Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Moiliili Karst

Last month as my wife and I were preparing to head off on a trip to California, we decided to get one last small adventure in before leaving.  Due to the fact that we were both working long hours and that our time was limited, we decided to wake up around 4am and head over to Manoa to explore an underground cave, better known as, Moiliili Karst.  Around 4am that morning we were met at our house by two of our good friends who would be joining us.  We grabbed our bags and headlamps and half asleep, set off on our drive to Manoa.  Our destination would be a street named Varsity Place, just off of the main highway.  We parked on the side of the road where a long fence was situated.  The key to finding the cave is to walk along the fenceline until a second fence appears, directly behind the first one.  Directly in between the two fences is where the entrance to the cave can be found.  Upon going around the first fence we saw a huge sewer grate, backed by a second fence.  My two friends lifted up the sewer grate and one by one we all climbed down into the sewer.  There was some trash that was present and while it seemed a little dirty, it didn't bother any of us enough to keep us from pushing forward.  We were forced to low and at points crawl, but in just a few short minutes we had reached the cave system. 

The water was very clear and the cave, in and of itself, was a very pleasing sight.  As we began to make our way further into the cave, the water was about chest high.  The water that was incredibly clear was now becoming murky due to those in front of me stirring up the silt as they trudged along.  At points I felt like we were walking in quick sand, but only a few parts were really bad.  Every time one of us grabbed the celiing of the cave, a ton of rocks would fall.  At one point, shortly after we had entered the cave system, I propped myself  up onto a rock.  As everyone was talking, the rock I was standing on, suddenly gave way and I went tumbling.  My first instinct was to save my DSLR camera (which I did).  A few moments later I realized that I had sliced my right leg open in numerous of spots and was bleeding extremely well.  My left leg was cut pretty good as well but being that I was already in the water now, I figured there was no reason to turn around.  In the coing days I made sure keep cleaning the cuts and despite a little swelling, within a few days my leg was back to normal.  I definetly would not recommend going in the cave water with an open cut, but if it happens, my guess is that you'll be fine.

As we made our way further and further into the cave, the water gegan to get a little deeper.  At a few points it became deep enough that we had to swim.  At time time, one of my friends informed us that he couldn't swim very well.  I assumed that he was jokin, but he wasn't.  As we went, he followed and managed to stay right with us.  Shortly after this comical strecth, we reached a spot in the cave where we could some trash build up a good ways in front of us.  We had seen just one floating plastic bottle before this point.  None the less, we figured that this was a good spot in which to turn around.  I thought the cave was spectacular, but had no griped about turning around.  We all had a lot of fun on our way back to the entrance but as we got closer to exiting my friend noticed a set of eyes in the distance, stareing at us.  My wife hid behind a pilar as my friend tried to duck behind her.  After a few minutes of being slightly scared, and extremely paranoid, my other buddy caught up to us and informed us that the eyes were merely the tunnel entrance in the distance, with light shinning through now that it was daylight out.  It's funny how ones mind can play tricks on itself in dark places such as these.  We made our final crawl through the cave and sewer system and appeared back on the street around 7am.  By this time there were a few people walking around.  The looks we got as we exited were pretty comical.  I really enjoyed seeing the cave system and the time spent with my friends on this day.  While the adventure was fairly short, it was filled with laughs and good times with good friends.  I am not gonna make a habit of visiting this cave, but I will definetly go back sooner rather than later.