Phil Short – Why I Dive
Phil Short has been a dive industry professional for over 20 years. He has explored some of the world’s deepest dry caves and spent thousands of hours diving water filled passages. Research and archeology are also his passion, including such assignments as the Antikhytera survey project in Crete.
But what is down there that draws Phil to explore these submerged realms?
Cave diving is the last field where human beings are mandatory for exploration. In Victorian times, when somebody climbed a mountain, that was it. They were the first. Now technology has taken over. You can take a look at a picture of a mountain, a valley, jungle, or a gorge before you go there. It has been all mapped.
“When you get to the end of the line in a cave, tie your line to that line and swim around the corner, you’re the first human being there. It’s true exploration, much like Shackleton, Scott and all of these early explorers did because there was no choice. In cave diving, there’s still no choice, and that’s why I’m so passionately driven by it. Anyone with a sensible budget can find new territory.”
Millions of years ago, the seas were filled with very different kinds
of life forms than today. Over the millennia, soft seafloor turned into limestone, preserving a snapshot of these creatures from the past. Caves cut right through these ancient layers, displaying a rich collection of fossils and telling a geological story of the Earth’s past.
Cave diving requires rigorous training and the right equipment. But there also needs to be the correct mentality and respect for the forces of nature. Constant practise and safety margins are the cave divers tools for keeping the risks at bay.