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Sangat Wildlife: Tropical Geko

Other Dives

Besides wreck and reef diving adventures, there are also two other intriguing dive opportunities we would recommend exploring: the geothermal waters of Barracuda Lake and Coron Island’s extraordinary, semi-subterranean Cathedral Cave.

To view individual artist-renderings of each of the extraordinary dive locations described below – including each site’s physical location in relation to Sangat Island – please click on any of the thumbnail images shown at the left.

1. Barracuda Lake

Guarded by a visually forbidding perimeter of saw-toothed limestone cliffs, the bright – almost other-worldly – turquoise waters of Barracuda lake is one of the most unique dives you will likely ever experience.

Just one of Coron Island’s dozens of land-locked geothermal bodies of water, Barracuda lake must be approached on foot over tricky limestone terrain. The hike – with full scuba gear – takes 15 minutes but, believe us, is well worth the effort.

Once in the lake, you will pass three distinct thermoclines during your decent to the bottom. After penetrating an initial 4-meter region of fresh warm water, you will find yourself in a 10-meter section of clear salt water with a typical temperature of 28C°. As you descend further into the final 14 to 34 meter thermal stage, temperatures rise once again to an almost uncomfortable 38C°.

From the lake's surface to a depth of 34 meters, the water remains clear as crystal. As you near the very bottom, however, visibility degrades dramatically as the hot lake bed heats and dissolves fallen surface vegetation into a meter-thick layer of dark brown tea.

The jagged mid-depth landscape of the lake – often likened to drifting over the surface of the moon – is populated by little Crayfish, Rabbit Fish, Grouper, Catfish and Barracuda.

An added feature of this dive – for the extra adventurous – is a very narrow cave which can be entered from the north face of the lake. The cave, just large enough for a single diver to enter into and turn around, is marked with a fixed guide-line.

Once inside, your surroundings are very dark and often filled with sediment so a good torch, torch back-up and an emergency alternative source of air or Nitrox are a must. While the full cave measures approximately 90 meters in length, 30-meter penetrations (or less) are advised.

If you are a certified Technical or Cave Diver and are interested in exploring this aspect of the lake it is essential that you are fully prepared with all appropriate equipment for such a venture.

Dive Type: Location: Travel Time: Max. Depth: Visibility:
Geothermal Lake Coron Island 30 Minutes 35 Meter 34 Meter

REQUIREMENTS: Open Water Diver, Technical Diver, Cave Diver.

2. Cathedral Cave

This spectacular underwater cave adventure begins with a 6 meter decent to, and through, a near-vertical rock "well" opening beneath one of Coron Islands southern-most limestone cliff faces.

After breaching the entrance, you’ll tunnel-dive another 12 meters (with or without the assistance of a fixed line-guide) past on-looking baby lobsters and Cowry shells toward a shaft of light piercing the waters of the Cathedral cave ahead.

Just a few short meters after exiting the tunnel, you’ll be in the calm, 8-meter deep, crystal-clear waters of the Cathedral cave. Upon breaking the surface, you’ll see the awe-inspiring interior adorned by a fantastic array of stalactite / stalagmite formations, shiny-smooth "dripping" limestone walls and an oval rock window through which a single shaft of daylight illuminates the cave’s prehistoric interior.

You may then dive through another short underwater passage which opens into a small air-pocketed chamber behind the main cavern. When you’re ready to leave this awesome space, it’s a quick swim back through the tunnel and into the open sea where you can continue your exploration of various coral beds with their attendant tropical wildlife.

This extraordinary site should only be ventured during calm weather and tidal wave conditions; tunnel penetrations during inclement weather could result in serious injury due to unpredictably strong wave surges.

Dive Type: Location: Travel Time: Max. Depth: Visibility:
Cavern Coron Island 45 Minutes 8 Meter Crystal Clear

REQUIREMENTS: Advanced Water Diver, Cave Diver.

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