Dive Sites - Western Cave

Dive Site: Western Cave

We wanted to give each cave its own, unique character. The Western Cave is characterised by a large room with an air bubble under the ceiling.
This construction turned out to be statically more challanging than we initially expected. In a dome shaped structure on land the load is transfered to walls and down through lateral pillars.
An air filled cavity under water, however, behaves the opposite way. The air bubble's buoyancy is greater than the load from the concrete roof.
For this reason there are large beams and girders to distribute these loads.

Camera position: Upper hall of pillars, exit to the cathedral.
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Have fun exploring the scuba park which at this point was still dry.


There are two parallel tunnels in the Western Cave: Front left the cathedral, behind that the hall of mirrors, the hall of pillars to the right.
Dive Sites: Map of the Western Cave
The cave system consists of two parallel tunnels, of which the upper lies about 2m above the lower.

The entrance lies between Balcony Bay and the wreck.
You get to the cave through a 4m high, grotto-like entrance.
Stay to your left and follow the ascending ground to the higher corridor.

To the right several pillars hold the cave roof, to the left is a slope of debris.
The corridor is about 40 metres long and has emergency exits in the roof every few metres.
Behind the pillars lies a slightly lower part of the corridor.

There are several connections to the lower cave that can all be dived through without a problem.
First, however, follow the main corridor that reaches open water after a bend.
The wall to your right belongs to a domed room. You can access it either through a breach in the rock...

...or by diving around through the very large grotto entry.
The pretty stone dome of this cathedral is held up by 3 tall pillars.
The large opening makes for interesting lighting conditions.

The next room has an air bubble underneath the ceiling...
...and large window openings in the sides, through which...
...light falls into the cave, especially in the mornings (same view).

This cave is for people who enjoy relaxed diving...
...because light is reflected multiply in the ceiling...
...that is why we call this place the 'Hall of Mirrors'.

The air quality under the ceiling is not monitored.
Therefore you should breathe mainly from your tank...
...and enjoy the shower of light under the openings.

The hall of mirrors has a 3m high exit...
...that leads back into the grotto at the entrance.
Continue left of the gorge with its ribs of rock.

These are the abutments that are necessary for statical reasons and that can be dived through.
Keep the cliff to the side. You pass the area before the cathedral...
...and follow the narrowing gorge to the wreck.

The Western Cave, too, was initially a large cage made of 'wire'...
...with futuristic looking constructs. This is the large entrance grotto.
The cathedral to the right, to the left an abutment that supports the pressure from the dome.

Lateral walls and abutments rise upward. Reinforcements in the roof compensate for the buoyancy of the air bubble that will later be created.
The irregular shape of the roofs are due to the use of straw bales for the shuttering formwork.
The more natural something is being constructed, the more chaotic the entangled wires seem in this phase.

But the result is as we expected.
Visitors enjoy the spectacular scenery...
...and can dive into new experinces...