Khao Sok – Expedition – PADI Cavern Course – Day 4
This morning the team was up before the students setting the table for breakfast. The morning meal included yoghurt, cereal, croissants, raisin bread and coffee and tea. As the bushy eyed students slowly made their way to the table the torches were checked again and fresh batteries put in, the gear was loaded and it was off to the pier. As we cruised along the lake enjoying the surroundings we briefed the divers on the new location of their course called “Peter’s Cave” named after a German guy called peter who found it. This is quite a tricky cave to locate and I say cave because it is, you can very easily find challenging restrictions and leave the natural light zone but at the same time it can be used as a cavern. Unlike the “Temple Cave” the entrance can’t be seen from the surface so it would take a few minutes to locate the entrance and guide the students through. Continuing with the course for 2 more and final training dives in this area where you can surface inside. However as many found out despite many warnings not to take out their regulator the air doesn’t taste very nice and is probably from the dissolution of the limestone forming stalactites above in the space. This cave is about 100m long with the natural light ending at about 50m inside as the cave has a bend shutting out the light. As we left the cavern the students we’re given time to explore the open lake with what air they had left, which was plentiful as the rule of thirds was enforced on every dive. Their exploration of the lake lead to the discovery of another cavern by our student Pierre. After confirming that he did in fact find something worth noting we gave him the honour of naming it “Edwards Cavern” after his father. Returning back to the resort we ate, showered, fired up the compressor again and planned the afternoon activities. Today we would travel 100 km to the national park in search of a waterfall to cool off as the tanks were filled. We had been diving in the national park but never really got to see the jungle. So off we went, trekking through the national park in search of a great waterfall. However, after an hour journey to the park we found some problems with trekking in a jungle. First problem was it was hot, hilly and humid making most people wilt in the first 5 minutes. Also there were a lot of animals and wild life causing streams of terror from Claire at every step. And the final problem that made us turn around were leeches. Tree jumping terrorist leeches who think of nothing but your blood. At one point John had 4 on his feet and needed a knife to get them off. It was all great fun but it left us sweaty, hungry and bloody. We concluded that diving was still the most attractive feature of the park. Back at the resort it was off to the local restaurant for the final exam. PADI doesn’t have an exam for this course or for that matter a manual. The divers received a copy of the NSS-CDS Cavern Diver Manual for academic study and an exam written by Big Blue Tech was a way for the students to demonstrate their knowledge of the course contents. This combined with their water skills gave the training team the confidence in issuing the certification. Although there may have been learning curves, stumbling points and reel mistakes during the course they had all exceeded the teams expectations and received their PADI Cavern Diver certification. Everyone had a few drinks to celebrate and headed off to bed for the first day of the final two days of experience diving.