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We just went and did the caves a Tilly Pt. And all I can say is are ther any more it was one of my best dives yet. My partnert who has only done a few cold water dives said "it was way better than diving in Mexico the life was amazing." In regards to the whole air fill issue. On Pender. John @ soundpassage adventures is looking into getting acompressor soon but untill then he does rent tanks so whats the problem so a fill is 6-8 dollars depending on where you get them to rent a tank its 10 dollars as far as I'm concerened the caves alone are worth the little bit extra.
John @ soundpassage adventures is also running charters ect. off pender now so take a look at his web site. www.soundpassageadventures.com . We found him very helpful and I am looking forward to doing a charter with him soon.
Can you give us more details on the caves? location, depth, length of penetration, cave interior description ..... etc.
Also did you ever find your lost watch?
I'm not Kat, but I think her post is in response to my complaining about the lack of air fills on Pender. As obvious as it seems, her suggestion about renting tanks never occured to me. I'll try that next time. My only concern is that after paying for the ferry and driving there, the shop says: "sorry all our tanks are being used on a charter right now". Paranoia. I have a basic description and photos on a page of my site here: TILLY POINT CAVERN I've only been there once (so far) and I'm terrible with estimating distances, but it seems that the cavern (more like a tunnel) is about 30 feet long, starts at about 15 feet deep in a room about 10 feet across and slopes down through a "crack" about 3-4 feet wide to an exit around 50 feet deep. The main, shallow room has a couple of holes in the top that let light in, but they seem too small to swim out of. The walls and top of the cavern are lined with plumose anemones (large and small species). There are also lots of colourful tunicate colonies (club tunicates, I think)and cup corals, nudibranchs,etc. I went in an hour early and there was a bit of current. - Not too much to swim against, but enough to be annoying. Any earlier and I might have had problems. On my site, there are also a few descriptions of other diving spots in the area that are also excellent, but don't get any attention. It will be interesting to hear Kat's description of Tilly Point.
I never did recover the watch from setchell either the fish are keeping time or some one got a great find. Regarding the caves, we dove from the shore of the small bay and swam all the way out. Once around the point we swam along the rock until we got to the large indentation, then droped to about 15 ft. and the top of the main entrance to the cave was in plain view.
The start of the entrance is quite narrow about 4 1/2 ft. but only for about 8 ft or so. There is one main cave that is quite large and well lit from openings in the roof. It has an entrance and an exit, so you can swim right through. The cave is approximately ten feet wide and 50 feet long, and both the walls and ceiling are covered with large white and small orange plumous anemones as well it seemed to be a Sea Pen nursery. We dive in wet suits but if you are a dry suit diver watch out for the sea urchins as they are quite large. We exited the cave at about 55 ft and followed the rocks down to 70 ft. On our way back we came across lots of large gum boot chiton and the whole area was loaded with ling cod and rock fish. Over all it was absolutly amazing and I would hioghly recomend doing the dive atleast once, but I camt se any one only doing it once, I am already planning my net trip over in a few weeks but I think this time it will be a boat dive.