Friday, March 7, 2008

Cave Diving Port Elizabeth

Cave diving is one aspect of spearfishing or freediving I really love. I am not claustrophobic in or out of water and do not fear dark much.

Actually I just read a great escape story of how British prisoners tunneled out of a German concentration camp and got back to England - a 150 foot tunnel with very little support to prevent cave-in and only big enough to sort of leopard crawl along it. The digger would be sealed in for three hours at a time with no breathing holes for fresh air and no light! The thought of that is enough to dispel my claustrophobia when freediving.

Caves are prime real estate for fish and even some sharks, crayfish and other life forms. Finding a large cave that is fairly dark and not heavily surged is like finding a diamond. Here you will get great fish and photos.

Spearfishing tips: cave hunting:
Do not race over to your cave and enter it immediately. Find it by line-up or GPS and then dive around it some way off first, get a few fish around it before charging in and shooting one inside - this way you may be more efficient and get more than one nice fish.
Caves that are open to the surge are not as good as ones that open across the surge -fish also like comfort!
In Spain divers close a cave entrance by putting a gun or torch in the entrance then they shoot fish from another entrance. The fish actually remain in the cave fearing the object so that they do not rush out. I do not practice this approach here but must test it. If you try and have success let me know and we can post your result.

I attached a YouTube link to a clip of me swiming through a large cave at Bushy Park, Port Elizabeth - it is in about 12 m deep water and is about 12 m across - the large tunnel makes for a fun swimthrough.

Enjoy the weekend dive - I will certainly do some cave diving.

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