Photo Log of Cavern Diver Course at Thong Pha Phom (2008)

Posted on 04/06/09 3 Comments


cavern-2divers-verticalWe finally got our hands on the photos from Aquanauts’ Cavern Diver course last fall at Thailand’s Thong Pha Phom near Kanchanaburi and what a great surprise they were.

ANDI Instructor Roger M. Smith led the course for Aquanauts interns (and now PADI instructors) Greg Hannigan, A.J. Rankin and Scott Clark. Hannigan was behind the lens and shot a bundle of photos. The best ones were without the direct strobe, which too often illuminates the suspended particles in the cavern waters.

After a bit of Photoshop “channel mixing,” that restored proper color values and added luminence, what you see below is how things looked to the divers on the three-day course.

Thong Pha Phom is a sleepy little village 450 km northwest of Pattaya and home to a network of freshwater caves. You can read a trip report of Aquanauts most-recent Cavern Diver course here but check out the photos below to get a real sense of what its like to dive true overhead environments.


Each course includes required skills training, including laying out lines to find your way in and out of the cavern.


cavern-rogerRoger was diving on doubles to teach the course but the ANDI Cavern Diver does not require any technical training or equipment.

All the dives are done within recreational limits and divers need only be Advanced Open Water certified and use regular recreational dive gear.

With such low pre-requisites, the Cavern Diver course is a perfect way for adventurous recreational divers interested get their first taste of tech without a large financial or academic investment.

So what does the cavern look like? Here’s a few shots of the topography.



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