Aboard the Sailing Vessel

January 22, 2005

Thunderball Grotto.
The weather was beautiful on Satuarday. It was one day before the heavy weather was due to move in. We took advantage of the great conditions to dinghy out to Thunderball Grotto. James Bond fans will remember the Grotto from the 007 movie titled, "Thunderball".

Howard and Suzanne from "Leadership", Steve and Sue from "Neshuma", Gerda from the motor yacht "Worth Doing" and me, David, from "Shibumi" slipped into the calm water for the cave dive. Jill stayed aboard the dinghy. The water was chilly and she was still recovering from a bout with bronchial congestion.

Diving into a cave is a bit adventureous for a weak swimmer like myself, but it was not overwhelming. We selected a time near slack tide. The current around the grotto can be very strong. Anything outside of slack tide would have been impossible for me, and a major challenge for the strong swimmers in the group.

We, unknowingly, entered the cave through the more difficult entrance. The route took us through a narrow passage. It was like a tunnel, with turns and overhangs. Once inside we realized there is a much easier entrance that is straight and wide. We used that as an exit when we left.

If I remember the movie correctly, a rather large submarine hid in that cave. Hollywood was excercising excessive poetic license. Even a dinghy would struggle to get through the wide entrance of Thunderball Grotto, and once inside there may be room for only five dinghies. In no way could a submarine make a base in the place.

Although it was smaller than I was expecting, Thunderball was impressive. There was an overhead opening that let the mid-day sunlight shine through in cathedral fashion. Very dramatic. A perfect place to shoot a movie.

The cave was filled with marine life. Suzanne had taken a pouch containing snacks to feed the fish. She said some of the smaller fish were impatient and began biting her. That is when she decided to start back to the dinghy.

Howard had an underwater camera and took some very good pictures.

Jill and David in their dinghy,
the entrance to Thunderball in the
Use your browser's back button to select another date