Free divers explore Tonga's mysterious and beautiful Swallow's Cave
Several free divers have gathered in Swallow's Cave and they swim through the schools of fish below. Paul, an accomplished diver with considerable experience repeatedly descends to a depth of 17m (50ft) and plays with the fish which appear as a constantly moving sculpture suspended in the darkness.
Cascades of light reflect off the walls and the reflective scales of the fish, creating a stunning effect for those in the cave. Inscriptions on the walls date back to the 1800s, reminding us that this cave has been explored by many before us. There are underwater passages that lead into smaller, "secret" caves that can also be explored by those who are capable of holding their breath for extended periods.
Scuba divers also venture into this cave, particularly at night when the smaller creatures such as shrimp and crabs emerge from their hiding spots to feed. Passageways lead to caves with stronger current and fascinating creatures that live in dark and sheltered areas, away from the direct sunlight that strikes the reef out in the open.
One of the most appealing aspects of this kind of cave structure is the crystal clear water and mysterious, blue ambient light that gives the swimmer or diver the feeling of being suspended in space. Tonga is full of such natural sites that draw enthusiasts from all around the world.