fine man, and caver, to have with us, he was our continuity with the past, and a wonderful source of stories on how things were in the early days.. To give you an idea of how fine a man Dr Lee was, we'd like to relate a story that came into all of our minds when we heard of what had happened:.. On May 18, 2005, a group from the JCO descended into a deep shaft called Minocal's Glory Hole located in the wilds of the southern Cockpit Country near a small village called Quick Step.. With us were several people from an environmental group, and also two employees of the Jamaican Information Service, JIS.. As usual, we needed someone we could trust to watch the rope at the the top, and take care of other important matters at the surface.. This would be Dr Lee.. With him were a couple of others who declined to descend into the depths.. Because there were so many of us, it took a very long time to get everyone down, and back up the shaft.. In fact, the last of us weren't up until 10 PM.. Rain had begun to fall steadily in the afternoon, and continued until we were finally done.. In that non-stop drenching downpour, Dr Lee remained at his station, hour after hour, with no shelter whatsoever.. The others who had stayed above retreated to their dry cars, parked on the road nearby, well before dark, and as the people from the enviro group and JIS reached the top, they also retreated.. But not Dr Lee.. He stayed there at the top of that pit, soaking wet, until the last of us were up, this happening as people much younger than him fled to get warm and dry.. The JCO members who came up last never forgot that day.. He stayed in place until he knew we were all safe, on the surface.. We cannot tell you how much we respected and loved him for that.. For us, Dr Lee will never be gone.. He will always be in our hearts and minds, and he will always be part of the JCO.. (Apr 10/13).. e received sad news earlier in the week - Dr David Lee, one of Jamaica's most stalwart cavers for decades, has passed away.. There will be a memorial tomorrow, April 11, at the UWI chapel in Kingston, which will be attended by several JCO members.. We'll post information here soon on Dr Lee's great contributions to speleo research on the island.. The JCO has been in the field for the last ten days.. Amongst other things, we've descended Dunns Hole Cave, determined that Entrance 2 at Thatchfield Great Cave does not connect to the rest of the cave for anything larger than a cat, and found that the sump from Peterkin Cave to Rota Cave could be dived (the passage is wide enough to have allowed a very large log to pass through).. More on all of this soon.. (Feb 26/13).. an Pauel will deliver a presentation at UTech this Thursday, February 28.. The flyer advertising the event can be seen to the right.. (Feb 19/13).. report on the caves of Portland Bight.. has been sent to the Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation (C-CAM) at their request.. It has also been posted on the website in pdf via the link above.. (Feb 11/13).. he JCO met with a consultant (pro bono) from UTech yesterday, Sunday, regarding Forestry Dept plans for recreational activity at the Gourie lands, which includes the.. longest cave in Jamaica.. Generally, we have no objections.. If it's done properly, it will conform to the.. JCO cave protection guidelines.. We appreciate being kept in the loop, and will be glad to be of further assistance as things proceed.. (Feb 10/13).. tewart was at St Clair Cave yesterday, February 9, with Michelle and Andy Svoboda, and their two children, Andrew and Curtis.. During the course of it, he made a quick foray into the Inferno passage to check conditions.. The water is still fairly clear, without too much bat guano accumulated yet since last autumn's flushing, and the biological oxygen demand (BOD) seems to be low.. We can surmise that there's still access to the Inferno+, but the air quality at the Acheron is probably very poor because of WP input as indicated by last weekend's visit to Riverhead Cave.. This matches the conditions during the Acheron discovery visit by Stewart and Van Rentergem in March, 2006.. Also, the first definite plans for the April expedition with Guy Van Rentergem are in place.. On Mar 31 - April 1, we'll be on the Quick Step - Windsor Trail in the western Cockpit Country.. As far as we know, no one has crossed it in well over a year.. We'll start from Windsor in the north, overnight it near the south end (still in the depths of the bush, and the middle of the Cockpit Country is magical at night), and then hike back to Windsor the next day.. Any others who would like to join us for our little adventure are welcome to do so as long as they're prepared to rough it, be brave (no whining allowed, and we really mean that), be good on their feet, and kick in 2,000 J$ each toward JCO funding.. (Feb 6/13).. tewart, of the JCO, was contacted yesterday via email and phone by Alison Gillespie, a reporter for the magazine, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, regarding proposed.. international guidelines on bat guano mining.. The JCO policy is that there is no such thing as sustainable guano mining, at least in a Jamaican context, and he did his best to share arguments in support of that position.. Pauel, of the JCO, forwarded a photo yesterday (pro bono, and by request) of a Taino petroglyph taken at Lluidas Vale on January 26 to an author, Fred Kennedy, who has a second book coming out this year from Ian Randle Publishers, which deals with the life of a Taíno cacique in Jamaica at the time of the arrival of Columbus.. Stewart will be in Lluidas Vale this weekend continuing the search for incredibly small snails (2mm),.. Carychium sp.. , in assistance to Adrienne Jochum, a European researcher.. (Feb 4/13).. H.. yde and Stewart pushed past the first sump of Riverhead Cave yesterday, but terrible air made any further exploration impossible.. By comparison of physical symptoms to previous cave visits when an O2 metre was available, we estimate the oxygen to have been under 14%.. The return swim through the sump was one of the more frightening things that the writer of this, Stewart, has done so far in a Jamaican cave - he felt suffocatingly close to blacking out.. We'll have some photos and a bit of video to post in a day or two.. (Jan 31/13).. e've posted the.. video for the recent Swansea visit on January 26/13.. (210 MB MP4).. You can right-click the link and save it from our server, and you can also stream it from the.. JCO YouTube channel.. Please note how strongly-bedded the cave is, as shown by the flat roof, and distinct strata on the walls.. This may be part of the reason why the cave is collapsed in three places - the lateral development is very much horizontal, and the resultant cross-section isn't as structurally stable as if it were circular.. The initial development does appear to have been phreatic (totally submerged) as evidenced by scalloping on the roof, which in poorly-bedded limestone would have created a cylindrical passage - here, most of the mechanical erosion was sideways.. (Jan 29/13).. he Lluidas Vale outing on Saturday, January 26, went well.. Everyone seems to have enjoyed themselves, plus we documented some very well-preserved petroglyphs.. The group consisted of Michelle Braham, Tom Casali, Dr Ivor Conolley, Gigi Forbes, Professor Silvia Kouwenberg, Jan Pauel, Stefan Stewart, Claire Turner, Roger Turner, Andrew Wildish, Tanya Clarke Wildish, and William Wildish.. Two sites were visited - the Taino petroglyph location, and Swansea Cave.. The photo seen above was taken after Swansea - as you can see, there's a bit of crawling through mud involved in spots.. More details will follow, and we'll post a video here, and on the JCO YouTube channel, in the next couple of days.. Two other photos, of the glyphs, can be found on the.. JCO Facebook page.. - no need to sign in if you don't have a Facebook account - it's available for everyone, just like our website.. (Jan 24/13).. he group visiting Swansea this Saturday will include, along with the Potoo Hole crew, a few friends from Worthy Park in Lluidas Vale.. We would like to remind everyone that the official rum of the JCO is Rum Bar, from.. Worthy Park Estate.. It tastes the best, it's  ...   by two of the parties will be posted later this week.. Adam Hyde and Stefan Stewart were at Jacksons Bay Great Cave last Sunday with several new cavers (names to be posted as soon as the site admin has them straight).. The visit went very well, and the new people were solid.. The route was entry at Entrance 1, then to the crawl passage to the "new cave" as far as the Colliseum, and then back to exit at Entrance 3 (the Water Entrance).. Several of us made the complete journey from the main entrance to Bamboo Bottom at Windsor Cave last Wednesday.. This, as far as we know, was the first time since the JCO last did it about eight years ago.. There have been several visits to Thatchfield Great Cave over the last six weeks.. We are now certain that the airflow from the "Old Cave" to the "New Cave" is consistently inwards, which indicates that there is an undiscovered entrance somewhere within.. The flow is not because of the cave "breathing", i.. e.. adjusting to the external barometric pressure.. On similar discoveries.. We will soon resume the bolting at St Clair to finally reach the surface at what we know to be a third entrance.. Plans are in the works.. We also fixed the bad code lower in the News that was making the rest of the page a link to the permit pdf.. More to follow.. (Feb 14/12).. he National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) has issued a research permit for the guano sampling project, which begins March 4.. To give everyone a better idea of what we're doing, we've posted.. the application.. , the.. letter of support.. from Dr Brock Fenton, and.. the permit.. , all in pdf.. Stefan's monitor problems are being dealt with - Jan had a spare external monitor that he's supplied.. (Feb 10/12).. he website admin, Stefan, has been having major problems with his laptop recently, specifically, the monitor not working most of the time.. At the moment, it's functional, thus this update.. If anyone has a spare laptop laying around, we would be grateful if you could pass it along.. An assessment of Johnson's Pen Cave, near Duncans, Trelawny, was carried out last week.. We'll post an version of the report in the next few days (assuming the laptop is working).. (Jan 18/12).. e're making progress on the government paperwork for the guano sampling project, which will begin March 4.. The JCO would like to thank Mr.. Peter Knight, CEO of NEPA, for getting things underway.. There will be a field visit to the Cockpit Country later in the week.. There is also a tentative plan to visit Schwallenburgh Cave on the weekend, which is one of the guano sampling sites.. (Jan 1/12).. he JCO ended off the year with a visit to St Clair Cave on December 31 to continue work on completing the route out the third entrance, which was discovered by Stewart earlier in 2011.. More bolts still need to be placed, but we're slowly getting there.. (Dec 25/11).. M.. erry Christmas to everyone from the Jamaican Caves Organisation.. Bless up, and Jah guide.. (And for those familiar with Jamaican politrix, the temporary green bar in the header is for Christmas - it matches the red links well.. ).. (Dec 23/11).. he election in Jamaica is now less than a week away.. We hope that whatever party wins, the Comrades or the Labourites, they will remember the importance of Jamaica's environment, and its peoples place in it.. There is more to this country than opportunities to scoop dollars in backroom deals with Trafigura, the Chinese, and UCRusal, while maintaining bases in foreign.. There is more to be done than tossing around dollars at election time that will be mostly spent on Cashpot and set-ups.. If the current politicians have no real loyalty to our future, they should pass the torch to those who do.. (Dec 17/11).. e've chopped out last year's section of the News into Archives - Volume 9, linked at the bottom of this page, to speed up the load time.. (Dec 12/11).. lease be advised that the Barbecue Bottom road, in the eastern Cockpit Country, is currently blocked by very large fallen rocks toward the Burnt Hill end, a situation that will probably persist for some time to come.. (Dec 7/11).. Y.. esterdays' visit to Thatchfield went well, and traffic at the site appears to continue to be low.. A nice photo of formations in the cave has been posted on the website in high resolution (click on the photo beside this item).. (Dec 5/11).. e'll be making a brief visit to Thatchfield Cave tomorrow for monitoring.. (Nov 27/11).. he first week back in the field has been spent setting things up, and taking care of paperwork.. Later this week, we'll be underground again at Schwallenburgh Cave, which is one of the three sites where we'll be sampling guano for palaeo records in February 2012.. The team will probably consist of Stefan, Jan, and Damion.. Soon after, we'll have a more social outing at an easier site where we can include some of the people who have recently expressed interest in joining the group.. (Nov 19/11).. ieldwork resumes tomorrow.. (Nov 7/11).. he News page has been tweaked, again, to a permanent 1024px width, rather than being fluid from 750 to 1024 as it was before (most of you won't notice the change).. That gets rid of the javascript for IE, which we were never happy with.. We've also changed the.. main page.. photo/video page.. funding page.. and a couple of others to 1024.. Also, we've never mentioned it (been there for years) - there's at least one "easter egg" on the website.. Search around on this page a little and you might find something interesting.. (Nov 5/11).. he next session of fieldwork will begin November 20, 2011, run until Christmas, and then resume indefinitely on January 2, 2012.. The priority list includes the third entrance of St Clair Cave, Worthy Park Cave-3, New Green Cave, New Hall Cave, Morgans Pond Hole (for water sampling), diving at Moneague Blue Hole with our Belgian bredren (in February), guano coring at Schwallenburgh Cave with Dr Fenton, and the completion of the georeferencing of the many caves at Jackson's Bay.. (Nov 3/11).. e might have managed to move the medium resolution copy of our segment of ".. Anthony Bourdain - No Reservations - Jamaica.. " to the server, although we're not sure.. It took 12 hours on dial-up, and stopped/resumed a number of times.. The file may be corrupted.. If you've got high-speed (it's a 100 MB MPG), have a look (right-click and save), see if it works, and if not, let us know at info@jamaicancaves.. org.. (Nov 2/11).. R.. epresentatives of the Cockpit Country Stakeholders Group, which includes the JCO, met recently with Minister Chang regarding the Cockpit Country boundary, and plans to mine what is the last wilderness area in Jamaica for bauxite (aluminum ore).. We've updated the.. Cockpit Country mining page.. with a bit of information on what transpired.. We also tweaked the format of the News page a little - the header was tiling, and should now render at 1024 px without doing so.. (Oct 27/11).. ur attempts to move the Bourdain file to the server have been fruitless.. It looks like it will have to wait a few weeks until Stef has his 4G back.. Wha' fi do.. We do have something positive to report, though - Dr Brock Fenton has informed us that the funding has come through for the guano coring project.. The data derived should supply information on palaeoecological conditions, including changes in the chiropteran (bat) species make-up in the studied caves, and insect fauna in the foraging areas (we hypothesise a marked change in the early colonization period).. We'll post more on this as things go ahead.. (Oct 25/11).. he site admin, Stefan, has stumbled across the long-lost original DVD of the Bourdain show (with the JCO segment at St Clair Cave), received from the production company in 2008.. The only copy currently on the website is a low-res version on the photo-video page.. We're attempting to get a med-res version sent up, but Stef is back on dial-up for a few weeks, and it's proving to be a challenge (110 MB file for our segment, and the upload keeps timing out).. He'll try again tonight.. Once back to high-speed mid-November, he'll put the entire thing online - there's an interesting last segment that didn't air, called insert/snap-in (whatever that means).. (Oct 20/11).. s mentioned earlier in the News, the publishers of an upcoming Jamaican textbook asked if they could use one of our photos, the picture of Mark Bellinger descending into the lighthole entrance of Thatchfield Cave, January, 2004, which is on the.. of our website in a low resolution version.. We told them not a problem, of course, and forwarded the full resolution version.. We used the same photo at full resolution some years ago in a poster that we printed up and dropped off at places like Miss Lilly's in Coxheath, but we've never posted it on the website.. We're doing so now.. Anyone who would like to copy and print it, or publish it themselves, is welcome to.. We ask only that you keep it intact, and don't alter it any way.. We're taking a brief hiatus from fieldwork for the next few weeks, but expect to be back at things mid-November.. In the interim, we'll try to catch up on website work (reports, more maps, post videos, chop out part of the News to another archive page, update the cave database, etc), and we'll attend to email more regularly.. As always, we welcome reports of unexplored caves, invitations to assist in speleo research, requests for advice on caving in Jamaica, and questions on anything you think might be in our field of expertise.. Fieldwork.. (Oct 17/11).. e've posted a report for the work done with.. Nina Veselka at St Clair Cave.. , and environs, during the last week of August, as well as a.. video.. (36MB WMV).. While we were at it, we've cross-linked nine of the ten reports for the cave that have gone online since 2006.. The last will be taken care of in the next few days.. We've also posted the report for.. Black Hill Cave-2.. (coordinates removed) done on September 25, pro bono, for TPDCO.. (Sep 30/11).. he interview with TVJ went fairly well on Wednesday.. A copy.. can be found on their website.. (Sep 26/11).. an and Stefan of the JCO will be on TVJ's program, Smile Jamaica, this Wednesday morning.. It's live TV, so we'll be on our best behaviour.. We were in the field with TPDCO on Saturday assessing a site in Portland, Black Hill Cave-2.. A report was sent to them yesterday that might appear on the website in an edited form soon.. We'd like to thank the Gleaner for a mention in an article recently, and extend an invitation to the reporter concerned to join us in a visit to a cave when schedules permit.. We recently noticed that our.. Press Release for Hutchinsons Hole, February 2004.. , is doing very well in Google for search suggestions of "jamaican".. Why, we do not know, but after reading it ourselves again for the first time in years, we thought we should bring it to the attention of our visitors in case they might like to read it themselves.. (Sep 1/11).. ur apologies for the lack of News updates lately, but the site admin has been rather busy.. Fieldwork has been going on, though, most recently with two bat researchers at St Clair Cave for a number of days last week.. A report will be posted very soon.. Also, we've supplied information and photos to the Observer for an upcoming article, been listed as the referral agency for caves by the Jamaican Natural Heritage Trust, and agreed to supply photos for a Jamaican school textbook.. (Jul 24/11).. video for the Tydixon Ratbat Cave visit.. (60 MB WMV) done by Jan is on the server, plus a.. report for Sand Hole Gully Cave.. that also has.. some video.. (20 MB WMV) done by Stef (lower-res camera).. The web admin, RS Stewart, has fixed the Tydixon report - the template that was used, Grierfield, still had Grierfield Cave as the site name.. (Jul 18/11).. brief report for the June 25 visit to.. Tydixon Ratbat Cave.. has been put online.. Also, Jan has put up two more videos,.. Thatchfield Great Cave - Part 1 - June 30, 2011.. (72 MB WMV),.. Thatchfield Great Cave - Part 2 - June 30, 2011.. (58 MB WMV).. A return to St Clair Cave to finish the third entrance is on the agenda for later this week.. (Jul 4/11).. lizabeth Slack was with us for the last week, and good work was done.. A brief synopsis follows:.. We are now certain that there is a third entrance to St Cair Cave.. The final chamber was bolted part way up before we ran out of time, and in the course of it, we saw the sun shining into an opening above.. A return to set the final bolts that will allow us to reach it is high priority - this will take place in the immediate future.. A.. video of the outing.. (59 MB WMV) has been put on the server.. Two more caves in Worthy Park were located: Gullyhead Cave, and Sand Hole Gully Cave.. Both are resurgences on the west side of Lluidas Vale.. Potoo Hole, Jackson's Bay, was visited for monitoring and photography of the Taino pictograms at the bottom of the entrance shaft.. Thatchfield Great Cave was visited for monitoring and video documentation.. On Saturday, June 25, Tydixon Ratbat Cave was visited with Gordon Clarke, Gregory Worton, and Peter Worton.. The local mosquitoes were present in full force on the hike in, and were only left behind once we were about 30 meters into the cave.. At that point, fungus gnats took over, and it was only by the use of masks that we were able to continue.. Tydixon may be a very important site biologically, but it certainly isn't easy to enter and travel through.. (Jun 22/11).. he next of the Worthy Park caves, Tydixon Ratbat Cave, will be done this Saturday with Gordon et al.. We'll post a report soon after.. (Jun 17/11).. hree more videos have been posted by Jan,.. Jackson's Bay Cave - Part 1.. (79 MB WMV),.. Jackson's Bay Cave - Part 2.. (69 MB WMV), and.. Iris Holmes processing frogs at Jackson's Bay Cave.. (40 MB WMV).. Elizabeth Slack will be with us for a week of intensive fieldwork starting on June 27.. Targets include New Green Cave for mapping, Portland Ridge for site-finding and assessment, and the Mulgrave Sinkholes for assessment.. (May 30/11).. wo caves were visited over the last few days in assistance to Iris Holmes and her studies of frog pathogens, which might help to solve the riddle of the decline in frog populations around the world.. On Friday, Jackson's Bay Cave gave us two specimens of the very rare cave species,.. Eleutherodactylus cavernicola.. , which were released, alive and healthy, at the collection locations soon after they were processed.. On Sunday, four specimens of the other Jamaican cave frog,.. , were taken at Belle Aire Cave 4, and processed in the same way.. The procedure is to swab them to collect fungal spores, and to take a toe-clipping for DNA analysis.. In effect, they receive a massage, a pedicure, and an interesting break to their usual routine - rather like a day at the spa.. (May 23/11).. he JCO will be back at Portland Ridge this Friday, at Jackson's Bay Great Cave, in assistance to Iris Holmes and her research into frogs and their fungal pathogens.. If possible, we'll also try to georeference more of the many other sites in the area.. (May 18/11).. an has moved the videos for St Clair to the server in two parts,.. St Clair Cave May 8, 2011 - Part 1.. (108 MB WMV) and.. St Clair Cave, May 8, 2011 - Part 2.. (79 MB WMV).. (May 16/11).. report for the.. May 8 visit to St Clair Cave.. has been posted on the server.. A video will soon follow.. (May 10/11).. he visit to St Clair on May 8 was not entirely successful.. The pole we constructed from two sections of bamboo, which was intended to get us above an unclimbable pitch, would not fit through the final passages in its disassembled form (too long).. However, we did find a larger, higher chamber in the same series, with good airflow and openings in the top, that seems to be even closer to the surface (much washed-in detritus).. This is where we eventually used the pole, and where it is still sitting, as, unfortunately, it was about one meter too short.. A return with another section of bamboo is on the to-do list for the near future.. We have to thank Damion Whyte and Sloane Jackson for doing the bulk of the work carrying the bamboo into the cave.. It was fresh, green, and not exactly light.. A lot of good video was recorded, which Jan is currently working on.. We'll post it later in the week.. Also, Stefan is working on the report, which will supply details on where we were in the cave, and what we found.. (May 6/11).. video of the bat.. Macrotus waterhousii at Windsor Cave.. , taken recently by Jan during fieldwork with Dr Brock Fenton, is online.. The JCO will be at St Clair Cave this Sunday to push the possible third entrance.. We hope for success, and to post news of such here soon after.. (May 4/11).. video of the project at Belle Aire has been posted in two parts,.. Belle Aire 1.. (113 MB WMV), and.. Belle Aire 2.. (114 MB WMV).. Both are large files, but the quality is good, and the content will be of interest to most of our visitors.. (Apr 28/11).. ieldwork will resume on May 5, and continue indefinitely.. First on the agenda will be to take care of unfinished business, including getting some of our new members into more caves, getting the Worthy Park crew into the rest of their caves, and finding Jan's lost Pantin, which may be at Schwallenburgh Cave.. Next will be a number of sites on the to-do list, including New Hall, New Green, Mulgrave, Huntley, and Morgans Pond (assuming we can convince the landowner that there's no treasure to be found).. After that, sytematic assessments, by parish, will continue with Clarendon first, and then Portland.. Other interested parties, whose plans might coincide with ours, are invited to contact us at their earliest convenience.. (Apr 6/11).. he Belle Air fieldwork for the Urban Development Company (UDC) was completed last week, and the report will be submitted tomorrow.. Three caves were assessed and mapped, two of which were found to be archaeological sites, specifically, Taino.. Peterkin Cave, Rota Cave, and Deeside Roaring River cave were visited for monitoring last weekend.. The furthest part of Deesde, which was known to be close to the surface, was looked at closely, and we now have a better idea of where the frogs,.. cundalli.. , are reaching the surface for foraging.. St Clair Cave was visited for monitoring yesterday.. It appears that tropical storm Nicole, late last year, has flushed out the water in the Inferno, and air quality is much improved.. Also, a strong flow of air up into a narrow, complex passage was found about two-thirds of the way from the Lemon Ridge entrance to the Pollyground entrance.. Washed-in sticks and snail shells were present, so there is no doubt that it reaches the surface.. Even more interesting, large faeces that appear to be from a yellow boa were found, so a snake of substantial proportions seems to be coming in to feed on bats.. A return visit to push further toward the surface is on the to-do list for the very near future.. (Mar 22/11).. he founder and head of the Jamaican Caves Organisation, Ronald Stefan Stewart, would like to announce his marriage to Christina Rose-Stewart on March 21, 2011, in Spanish Town, Jamaica.. For those who don't know her yet, Christina is bright, brave, and beautiful.. Stefan is very proud, and amazed, that she is now his wife.. (Mar 19/11).. report for Stony Hill Cave, January 17, 2011.. is online.. The site was visited in assistance to NEPA, and is the only known roost for the bat.. Phyllonycteris aphylla.. Positions have been removed from the online report and are by request only.. We've posted two more videos,.. Taino pottery at Belle Aire, March 16, 2011.. (9 MB WMV), and.. Worthy Park Cave 2, March 6, 2011.. (76 MB WMV).. (Mar 17/11).. allingford River Cave and Oxford Cave were visited for monitoring on March 15.. The team consisted of RS Stewart, C Rose, Ross Little and Andrew Little.. The batroost at Oxford is somewhat larger than noted during the last visit, two years ago, and now extends back into the main passage from the side-chamber to which it was restricted for some time in the past.. Wallingford continues to have natural protection because of the river that flows through it - most people decline the wading and swimming necessary to travel any distance into it.. Recon at four caves on the Belle Aire property, next to Green Grotto, was done on March 16 in assistance to UDC.. One was found to be a Taino site, evidenced by potsherds.. The others also have archaeo potential, and a return is slated for the near future to carry out a thorough investigation.. (Mar 13/11).. ieldwork has been temporarily suspended due to the Principal Investigator, Stewart, detaching his right collar bone while playing football.. Activity should resume on Tuesday, March 15, when the pain is expected to have dropped to an acceptable level.. Worthy Park Cave 2 was visited on Sunday, March 6.. The team consisted of Stewart, Pauel, Rose, McConnell, G Clarke, and C Clarke.. This was the first time on-rope for the latter three, and all managed it well.. The next sites on the Lluidas Vale agenda are WP-1, and WP-3.. A good quality video has been posted of the visit to.. Swansea Cave, January 30, 2011.. (86 MB WMV).. The videographer was Jan Pauel.. (Feb 26/11).. he JCO is currently in the field with Burton Lim and Alina Arcila from the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.. Videos for the first two days are now online: St Clair Cave - Pollyground Entrance - February 21, 2011,.. Low Resolution.. (14 MB WMV),.. Medium Resolution.. (75 MB WMV), and St Clair Cave - Lemon Ridge Entrance - February 22, 2011,.. (18 MB WMV),.. (90 MB WMV).. (Feb 3/11).. tewart visited Tydixon Ratbat Cave, Lluidas Vale, on January 29 for monitoring.. Unfortunately, he forgot to bring the camera, so no photos/videos were taken.. A return is scheduled some time in the next few weeks, so he'll do it then.. Haiduk, Pauel, and Stewart, from the JCO, were joined by Chris Clarke, Gordon Clarke, Fraser McConnell, Peter McConnell, Toby McConnell, Gregory Worton, and Peter Worton for a visit to Swansea Cave on January 30.. The group included three of the directors of Worthy Park Estate, all of whom very much understand the value of the caves on their land, and care for their future.. This makes Swansea one of the best protected caves on the island.. Stewart, Ekparian, and Stern visited Thatchfield Great Cave on Feb 2.. A video can be found here.. (59 MB WMV).. (Jan 28/11).. he roost where NEPA recently found.. was visited on January 17, at their request.. A video has been posted,.. Stony Hill Cave.. We've also posted a video,.. St Clair Surface Traverse.. (50 MB WMV) that shows the extent of deforestation in the area of St Clair Cave.. (Jan 16/11).. video of the visit to Marta Tick Cave has been posted.. (130 MB WMV).. We've also posted a video of.. Rio Tinto discharging caustic soda effluent into the upper Rio Cobre.. (13 MB WMV) from the Ewarton works yesterday, Jan 15/11.. Stewart and Haiduk visited Schwallenburgh Cave again yesterday to carry out a mapping survey.. We have photos and videos that will be posted along with the map in the next few days.. What may have been the final Ministry of Tourism meeting regarding the cave use guidelines took place last Thursday.. We are pleased that the JCO guidelines have been used as the core of the document, and would like to thank everyone concerned for their hard work and dedication.. (Jan 10/11).. ieldwork has begun for the session after ten days of settling in and getting things set up.. The current base is Pollyground, near Ewarton.. Stewart has picked up a 4G USB modem, working with the Digicel network, so email is now being checked most days, and updates to the website are possible when in the field.. With regard to the Digicel service, we cannot recommend it to others at the moment, because, incredibly, they do not have on outgoing server for email, and they're blocking port 2525, which we use to connect to the JCO server.. This means that Thunderbird, Outlook, etc, cannot be used.. We're getting around it by using our website email interface, which is a bit of a pain.. Avisfield Cave, in northern St Ann, was visited and assessed on January 7 by RS Stewart, Christina Rose, and Donovan Selvyn.. The site has been degraded by a heavy input of silt, and is now only about 30cm high in places.. Biota is limited to the endemic cave crab,.. veleryi.. Stewart, Pauel, Rose, and Selvyn assisted Iris Holmes in her studies of frog fungal pathogens at Marta Tick Cave on January 9 and 10.. Traffic to the cave appears to have been limited since our last visit, in 2009, which is good to see - the site is the most important in the Cockpit Country.. *.. NEWS ARCHIVES VOL 9.. (Jan 2, 2010 to Dec 21, 2010).. NEWS ARCHIVES VOL 8.. (Jan 8, 2009 to Dec 21, 2009).. NEWS ARCHIVES VOL 7.. (Jan 6, 2008 to Dec 23, 2008).. NEWS ARCHIVES VOL 6.. (Dec 12, 2006 to Dec 3, 2007).. NEWS ARCHIVES VOL 5.. (Apr 24, 2006 to Dec 8, 2006).. NEWS ARCHIVES VOL 4.. (Jan 22, 2005 to Mar 19, 2006).. NEWS ARCHIVES VOL 3.. (Mar 9, 2004 to Dec 31, 2004).. NEWS ARCHIVES VOL 2.. (Aug 15, 2003 to Mar 2, 2004).. NEWS ARCHIVES VOL 1.. (Sept 30, 2002 to Aug 15, 2003).. The Jamaican Caving News is a publication of the Jamaican Caves Organization.. Editor: RS Stewart.. Jamaica Road Map.. Introduction to Jamaican Caves and Sinkholes..

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  • Title: Jamaica Caving - A Practical Guide
    Descriptive info: JCO Guidance for Cavers in Jamaica.. PART I - LOGISTICS.. PART II - LOCATION.. PART III - CAVING.. PART IV - CULTURE.. V - ORIGINS.. VI - EXPLORERS.. VII - ADVENTURES.. Ja Caving News.. Funding and Tours.. aving in Jamaica can be a magnificent experience or it can be a complete nightmare.. On these pages we hope to pass along advice that will make the first outcome more likely.. The challenges faced are sometimes of a physical nature, sometimes cultural, often logistical, and very often it can be a challenge just finding the desired cave in the first place.. In the following notes, we'll try to address these issues separately, beginning with Logistics.. Logistics.. (Getting where you're going with what you need).. Transportation will usually present difficulties for visiting cavers.. The three options are: to rent, to hire a driver, or to buy a car.. The first choice, to rent, while seeming chancy to a person handing over a credit card, is a viable option.. Most of the Car Rental companies are as trustworthy as those found anywhere else on the planet.. The increased mobility, and lack of the time constraints imposed by having a driver waiting, will make it possible to do a lot more caving.. Be sure to get a car with good clearance.. Despite the extra cost, a 4 x 4 can be very worthwhile and will always get you where you want to go.. Smaller vehicles such as Starletts and Corollas can also be suitable depending on the districts that you intend to visit.. However, if you're nervous about driving on the left, concerned about putting down the deposit on the credit card, or intimidated by the madmen taxi drivers who careen around the roads of Jamaica, then consider hiring a driver.. This will require careful, lengthy, negotiations with at least several drivers.. You will have no problem finding a number of candidates to choose from.. Firstly, try to determine which one is least likely to rush you for more $$ when you're in the field.. Make sure that he understands that he might be getting back late.. Make sure he has a vehicle with suitable clearance for the rough roads you'll encounter..  ...   money.. It will not always be possible to find food and water in the vicinity of the caves.. Although small shops are common in rural areas of the island, some caves will be so remote that you will be either eating what you've brought or you'll be going hungry.. Water can be an even greater problem.. Be sure to bring as much as you can carry, and expect to go through over 2 litres per person per day.. The climate of Jamaica is hot, even on a cool day, and those unaccustomed to these temperatures will sweat profusely both in and out of the caves.. Tales are told of tourists who have almost died of dehydration after having ventured on long hikes into the hills without an adequate supply of water.. If you seem to have extra near the end of the day, and your back is feeling the effects of having carried too many kilos, then you can always pour it out to lighten the load, but never do this until you know for certain that what remains will be enough to last for the hike out.. Bring money.. Bring real money, not plastic, in Jamaican dollars.. Wean yourself from dependence on bank or credit cards, forget everything everyone has told you about using U.. S.. dollars, and bring an adequate supply of Jamaican cash in denominations smaller than the 1,000$ bills that the cambios will try to give you.. They are almost unspendable because no one in the hills will ever be able to make change for such a large bill.. The best bills to bring are 500$; bring a good supply, you won't get mugged or robbed of them.. Be brave, carry cash.. If you've done things properly, you'll now be in the hills, in the right Parish and district, and ready to look for a cave.. This brings us to Site Location:.. NEXT >>.. (It must always be remembered that caving is inherently dangerous.. Proper precautions can greatly reduce the likelihood of injury or death, but there is a definite risk involved and this cannot be forgotten.. Jamaica Topo Maps.. JamaicanCaves.. Org is a non-profit organization that is pleased to receive the support of:..

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  • Title: Jamaica "Adventure" Tours - JCO Hiking and Cave Guides
    Descriptive info: Jamaican Caves Organisation.. Caving News.. Funding, Tours, and Donations.. info@jamaicancaves.. 876 397 7488.. (May 1, 2013).. he Jamaican Caves Organisation continues to be in need of funding, with the lack of this limiting our activities.. Accordingly, to further our cause (the preservation of the caves of Jamaica) and bring in some very necessary money, we are offering hiking tours, driving tours, and allowing paying volunteers to join us for fieldwork.. All those who contribute should be aware that we are not trying to get rich on tourism, we are simply trying to keep the JCO alive, and active, in an environment of intermittent NGO funding.. If what you want is an easy visit to a show-cave, don't bother contacting us - we carry out cave exploration and speleology, and that usually means a few bruises by the end of the day.. That also applies to the hikes we supply guides for - they're not strolls through manicured parks, they're real treks through what is left of the Jamaican wilderness.. Before you decide to book an outing with us, please check the.. Jamaican Caves Organisation News page.. so that you have a better idea of who we are, and what we do.. Caving.. Hiking.. Rock Climbing.. Driving Tours.. Speleo and Rescue.. Donations.. Group Outings & Rates for Jamaican Residents.. he JCO allows overseas tourists to join us for fieldwork in return for help with our funding, although they are expected to assist us with our research.. Target sites vary, but are always interesting and challenging.. We supply all of the equipment, including helmets, headlamps, vertigear, and also give training in single rope technique.. That said, the sites we visit often involve vertical pitches, and tight squeezes, so those with an extreme fear of heights, or claustrophobia, should find something else to do.. Examples of the caves we take people to, most with videos, can be found at.. St Clair Cave.. ,.. Swansea Cave.. Riverhead Cave.. Thatchfield Cave.. , and the.. Peterkin-Rota System.. For most caves we visit for funding purposes, a donation of 100 US$ per person is required per day (minimum 150 US$), and to minimize damage to the caves, and ensure safety, the maximum number at any one time is limited to five people.. For those who are particularly adventurous, and have some experience with SRT, there are sites such as the one shown in the video to the left, Dunns Hole Cave, that can be visited for greater levels of funding.. Pick-up and drop-off at hotels is available for an additional 50-75$, depending on location, although this is not possible for Negril and the south coast (too much driving).. Please check your resort location before you contact us.. Cockpit Country Hiking - Daytrip.. This is the easiest and least expensive of the hiking trips we're offering.. The route is from Windsor, Trelawny, along the Troy Trail south into the Cockpit Country, and then down into Bamboo Bottom, to the west.. At the southern end of Bamboo Bottom, the trail passes through a saddle into Guthries.. From Guthries, the trail leads back to Windsor to complete a circle of about 4 km's.. The Cockpit Country is the largest remnant of the Jamaican wilderness, and there is really nothing else like it on the island, or indeed in the entire Caribbean.. If you like tropical forests, birds, butterflies, bromeliads, and karst topography, or have no experience with it and think you might, you'll probably find this trip to be very cool (and it will perhaps inspire you to return in the future to be more adventurous).. Please be aware that this hike is not particularly difficult, but it is not for those who are terribly out of shape.. The schedule is a 10:00 AM departure into the bush from Windsor, after having linked with our guide at Miss Lilly's (in the nearby village of Coxheath).. Return to Windsor is about 2:00 PM.. The cost of this outing is 50 USD per person if you supply your own transport to Windsor, with a minimum fee of 150 USD.. If we supply transport (pick-up and drop-off from Ocho Rios to Montego Bay), the fee is 75 USD per person with a minimum fee of 175 USD (maximum capacity is six people).. Cockpit Country Hiking - The Troy Trail.. The Cockpit Country of Jamaica, in its central region, can be traversed by only three routes: the Troy-Windsor Trail, the Quickstep Trail, and the now almost-lost Heading-Pantrepant Trail.. Other than these three thin lines that offer a tenuous course through the inhospitable  ...   SUV to drive it.. When the village of Quick Step itself is reached, it is still a drive of over 3 hours back to Windsor.. Very basic accommodation is available in the village that would allow the group to overnight it, but unless we have a JCO SUV at Quick Step (not cheap to get it there), the group must hike back to Windsor the next day, covering the 8 km of rough road, the 9 km in the bush, and a final km along the Escarpment - this bringing the total distance hiked in two days to over 36 km.. We have two solutions for these logistical challenges:.. We do not supply transport for this option.. The schedule is: departing Windsor on foot at 7:00 AM, and then hiking as much of the trail as possible until a turn-around point is reached at noon.. If good time has been made, we will have turned back at the end of the rough road from Quick Step, and will have done the entire actual trail (both ways).. The return to Windsor will be before sunset.. Jamaican residents who have a friend with an SUV to pick them up at the end of the Quick Step road, on the south side of the Cockpit Country, can do it as a one-way trip (however, our guide/s still have to hike both ways).. The JCO guiding fee is 75 USD/person, with a minimum of 250 USD.. The maximum group size is 8 people.. Accommodation is available at The Last Resort, which is very close to the start of the trail, for the nights before and/or after the hike at 20 USD/person, not including meals.. The JCO takes care of transport, basic accommodation, and meals.. The schedule for this outing is:.. Day 1: We pick you up at your hotel, in Montego Bay to Ocho Rios, in the late afternoon.. The evening is spent at The Last Resort, in Windsor.. Day 2: We hit the trail at 7:00 AM after an early breakfast.. We make brief stops a couple of times midway for snacks.. By mid-afternoon, we reach the north end of the Quick Step road where a JCO Landrover is waiting.. We bounce southwards 8 km to Quick Step, with drinks supplied from a cooler as necessary, and then drive back around the Cockpit Country to reach the north coast in the early evening for drop-off at your hotel.. The fee is 200 USD/person for groups up to 4, with a minimum of 600 USD.. In the course of our fieldwork, we've come to know some very cool bush roads in the hills of Jamaica, which we can share with visitors when our schedule allows.. The cost is 200 USD for up to four people (which is what the Landrover comfortably holds).. Pick-up is 9-10 AM at your hotel, and drop-off at 3-4 PM.. At present, we can only do this out of the Ocho Rios - Runaway Bay area.. Speleo, Caving, and Rescue.. The JCO is happy to assist, and collaborate with, visiting researchers and cavers.. Please refer to our.. rate chart.. for more information.. We can also assist in rescues, or body recovery, but we are often not able to do so unless expenses are taken care of.. In the event of emergency situations, please contact us at 876 397 7488 (Stefan), or 876 990 7255 (Jan), and we'll see what we can do.. The JCO continues to be in need of donations of gear.. We present a list of our main requirements below.. 2 rack descenders.. 3 Pantin ascenders.. A new or used laptop/desktop that is fast enough to run ArcGIS 3D Analyst.. A new or used flat-screen monitor.. A complete set of the digitized 1:12,500 Jamaican topo series.. We would like to thank:.. ESRI.. for the January, 2010, donation of ArcGIS 9, and associated programs.. At long last, we can move on from ArcView 3.. 1.. Bill Palmer.. , for his donations towards the June, 2004 expedition, and JCO work done in January, 2005.. It was a great help in keeping things alive.. Guy van Rentergem.. for his continuing contributions of much needed caving and survey gear.. His donations have helped to shorten the above list considerably.. Bless-up.. Don McFarlane.. , for buying maps and helping us with funding.. The NSS.. , for the grant received for the Jan 2005 Expedition.. The Jamaica Constabulary Force.. , for paying us for the Hutchinson's Hole work.. Sanjay Surana.. , for his donation of a harness and figure-8.. The Jamaican Caves Organization..

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  • Title: Jamaica Cave Notes - Main Page
    Descriptive info: Notes from the Underground.. JCO Funding and Tours.. Jamaican Caving Expeditions.. (Dec 3/10) - Nineteen more reports, for the July-August 2010 session, have been added to "Field Notes by Cave".. More info can be found on the.. page.. (Jul 19/10) - The following links lead to compilations of field notes for separate caving expeditions, with those for the last few years not posted as such (apologies, but you'll find many of them in the full list lower on the page).. The chronological order is from most recent to oldest.. The more recent notes are in a standard format and submissions of notes, which are welcome and invited, are requested to utilize a similar format.. Links to notes for individual caves follow the expedition list, further down on this page.. (Mar 1/07) - The notes for the last two expeditions are still being worked on (Oct 2006 and Feb 2007).. The June 2006 expedition has now had notes for eight of the visited sites posted, with more to soon follow.. May 2007.. Cavers: Stewart, Pauel, Snauffer, Zane, McCarville, Walker, Tyrone.. Feb 2007.. Cavers: Stewart, Van Rentergem, Pauel, Haiduk, Snauffer, Shiffer, Lee, Zane, McCarthy.. Oct 2006.. Cavers: Stewart, Slack, Pauel, Conolley, Russel, Smith, D.. Lee, Snauffer, Comer, Sullivan, W.. & S.. Lee, Donaldson.. May-Jun 2006.. Cavers: Stewart, Slack, Pauel, Conolley, Haiduk, Taylor, Lee, Yovandich, John, Newman, Richards, Green, Sterling.. Mar 2006.. Cavers: Van Rentergem, De Splenter, Stewart, Slack, Conolley, Hyde, Lee, Gottgens, Francis, Hendricks, Borstad, Ross, Cunningham, Masel.. Sep-Oct 2005.. Cavers: Stewart, Slack, Taylor, C.. Donaldson.. JCO - TNC.. May 2005.. Cavers: Stewart, Conolley, Slack, Roggy, Hyde, Williams.. Mar-Apr 2005.. Cavers: Stewart, Conolley, Bellinger, Roggy, Slack, Newman.. January 2005.. Cavers: Stewart, Conolley, Rentergem, Bellinger, Roggy, Hyde, Slack, Loftin, Keife, McFarlane, Christenson, Lundberg, Allsworth-Jones.. June 2004.. Cavers: Stewart, Taylor, Conolley, Bellinger, Roggy, Hyde, Slack, Stirling, Peterson, Timmons.. Mar-Apr 2004.. Cavers: Stewart, Rentergem, Conolley, Bellinger, Taylor, Roggy, Murray, Roeber, Engels.. Jan 2004.. Cavers: Stewart, Taylor, Conolley, McCall, Bellinger, Ranger.. Aug - Nov 2003.. Cavers: Stewart, Taylor, Conolley, Koenig, Ranger, W.. Stephenson.. May 2003.. Cavers: Stewart, Taylor, Conolley, Clive, Blake, McFarlane.. Mar 2003.. Cavers: Stewart, Taylor, Conolley, Clive.. Nov 2002.. Cavers: Stewart, Taylor, Conolley, Stephenson, Tumpa.. Aug 2002.. Cavers: Stewart, Koenig, Taylor, Conolley, Salla.. WRC.. Jun 2002.. Cavers: Koenig, Graening, McGinnis, Graening, Stewart, Taylor, Conolley.. Feb - Mar 2002.. Cavers: Koenig, Stewart, Taylor.. Alberta.. Speleological.. Society.. Dec 1985.. Cavers: Saul, Morris, McKenzie.. Miscellaneous JCO Outings.. Guthries - Bamboo Bottom Trail, Aug 19, 2006.. Schwallenburgh Sinkhole - Sept 23, 2007.. Clarendon Mine  ...   Garden 1.. Cool Garden 2.. Cool Garden 3.. Cool Garden 4.. Crofts River Cave One.. Crofts River Cave Two.. Cross Keys High School Cave.. Crystal Lake Cave.. Cundalli Cave.. Dead Baby Sinkhole.. Deeside Cave.. Devil's Staircase.. Dromilly Cave.. Duanwarie Cave-1.. Dunco Spring Cave.. Dunn's Hole Cave.. (27).. Duppy Cave.. Ewart Town Bat Cave.. Falling Cave.. Far Enough Cave.. Farmyard Cave.. Fitzie 1, 2, 3.. Flamstead Cave.. Flood Exit Cave.. Fontabelle Cave.. Friday Gate Cave.. Geneva Mtn Cave.. Good Hope Cave.. Good Hope One Cave.. Good Hope Two Cave.. Grasslice Cave.. Gremlin Cave.. Grierfield Cave.. Green Grotto Cave.. Gourie Cave.. Guinea Corn Cave.. Harties Cave-1.. Harties Cave-2.. Hessie's Sinkhole.. History Cave.. Home Away Cave.. Hope River Glade Caves 1 and 2.. Hulls Cave.. Hutchinson's Hole.. (11).. Image Cave.. Iron Maiden Cave.. Jackson Young's Cave.. Jackson's Bay Great Cave.. Kempshot Cave.. Kinloss Shelter Cave.. Liebert's Great Hole.. Likkle Cave.. Long Mile Cave.. Long Pond Sinkhole.. Lumsden Property Cave.. MacBean's Shelter.. Mafoota Pumphouse Cave.. Mafoota River Cave.. Maldon School Cave.. Marta Tick Cave.. Martel Spring Cave.. Me No Sen Cave.. Mexico Cave.. Micey Gully Cave.. Miller Cave.. Minocal's Glory Hole.. (20).. Miss Henney Cave.. Mocho Cave.. Montieth Cave.. Morgans Pond Hole (2).. Mount Plenty Cave.. Mouth Maze Cave.. Mother Door Cave.. Nanny Cave.. Niagara River Cave.. Nodewood Cave 2.. Nodewood Rising.. Norwood Ratbat Hole.. One Day Cave.. Oxford Cave.. Pantrepant Cave.. Patrick Cave.. Pedro Great Cave.. Pennhouse Shelter-1.. Pennhouse Shelter-2.. Pennhouse Shelter-3.. Penthouse Cave.. Peterkin Cave.. Pool Cave.. Printed Circuit Cave.. Pumphouse Cave.. Puskurrunkus Cave.. Quashies River Cave.. Ramgoat Cave.. Raymonds Cave.. Rice Bottom 1.. Rice Bottom 2.. Rice Bottom 3.. Richmond Park Cave.. River Maiden Cave.. Roach Cave.. Road-Side Pit.. Roaring River Cave.. Rocky Road Cave.. Roehampton School Cave.. Rolling Rock Pit.. Rota Cave.. Rota Sink.. Rudist Rock Cave.. Ruined Ground Cave.. Salmon Gully Cave.. Saucy River Cave.. Sawmill Cave.. Schaw Castle Cave.. Schwallenburgh Sinkhole.. Schwallenburgh Cave.. Sheep Pen Cave.. Sherwood Forest Stream Cave.. Shorty's Cave.. Springvale South Cave.. Smokey Hole Cave.. (1).. Spring Cave.. Stephenson Cave.. Still Waters Cave.. Swanga Shelter.. Thatchfield Great Cave.. (3).. Too Far Stream Cave.. Tyre Stream Cave.. Tyre Sump Cave.. Undernose Cave.. Valley Pit.. Vauxhall Cave.. Volcano Hole.. (4).. Wallingford Collapse Cave.. Wallingford Main Cave.. Wallingford River Cave.. Wallingford Roadside Cave.. Wallingford Tunnel Cave.. Water Jar Cave.. Whelton Cave.. Welsch Ratbat Cave.. Wilson's Run Cave.. Windsor Castle Cave.. Windsor Great Cave.. Wondrous Cave.. Worthy Park Cave-1.. Young Gully Cave.. Field Notes by Caver.. Stewart.. I.. Conolley.. Mark Bellinger.. Dietrich Roggy.. Ian McKenzie..

    Original link path: /fieldnotes.htm
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  • Title: Jamaica Cave Database Page
    Descriptive info: Jamaica Cave Databases.. Jamaican Caves Organization.. Jamaica Caves.. he origin of the databases found on these pages is explained more thoroughly on the.. Provenance.. They are presented here as an aid to researchers and cavers with the hope, and expectation, that this information will not be used in a fashion that will result in exploitation of, or damage to, the cave systems listed on this site.. Those interested in these databases will already  ...   found on this website are a poor substitute for Mr.. Fincham's important work.. The previous versions of the register have now been superseded by the 2012 edition.. It is currently the definitive version, and contains every documented speleological site in Jamaica.. We have left in place the earlier databases, which can be found lower on the page.. The Jamaican Cave Register - 2012.. The Jamaican Cave Register - 2003.. The GPS Cave Register..

    Original link path: /databasepage.htm
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  • Title: JCO Caving Gear Reviews
    Descriptive info: Support Jamaican Caving.. Princeton Tec Apex.. Petzl Ecrin Roc..

    Original link path: /gear_reviews/caving_gear_reviews.htm
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  • Title: Publications and Videos - Jamaican Caves Organisation
    Descriptive info: Publications.. JCO - Main Page.. March 2006 Expedition - The Video.. This DVD contains the full-length, 25 minute video documentary of the March 2006 Expedition, which will soon be presented on Jamaican television (we'll post specifics on this when we have them).. Five caves are covered: St Clair Cave, Rudist Rock Cave, Smokey Hole Cave (a first descent into what is now known to be Jamaica's deepest cave), Vaughansfield Cave, and Dunns Hole Cave (the first descent into this, the largest natural chamber in Jamaica, in 49 years).. The participating cavers were Guy Van Rentergem, Hilde De Splenter, Stefan Stewart, Elizabeth Slack, Ivor Conolley, Adam Hyde, Knut Borstad, Barb Gottgens, Wayne Francis, and Roger Hendricks.. The original footage was acquired by.. Guy Van Rentergem.. , using a very good quality video camera (which he managed to not destroy in the process), during a JCO expedition that took place from March 21 to April 2 of 2006.. Afterwards, it was edited by Guy into what we think is a very kriss final product, complete with music, transition shots, and some great video.. Three of the cave visits,.. St Clair.. Smokey Hole.. Dunn's.. , were of historical significance.. An excerpt, for Smokey Hole, reduced in size and compressed for the internet down to 48 MB, can be found.. (right-click and save as).. The DVD  ...   Asia, parts of Africa).. The Caves of the Cockpit Country.. This 287 page, 8.. 5 x 11" book is based upon our report submitted to The Nature Conservancy in 2005, on the caves component of The Parks in Peril Project.. It includes overviews of the nine areas into which the sites were divided, as well as access information, maps, rapid assessment data, and field reports for about 90 caves, and basic information for 60 others.. Every known cave and sinkhole in the Cockpit Country is covered, for a total of about 153 sites (we might have miscounted).. In addition to the print work, a CD-R is included that has very large, very accurate maps of the cave locations, as well as a very large database in xls that includes more information than that in the print report, and Arcview shapefiles in JAD 69, JAD2001, and WGS84 for the cave locations (these include other pertinent attributes).. The cost is 60 CDN$ plus 15$ shipping (Canada Post), payable by money order or Paypal.. Please make money orders payable to R S Stewart, and send them to RR#1 Clarksburg, ON, N0H1J0, Canada.. Shipping will be within 5 business days of our receiving payment, with arrival anywhere from 6 to 15 days later, depending on your location.. For further information, please contact Stefan at info@jamaicancaves.. org..

    Original link path: /publications.htm
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  • Title: Jamaica GIS - Jamaican GIS Resources
    Descriptive info: Maps, Georeferencing, and GIS in Jamaica.. JCO Cave and Hiking Tours.. Contact: JamaicanCaves.. Org.. JAD69 and the GPS.. JAD2001 - The New Datum.. Jamaica Digital Elevation Model.. 1:50,000 Topo Maps.. GPS Vector Maps.. GPS Raster Maps.. Datums, Projections and Grids.. Orienteering in Jamaica.. Resources for the Exploration of Jamaica Caves, Sinkholes and Underground Rivers..

    Original link path: /gis.htm
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  • Title: JCO Articles and Advisories
    Descriptive info: Articles and Reports.. Newport - The Effects of Bauxite Mining on the Caves of Southern Manchester - Apr 5, 2007 (.. doc file).. The Cockpit Country and Bauxite Mining - Nov 2, 2006.. The Caves of Duanvale - Sept 13, 2006.. How Deep is that Hole? - April 15, 2006.. Report on Roaring River Cave for TPDco - Mar 6, 2006.. A Correlation Between Taino  ...   May 1, 2005.. TNC-J and the JCO - Feb 15, 2005.. JCO Meeting - Feb 8, 2005 (.. Troy-Windsor Trail - Dec 4-5, 2004.. The Cockpit Country Transect Expedition - May 12, 2004.. The Red Stripe Test - Apr 24, 2004.. Press Release - Hutchinson's Hole - Feb 8, 2004.. Funding - Sept 7, 2003.. Maroon Town - Sept 5, 2003.. Caving Techniques - May, 2002..

    Original link path: /jco-advisories.htm
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  • Archived pages: 573