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Irish Student Caving Forum - Clare Easter 2003


Early on Friday morning the QUB contingent, i.e. me and Ryan set off for Clare. Not the most comfortable of journeys since I'd only had a few hours sleep, was hungover and almost permanently crippled from doing pile-on's on the Lisburn road the night before. After picking up Sal (from the ferry, careful!) we began the drive, supposedly 5 hours. By the time we reached Dundalk it was clear we'd forgotten something, other than breakfast, beer. Being Good Friday all pubs and offies in the south were closed, damn.


Undeterred we continued on arriving in Doolin about 8.30, 5 hours my arse. The only problem was accomodation i.e. we had none. Kindly JK and co let us pitch the tent in the field behind their house, precious drinking money saved. Meantime Stevey Muh and sister Ruth had arrived, the QUB ranks had now swelled to four, still outnumbered by everyone including Limerick and Kent!


The next day saw what must have been the biggest ICRO rescue practice in historywhich went off witout any real difficulties and gave Brian Cullen an opertunity to indulge himself in his new found rigging abilities. (The word overkill could be applied) the debrief also afforded an opertunity for the aptly named 'ducktape Dave' (Kent caver) to open his mouthand to everyone's dismay it remained open for the next two days no one having the good sense to shut it for him!


That night before hitting the pub various speakers entertained the crowd on various topics such as cave diving, spotting digging potential and remembering to get notes(Stevey Bus apparanty forgot leaving me to give a talk on a topic I knew nothing about, thankgod Ducktape Dave was on hand to give me a few pointers, shouldve hit him!) Anyway all went off fine and later we were joined by Sean and Derdire, kinda pushing the boat out but we included them in the final QUB head count.


Sunday probably proved to be the most entertaining day beginning with the much antcipated SRT race rigged over Doolin harbour which was promptly stopped on grounds of safety, suspiciously before QUBCC had the chance to field a candidate. In their defence two descenders were wrecked in the first hour, see. The day continued in the pub, no surprise for the table quiz, which we won (Bacardi, oh yes!), and the raffle with millions of prizes (OK not millions but alot). After kicking out time it was a quick race to the nearest phone box for a 'see how many you can fit in contest' followed by a short journey to the beach for a fire, alcohol, singsong and some rasta guy no one knew rolling joints! (dont ask bout the Garda!).


Next moring it was a hurried tent pull down followed by grab everything that looks like your's and then bombing back to Belfast for work. Made it in for 6, still hadnt slept for two days. Didnt get fired, successful weekend all round then.