Advanced Cave Diving Training
There comes a time when any qualified, certified cave diver considers stepping up and learning more skills as they grow with practice and confidence. However, a good solid foundation of experience that demonstrates competent buoyancy control and swimming techniques is necessary before that level is taken. Once the cave diver honestly feels they are prepared and ready to move forward, more training is the logical direction to think about and decide to pursue.
I have organized and put together a type of advanced cave diving training course that would accomplish several goals.
First, I felt that the need for a quality DPV course would be essential as the popularity and interest has grown and expanded during recent years besides being a "fun" aspect of advanced cave diving applications. Several models and types of diver propulsion vehicles suitable for safe cave diving exist and are available from a variety of manufacturers.
The DIVE XTRAS, SUEX, HALCYON, SUBMERGE are a few examples. With 17 years of experience using DPV's in the underwater cave environment it was not difficult to decide on the best one that emerged four years ago. Rodney Nairne's Silent Submersion DPV's have proven from a growing list of owners and users why his machines can handle the harsh environment of technical dives in underwater caves including depth and the bumps and bruises can come with the territory. Using the power train of the Oceanic Mako scooters, the Silent Submersion keeps the moving props in front of the cave diver, reducing entanglement risks. This gives an advantage over ride-on style DPV's, where the propeller is behind the diver and suck in line or loose equipment.
In addition, the tow-behind configuration is almost standard equipment for cave divers as it allows more control of position and fits the cave diver through tighter places, as well as the possibility of towing 1, 2, or 3 additional stage/safety scooters for exploration dives. A priority in the design of the Silent Submersion UV Series is the ease of maintenance and rugged simplicity...the motor can be dropped out and replaced in less than 5 minutes.
The Silent Submersion UV Series replaces the two plastic MAKO handles with a superbly designed one-handed operating motorcycle style handle, which cuts power to the motor when released and also has a cruise control & lock-off feature. The wiring on the Silent Submersion UV Series is simple, reliable and heavy duty. All wiring and motor can be viewed at a glance...the motor compartment lid is constructed of clear polycarbonate. The scooter can be disconnected through the nose cone for charging, or from the bottom for battery removal without having to run the connector and wires through the bulkheads. To minimize the risk of hydrogen explosions, the motor compartment is O-ring sealed from the battery compartment. As an added precaution, a hydrogen catalyst is placed in the motor compartment. There are two big, fat 6000 psi rated O-rings are used that are easy to clean, not fragile and durable that allows NO water leakage. No silicone sealant is used for the scooters. Rodney utilizes a tough, heavy-duty polychloride material to build his body and nose cone, which basically resembles an old-fashioned torpedo that pushes the water in a way that forms a bubble thus creating less friction as it moves through the water. The scooter design creates three positives aspects. Effortless to use, easy maintenance and better protection from the typical sand and debris it will encounter while in use. The machine underwater is neutrally balanced in fresh water while in saltwater a soft 2 lb. weight may be necessary to use. There are three models to choose from based on the number of batteries utilized. The UV 18 Silent Submersion DPV can run about 60 - 70 minutes, the UV 26 can run 110 - 120 minutes and the UV 38 can go for about 170 - 180 minutes.
The advanced DPV cave course is 3 diving days with the first two days involving one cave dives each day. The 3rd day will be the graduation dive. One dive each day will focus on the operation and practice of the Silent Submersion DPV's. This will include buoyancy techniques, air/gas management, and emergency management problems such as sharing air/gas, towing disabled DPV's and low visibility conditions. In addition, a thorough discussion on the proper care and maintenance of DPV's will be presented. Cave systems that will be available for the scooter dives include:
This is a great opportunity to learn and gain experience with a valuable skill that can be applied in many different formats of diving. In addition, stage tank usage will be introduced and practiced with the cave dives performed through the week of diving. You will learn and gain experience with rigging, motives, safe procedures and advanced diving conditions.
Prerequisites for this course include being a certified cave diver with a minimum logged fifty cave dives and must clearly demonstrate proficient buoyancy skills and swimming techniques. IANTD"specialty" certifications will be issued at the end of the course if all skills can be clearly performed in a skillful and competent manner.
There is a wealth of information that cave divers can learn and gain invaluable experience beyond the scope of sightseeing. Performing enlightening cave diving in shallow, warm and crystal clear water provides the ultimate in safe diving conditions and a relaxed vacation atmosphere in the Riviera Maya.
Double tanks with dual out manifold or sigle 80s for side mount
Stage bottles and rigging
Transportation to the dive sites