Feb 272013
Two years later

Ag died in Tank Cave, two years ago today. It’s still not clear exactly what happened that meant she couldn’t return to the surface. I don’t know that it ever will be. More importantly, I don’t know that it matters as much as the fact that two years on, she’s still dead. Last year I felt very strongly that sometimes divers take risks for themselves without considering that their friends and family are the ones who will have to live with the consequences. This year I’m getting closer to really understanding that being dead lasts for a very long time. In the weeks and months after Ag died, I saw her on a near daily basis. A stranger walking across [read more…]

Jul 232012
Ag's Dreamtime Tunnel in Unnamed Cave

About the site Unnamed Cave is the most recent major discovery in Australian cave diving. Out on the Roe Plains in the West Australian desert, the massive tunnels discovered so far are still going kilometres from the entrance, with teams going out over the coming months to continue exploration. The cave was first dived last October on a trip led by Paul Hosie of CEGWA. Discovered half way through the expedition, the group spent the last few days chucking in as much line as possible before they had to return to civilisation. One of those divers was Brian Kakuk of Bahamas Underground, who worked with Agnes during the National Geographic shoot in the Bahamas in 2010. On his final dive, Brian [read more…]

Feb 272012
One year on

Agnes Milowka A year ago today, Ag passed away while cave diving. I miss her. In the weeks and months after she died, I learned a lot about grief. To start with it was impossible to forget that she wasn’t here any more, or to think about anything else. I talked repetitively about her life and her death to friends who were kind enough to listen. Getting distracted by day to day living meant that when I stopped thinking about the task at hand I would suddenly remember that she was gone. It was like walking into a brick wall each time, over and over again. Constantly holding my grief front of mind seemed easier than the repeated shock of [read more…]

Jul 112011
Agnes Milowka

  I joined the Melbourne University Underwater Club in 2003; Ag was President that year. It wasn’t until a few years later, when I was President, that I better understood and envied the natural talent she had for getting hungover students enthused about getting up early and going diving. In February 2005 we did our first cave course together. In mid-2005 I headed off to England for 18 months. Back in the country in 2006 Dean, Ag and I were over in Mt Gambier every 2 to 3 weeks, practising for the third and final cave course. We were all still determinedly wearing our tanks on our backs at this point, removed by Ag on one notable occasion to facilitate [read more…]