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Scuba Diving in Cuba, Caribbean
Dive Site: La Cueva de los Pesces
Location: Halfway between Playa Giron and Playa Larga, Cuba
Description: Cave dive
Depth: 31 metres + (102 feet)
Visibility: 30 metres (100 feet)
We dived in Cuba in October when the rough weather meant some of the boat dives were blown out. Much of our week was storm swept and to say we had to work hard to get our 10 booked dives is an understatement, but we managed it. On the day we were lucky enough to dive "La Cueva de los Pesces - The Fish Cave" the weather was very rough at sea and it rained consistently throughout the day meaning the chance of taking the boat out really was zero. Cueva de los Pesces is an inland site, so it provides a good alternative to a boat dive in the sea. Located at Playa Giron around 2 hours by road from our resort at Faro de Luna this is the first time I have kitted up first and then taken a taxi to my dive site. After a spirited discussion at our dive Center during which we were told there was no diving due to the weather, we agreed to dive Playa Giron. You will need torches to dive here and our dive Center didn't have any to hire (another reason they claimed they couldn't take us diving that day) - We hadn't bought any with us but very fortunately another diver staying in the hotel lent us a pair of kowalskis (thanks again!). We put our kit together and loaded the boot of the waiting taxi. Other than actually donning our suits we were ready to dive.
Upon arrival the car park is just across the road from the shoreline and you can either kit up fully here, as we did, and then turn away from the sea and walk into the forest along a cobbled path, or carry your kit down in stages. The cave pool is only about a 200 metre walk through the forest and there is a seating area and basic café. Small bright red crabs scurried across the path and into their holes as we trudged through the rain towards the cave entry pool. Whilst the underwater cave is known as "The Cave of Fish", at the time of year we were there, and in the moist conditions, the surrounding rainforest would have been aptly named "The Mosquito Woods". They were rife and even buzzed around the exposed parts of your face when only your masked head protruded from the pool. However what awaited us beneath the surface was worth the effort. After entering the warm water you descend through a very distinct salocline where the saltwater at the surface is mixing with the freshwater below. This causes a bizarre shimmering in the water for about a metre making it impossible for human eyes to focus. The cave entrance lies 24 metres down the wall and is about 50 metres wide and 70 metres deep - essentially the cave is formed in a flooded tectonic fault. There is a line that you can follow along the edge of the cave and inside you may see some big crabs and many other kinds of fish. Unfortunately for us our guide was pretty jumpy and refused to venture very far into the caves gin clear water even when we lent him our more powerful torches. At the time of year we were there (October) the cave was open from 9am until 6pm and admission costs US$1.
Rik Vercoe, BSAC Advanced Instructor
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