Cave or No Cave? Good Question

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Holiday’s are wonderful things to take but make sure you come back from them! We were in Thailand at the Pee Pee islands, I am pretty sure that’s not how they are spelt but everyone calls them that so I do too. In true fashion all I wanted to do was get underwater and Robbie and Lena who were with us on this holiday as new divers wanted to do the same.

So off we jolly well go, we completed a couple of shakedown dives and Robbie decides he would “Love” to do a night dive, so we booked one and embarked on the trip out to the site. It was a nice boat ride as the sun went down and we hung ¬†around for a few minutes to ensure complete darkness. As the most experienced diver I had a quiet chat with the Thai dive master away from the others, he spoke quite good English so I felt good about there being no possible misunderstandings about the dive plan we wanted to follow.

I knew some of the rocky island ( see photo) had tunnels and caves worn into their walls, I was keen to make sure R & L were not put in a position at night where they might freak out. The DM agreed no “overhead environments” and I do remember stressing this a couple of times. Down we go to about 40 ft and work our way along the wall you can see in the photo at the base of the islands. The corals growing on the walls were spectacular at night and our torches (flashlights for any North American readers) brought out all the wonderful colours.

After about 15 minutes I started to get a bit of a feeling……..so I shone my light in front of me to find the expected ” Rock” I then pointed it left, right and above….”Rock, Rock and guess what, yep you got it, Rock”. Now, anyone who has nearly had a nasty accident but got away with it knows the feeling of panic that comes over you in waves very well. I wasn’t so worried about my wife as she is both an ex cop and a very experienced diver. However, I knew if R & L found out we were in a cave (as it appeared to me at the time we were?) they would be less than calm and we would potentially have a big problem.

I shot over to the dive master who we may as well at this point call Rocky… Ha ha and pointed forwards, left, right and up (as we previously discussed) and motioned for “where’s the bleeping exit ?” which he pointed to. We then slowly encouraged everyone in that direction without letting on. To this day though, I can still remember and will admit to the scary feeling of being in deep trouble and the enormous gulps of air I took in for a few seconds. I have since trained myself not to do that when concerned underwater……..yeh right!!

So by all means trust your Divemaster while on holiday but keep your beady eyes on him or them. We were not in fact in a cave but a deep depression in the wall, but it sure as sh…. felt like one at night, 40 ft down with novice divers that were my responsibility.

They do say though that all is well that ends well…….. We hope!

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Kevin started diving in Norway while serving as a PT instructor with the British Army in 1985. Taught Servicemen and women to Scuba dive until leaving the service in the early 90's in order to pursue a more tropical career teaching diving in the Bahamas.

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