A bit after st. Andreas, on your way to Leonidion, you come accross a settlement called Arcadic Village, on the position known to the locals as small Repontina. The sight leaves travellers in awe. On your right you have Parnonas’ sierra hanging over your head, while on your left you can gaze at the calm Argolic gulf and its beaches. Arcadic village’s construction, started in the 90’s as part of an important summer housing project for Arcadians who lived abroad in United States and other regions of the world.
Antonis Grafas and his diving team started searching the area at January 2017 to find a known for many years to the locals and some cavedivers, flooded cave, close to the beach. Using a drone and the instructions of a local villager/diver, the team finally located a water flooded hole on the ground, hided away from the passer in thick vegatation.
Information about the Cave system.
Trying to descent in the cave, it will be neseccary to lower the equipment using climbing ropes, because of the vertical drop, of around three meters. The site that looks like a pothole is the start of the first 21 meters of the vertical entrance to the cave itself. As soon as the divers reach the silt bottom, they head west to the carstic window that marks the start of the cave. Now the scenery transforms completely. The cave is full of stalactites and stalagmites. The stalagmite “jewel” stands tall close to the middle of the cave, starting from 45 meters deep and reaching close to 25 meters height. It is breath taking. The cave itself is close to 60 meters long ( north/south axes), 18 meters wide (east/west axes), its deepest point reaches almost 60 meters and the shallowest point of the ceiling is close to 15 meters. 48.600 cubic meters of beauty are there for your eyes to feast. Almost all the ceiling is covered with small or big stalactites. The above indicate to us, that many thousand years ago this cave was dry, giving time for water minerals to create those structures that need thousands if not millions of years to form in such size. An average growth rate is 0.13 mm a year. The quickest growing stalactites are those formed by a constant supply of slow dripping water rich in calcium carbonate (CaCO3) and carbon dioxide (CO2), which can grow at 3 mm per year.. Stalactites and stalagmites are like time capsules for scientists, cause they carry very important information about the climate variations of our fragile planet. They can be compared only with tree rings and ice blocks which also conseal information such as carbon concentration on different time periods. The team also found a Halocline layer in the cave, indicating that it is flooded with sea and fresh water as well. The distance of the sea shore after all, is less than 80 meters but the temperature of the water got less than sea water levels, meaning that a stream of fresh water is coming down from the mountains.
The beauty of the cave, amazed the team and it is rare in Greece to find a location of such exquisiteness and good diving conditions. Closing we would like to thank Giannis Kourmpelis for his assistance on locating the spot as well as Astros Kynourias port Police for their discreet presence coοperation and support. More photographs, video and aerial footage of our expedition will be uploaded on our site www.grafasdiving.gr and facebook page.