Jul 122016
Split shots in Timorese air chambers

One of the features of Timor is the very soft limestone that I talked about last week. As well as exploding cave ceilings, this also leads to large breakdown piles in the cave tunnels. Which means that the big blue passages are periodically interrupted by collapses both underwater and above. As you can see from these shots, air chambers provide a whole new playground for cave photography. Taking split shots in the ocean means waiting for very calm days or finding sheltered spots. Underground, in a place completely enclosed by rock, there’s no need to worry about the weather rippling the surface. When the divers are still the water surface is completely flat. With a rock to stand on and not [read more…]

Jul 072016
Silt explosions in Timor

We are back in Timor this week, expanding the limits of the caves we have previously discovered and exploring new caves and new areas. Luckily for me, pushing new areas in known caves means swimming through previously discovered areas first. This makes photography possible – I know what the cave discovered last year looks like, and what’s going to happen when we get in there. I can plan my lighting and instruct my dive buddies for the best shots in otherwise challenging conditions. This Timor trip is the first one where the photography has really come together to show off the beauty of this new area. The limestone in Timor is soft and crumbly. It’s easy to see ancient and [read more…]

Aug 052014
Cave exploration through mud

About the cave This week we are practising a little bit of tropical cave exploration, in some (very) warm water. These photos are hot off the press from yesterday’s dives and taken in the same area as last year’s expedition to these very beautiful formations. The scenery was a little different though – instead of white rocks and blue water, we had squelchy brown mud and blue water. This particular cave was one which I previously dived through a very short sump to discover an internal air chamber but then ran out of time to check the other side. The rockpile had clean white rocks from 2m above the water line and I had hopes that if we continued far [read more…]

Oct 282013
Exploration part 2

Running your own line is a lot more fun than following someone else’s, even though we knew this part of the cave has been visited 15 years before. We swam on through the second sump with the tunnel gradually becoming both wider and taller. After a few hundred metres the passage appeared to end in a flat wall. After checking each side I spotted air above and scooted up between the wall and ceiling to surface in the second air bell. This one was a lot more diver friendly with a few big rocks sticking out of the water, but deep enough to swim from one side to the other fully kitted up. The air seemed fine and there were [read more…]

Sep 302013
Check out dive in Kristal Cave

I’ve been in Indonesia for the past two weeks doing lots of diving and I have more than a few photos and dives to catch you up on. I’m going to do it backwards and start with the second week first, which was the cave diving and exploration. Then I’ll skip backwards with a few thoughts about the fabulous rEvo course from the week before. Stay tuned, and here’s the first instalment. Kristal Cave is, as the name suggests, full of crystal clear water. The local dive operation Dive Alor Dive brings groups here for a break from diving the corals and swarming fish out in the tropical ocean. We flew in mid-morning and after a quick gear sort and [read more…]