Paxos 2018

Yesterday’s two cave dives on the Greek island of Paxos 10 nautical miles off the bottom of Corfu. The photos were taken by a former Greek Navy SEAL who runs one of the two dive centres on the island. I got lucky as his mates where over including a 60 year old Scottish cave junkie who had 250 dives logged on this island alone,called Angus who looked and sounded very much like Shrek, however he had hands like mallets so I didn’t mention the resemblance to him. The first dive was down to 15m along a short reef then down to 27m and into the cave which was a large cavern about 30m long 5m wide by 10m deep diamond shape. Needless to say very dark,with my torch and other’s camera rigs illuminating small areas of the walls showing all sorts of weird lichen, soft corals and inanimate sea creatures,with a huge population of shrimps occupying the upper parts,their Amber eyes reflecting in my torch light like street lights viewed from a plane. Before we went in I was told that we couldn’t hang around too long as we would be on deco limits by the time we reached the small chimney to exit via and my zoop showed 3 mins no deco time as I dumped some air and made my way up the blue beam of light. I can’t remember what the cave was called but it sounded a bit like Haloumi, however after a brisk whizz a bit further up the west coast aided by a single 250hp outboard on the immaculate boat and conversation between Angus and the Greek Seal they dropped anchor at “the Cathedral” The seal hadn’t said a lot up to this time, but as he clipped an additional side mounted 12 to himself and said to me “stay close to me please it’s important” and used the “extreme” word I knew I was in for a treat. He went onto to explain that we would surface within the cave but to keep my reg in as the air was bad and if there was a dead fish in the chamber,it could kill you. We descended to 18m then finned down to 27m again to enter the cathedral. It really was incredible to experience such a vast underwater structure with stalactite type organ pipes marking its entry arch. Once inside we made our way to the rear entry point of the swim through and into the smaller vestibule that led to our surfacing point. On surfacing our lighting lit the spire style white rock pointed ceiling up diamond style as the waters surface reflected onto it. All that could be heard was each of us, breathing still through our regs until the seal broke the silence exhaling only with a quick “we go down”. I had regained a little bit of no deco time so we had a good look around the main “church” before we exited through the small aperture above the main opening shown in the photos. All in all a terrific experience.

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