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tonga ~ cave & snorkeling explorations

Posted by on July 21, 2014

October 1 – 27, 2013

Photos of some of our Tongan cave explorations and snorkeling expeditions.

Swallow’s Cave ~ northwest tip of Kapa Island, Vava’u

approaching Swallow's Cave

 

swallows fly near the opening at the top

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

inside entrance cavern of Swallow's Cave

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

some graffiti dates back to the 19th century

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

looking from the inside of Swallow's Cave, out to the main entrance

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Climbing thru swallow & bat guano. Wil accidentally fell into it. We won't describe that scenario!

 
a crazy & quite talented Chris (s/v Tribe)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mariner’s Cave ~ a hollow in the rocks near the northern tip of Nuapapu Island.  The cave can only be accessed from under the water.  At low tide, the entrance to the cave is about 2 meters below the water’s surface.  In order to enter the cave, a person must time their dive with the incoming surge of the swell, swim down 2+ meters, swim laterally about 4 meters under the rocky ledge, and then surface inside the cave.  Once inside the cave, huge changes in air pressure are experienced with each surge of swell.  When the water surges into the cave, the air within the cavern compresses, becomes extremely foggy, and the pressure builds in your ears and head.  Then, the water goes down with the outgoing surge, and the air becomes clear and your head relieved.

A good test to see if you’re capable of such a swim:  Start from about a meter away from one side of your boat, swim down under the keel, and surface at least a meter away from the other side of the boat.  Even better if you can do it under a catamaran!

from inside Mariner's Cave looking under the rock ledge entrance to the outside

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Guillaume (s/v Sueno) having fun under the rock ledge to Mariner's Cave

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

compressed air inside Mariners Cave

 

uncompressed air when the water goes out

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

Hunga Lagoon ~ Hunga Island, located on the western-most side of the Vava’u Group, has an interior that is mostly deep lagoon.  Just outside the entrance to the lagoon, there are incredible coral encased rock formations that create a fun maze to snorkel.

 

Justine swimming the coral mazes outside Hunga Lagoon

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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