My flight was delayed by three days. A blizzard hit and I would be in Bermuda for another 3 days. The perfect amount of time to mount an expedition to this cave I had heard about. A group of friends described a cave that had a huge mouth and descended quite deep. Going into this cave alone, full of slick, mossy rocks and larger fallen ones, probably wasn’t a safe idea. But when my trip was unexpectedly extended, I said “Screw it! Let’s do it!”
I had a general idea of where this cave was. Of course, it had a “No Trespassing”, but rules are for fools to follow and the wise to take under advice. I hoped the little fence and hiked through the damp foliage. I came to a small clear just outside the cave mouth. I snapped a picture looking back towards where I came.
The cave felt bigger than any others I have explored in Bermuda. The cave mouth alone felt like something out of “Lost”. Vines descended from above and damp rocks were covered in green and black moss. I can remember being surprised by how silent it was. The cave seemed to swallow up all sound.
As I began to climb I found a rock with a small metal plate inserted into it. It wasn’t until later when I was developing the photos that I noticed it said the cave’s name! Pauly’s Cave.
I wish the photos did this part more justice. In the first photo towards the bottom of the picture you can see the little yellow rope I found in the cave and used to descent. What the photo doesn’t show, is how elastic and old the rope is. In the first photo I had to climb around the large sheet of lime stoned tinted green from the moss.
The second photo is the view once I climbed around the large limestone sheet. If you look hard, you can barely see the yellow climbing rope on the right side of the picture.
This part of the climb was the more difficult. There wasn’t a lot of light. My picture is deceptive since I used a long exposure. Also, the rocks were small, loose and slick. Many of them were the base formations for stalagmites making them VERY slick.
It was pitch black, damp and absolutely silence. No insects, no fish and no birds. The only sound was the rare and distant ping of water slowly forming stalactites and stalagmites. Pictures in this environment were next to impossible. After several attempts at different settings this was the best final product with the maximum exposure and lowest F-value my camera could offer. The red bob in the water makes me think this might be a research cave. As the photo took and then developed I sat into pitch black silence. No cell phone signal this far underground. Sitting in the black with fallen rock all around me while these pictures developed was a new experience for me. I felt like a foreigner in this environment.