As a diving instructor I am in the lucky position of getting to spend nearly every day diving on the beautiful coral reefs surrounding Koh Tao. Last week I had the opportunity to try a new, challenging and completely different type of diving, training as a cavern and cave diver. As well as a fantastic recreational diving school and career development centre, DJL also has its own technical diving department. My instructor was Dave Polley, one of South East Asia’s most respected technical diving instructors.
After loading the equipment into the car we boarded the ferry and headed to the mainland. Our first destination was the stunning Khao Sok national park, a massive lake located amidst spectacular limestone pinnacles and gorges. Accommodation in the park is pretty unique. The steep sides of the lake make building near impossible, so small resorts are built on wooden rafts, floating on the lake. With no internet access, or even mobile reception staying on the lake is about a far removed from the modern world as you can get, the sound of nature is all around you.
Cave diving requires some of the most extensive training of any form of diving. Safety is paramount. All equipment requires a backup, and for certain critical equipment such as lights, a backup, backup! All cave diving is conducted using a continuous guideline to open water. Learning to use the guideline to exit the cave safely in a number of different emergency situations, such as loss of visibility is the central focus of the training.
As well as the training, there are the caves themselves. The limestone solution caves of Khao sok have formed over millennia and feature beautiful formations such as stalactites and flowstone. After a few days diving the many caves of Khao Sok, we moved on to our second cave site, Song Hong. This cave system is simply massive. In fact even after several dives it is hard for me to visualise just how big it is.
If you are a diver looking to take your training to another level, or looking for a new challenge, contact the team at Davy Jones Tech to book your trip. DJL tech offer PADI technical and cavern diver qualifications plus many advanced technical diving courses.