Thailand – Australia – United Kingdom

Khao Sok – May Expedition – Day 5

As last night was a late one for many we had a later start today. Up for breakfast at 8 and off to the pier for 930. Today the group would be split up. The tekkies would go sunken village hunting and the recreational divers would go cavern diving. The most interesting point of this day was the discovery of the river bed and signs of a clearing and man made environment. On this dive we were unable to find the actual village but we did find some bamboo structures, cut tree stumps and the original river that flowed through the valley. Leaving a buoy in place we would return to the surface and plan an accelerated decompression dive and search program for the following day.

Meeting back up with the recreational divers at Temple Cave we found they had a great time in Peters Cave and we’re planning a second dive. The amazing thing about Charn Liew lake is that it’s walled by mountains that normally keep storms out. However when one does get in, it’s strong and fierce. Unbeknownst to us there was a huge storm on the other side of the mountain and hit us hard, trees and branches falling and the boats were being tosses like a house of cards. The only refuge was inside the entrance of the cave where both long tails could get out of the elements.

For us technical divers there was no way for us to do another dive so early so we decided to brave the storm and head back to the resort leaving the other group to dive. We huddled under a plastic sheet hiding from the conditions only to find the rain stopped and sun came out a mere 20 minutes later. Back at the resort the compressor was fired up, people had lunch and just relaxed, studied for the coming exam and got some sleep.

The evening had everyone meeting for dinner and the writing of the final exam. The final exam is written by our staff to help the students and the instructors establish an theoretical understanding covering all aspects of the cave diving theology. Everyone passed the exam and with a  nice bottle of wine we celebrated the end of the certification process and planned the next days dives which would be the final 2 dives of the trip.

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