We should probably turn back?!
We were diving off of Queensland Australia in July. That is their winter so the water was cold. Not quite California cold but cold enough for a 7mm. I brought my Waterproof semi-dry and I was glad I did. We were staying on a live aboard for about a week doing some of the best diving I have ever done. On the third day we were getting the dive site briefing from the divemaster for the first spot of the day. The usual stuff…”depths, fish, blah blah blah.” My buddy and I were too busy enjoying our morning coffee and flirting with some Aussie girls on the boat. The divemaster continued but we were not really listening and all we heard was “east” and “cave.”
We suited up and got in the water. We descended down the line and then headed east. We noticed some people heading west and we looked at each other nonverbally said “idiots…going the wrong way.” We continued. I was glad that I brought the semi dry suit. I was super warm. My buddy was in a Aqualung 7mm Aquaflex and claimed he was just as warm as I was (an argument that continued for days.)
We continued east and came upon a large cave. We had the nonverbal “sweet, we found it!” moment. We hovered there staring into the darkness. I did not remember the DM saying anything about NOT going in. I ripped out my light (Ikelite) and surveyed the scene. We gave the mutual “ok” and we started in. It was dark. Real dark. Our lights lit up the place like daytime but there were still nooks here and there shrouded in darkness. We were only about 15 feet in when the cave bent to the right. We slowly turned the corner and we both looked back to make sure we could still see the entrance (we did not have a lot of cave experience at the time – probably should take a course.) We turn back and we are face to face with a giant cosmopolitan eel circling the inside. Had to be about 6 feet. Unaffected by our bright lights it continued to circle. I did not want to wait around to see if it was agressive. My buddy gave me the “let’s turn back now signal.” I wish there was a signal for “no shit.”
We got back to the boat only to find that everyone went west because the DM warned everyone about this cave. We kept quiet. We listened very closely on the next and following dives.