After the excitement and tears of the day before, we had quite some trepidation about today’s cave as we were to attempt something rather different. Cova Des Coloms is a sea cave which can only be accessed by 35m abseil from above or a 200m swim from the nearest beach. To make it even more challenging, to get into the cave itself there is a short tunnel to go through which sumps with each wave! We discussed at length whether to even attempt it, and finally decided to go for it, but to give ourselves every opportunity of success. With this in mind we stopped at a shop and bought a shark, a pink aeroplane and 2 baby seats – all inflatable of course!
Parking up in the designated spot we kitted up in bikinis and wet suits (the boys looked great) and carrying our kit bags and inflatables we set off to find the coast path. Trekking across a small beach we found we were well overdressed as it was obviously the local nudist beach, but undeterred we made our way around the coast and eventually found the spits above the cave mouth.
Phil and Helen had decided to swim in from the nearest beach so they set off while Mark rigged the rope for the abseil in, with Chloe wanting to be first into the sea. We had decided to minimise kit, as we would be swimming back to the beach afterwards, so only had harnesses and a krab each apart from Brendan who wanted to prussic back out. It was quite daunting abseiling 35m on an Italian Hitch! Apart from the obvious DON’T LET GO OF THE ROPE! we found that from half way down we were spinning round madly to the point I felt quite sick, and it was a relief to get into the water.
As Loz was descending there was a shout from the water of SHARK! SHARK! as round the corner swam Helen with her inflatable, accompanied by Phil.
Soon we were all at the mouth of the cave, looking with trepidation at the short sump. However, for anyone who has been in Stoke Lane Slocker (Mendips) in high water, this sump was a piece of cake and we were soon all through and ditching our harnesses inside the cave.
Considering how close we came to not attempting this cave, we were all absolutely blown away by what we found inside. Not a huge cave, but with several crystal clear lakes to swim through to access each chamber, and the amazing formations we had now come to expect. Helen and I snorkelled around exploring the Atlantis-type underwater world while Loz performed aquabatics (see what I did there?) for the cameras.
Finally it was time to go, and most of us started the long swim back to the beach while Brendan prussicked back up. Five minutes later, a boat pulled up at the mouth of the cave with a party of paying tourists in it – apparently it costs £50 to do it that way! Looks like we got out just in time.
Present: Mark Burkey, Jess Burkey, Steve Wal Wallis, Helen Nightingale, Loz Appleby, Chloe Burney, Phil Lester and Brendan Marris
Report: Jess Burkey