Preparing for Diving Training Courses
Preparation is an important part of the success factor in any goal you are seeking. Your instruction for your cave diving training increases the achievement and enjoyment diving the beautiful cave systems of the Riviera Maya. My intention with this information is to increase the odds in your favor of completing your cave diving training where you know you have learned and earned the certification for safe cave diving.
Please be honest. If you have any medical issues before participating in my course, please secure and bring your Doctor’s written approval.
YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO OBTAIN and READ the following two books:
IANTD WORKBOOK and MANUAL
These two books will provide a solid foundation of information for preparing for the training course(s). They cover all my lectures and information that needs to be presented and is required by the Standards & Procedures required by the INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF NITROX AND TECHNICAL DIVERS.
These books I will have available to read during your course.
NOTE: You are required to bring your log books to verify your diving experience and your certification cards to verify your scuba training.
WATER and WEATHER CONDITIONS
The water temperature in the cave systems is 77 degrees Fahrenheit/27 degrees Celsius in the freshwater and 79 degrees Fahrenheit in the salt water. Most divers wear a 7mm wetsuit with a hood. That is what I choose to wear. There are very few divers who use dry suits; however, if your buoyancy control with double tanks is not excellent then I discourage you to wear a dry suit for your training. Why beat yourself up and make the dives more challenging. If you are very comfortable and strong with your dry suit then I have see no problems with it being used.
The months of November – March is cool at night and a very pleasant warm during the day. April and May are warm to hot and dry. The months of June – October is the rainy season which includes sunshine, rain, hot and humid weather.
We have insects as the Riviera Maya is located in a semi-tropical environment. Yes, we have mosquitoes, tabano flies, and other critters.
The water visibility is crystal clear – unlimited. This is one reason why the Riviera Maya offers the world’s best cave diving. During the warm weather months, we have algae blooms near the surface of the Cenotes. PROTECT your ears from infections.
Please bring the following personal equipment:
2 Small Lights
2 First Stages* (DIN)
2 Second Stages
4 Stainless or Bronze Bolt Clips
Small Knife or Cutting Tool
Bacl Plate w/Harness
50-45 lb lift Wing
Personal and directional markers
*If you do not have two first stages, I can provide one of them.
NOTE: We use double Aluminum 80 cubic foot tanks with a dual outlet manifold system with DIN connections or single aluminum 80 cubic foot cylinders for side mount configurations.
If you have or choose to obtain or purchase your own cave diving specialty equipment, I say great as using your own personal equipment is beneficial. I am NOT a salesperson. I do NOT sell cave diving equipment. IF ANYONE TELLS YOU ANYONE BRAND OF EQUIPMENT IS THE BEST, THEY ARE BULLSHITTING YOU. All the manufacturers and/or distributors offer quality equipment, and some of their items may be less inferior to others. DIVE RITE, HALCYON, HOLLIS, MARES, OMS, OXYCHEQ, GOLEM, and SCUBAPRO etc., offer a variety of styles, materials, colors and philosophies with their equipment presentations. Be sure you are familiar and understand the differences of the brands available. If you need advice or suggestions, my job is to help you, not fool you.
If you are not sure what you wish to obtain, I can provide the special cave equipment you will need for your cave diving training.
• 7 foot/2.3 meter low-pressure hose for your primary regulator.
• Safety reel/spool.
• Directional arrows, non-directional markers, and clothespins.
• Primary reel.
• Jump/gap reels.
• Wings Back Mount BCD.*
• Stainless Steel back plate.
• Primary light – Most cave divers are using the 10 or 18 watt HID lights.
• Z system from UTD If using side-mount configuration.
You will be required to inform me what you plan to bring and what I need to provide for you please. I realize you are restricted by weight limitations when flying.
*There are different volume wings BCD’s available. Please do NOT bring a 100 or 60-pound lift wing BCD as it will too much bag and the air inside will make you unstable when using double 80 cubic foot cylinders. The best size is 55 lb or 45 lb. lift wing BCD’s. I have plenty of 45 lb. wings BCD’s to use.
I will provide each student with their own personal 40 cubic foot oxygen bottle with oxygen cleaned regulator assigned for their training course. Safety stops or required decompression stops will be performed for each dive.
THE FIRST NIGHT/FIRST DAY OF TRAINING
We will begin with a thorough orientation and explanation of what is required and what is expected with the training. All paperwork with student registrations, waiver/release forms, medical history, and other items will be completed and placed in your personal file. All books and teaching materials will be distributed. Every possible question will be answered.
There will be three tests, two quizzes and a decompression worksheet presented depending on what level of training being taught.
The major portion of the first day is a step by step logical discussion and “hands-on” preparation of your equipment for your cave diving. I will thoroughly explain the different philosophies, reasons, purposes for every piece of equipment used. Actually, the entire course is a constant review and discussion on equipment configuration and philosophies. Cave diving is an equipment dependent underwater activity. I will present Hogarthian, DIR, and Common Sense philosophies in use of your equipment, techniques and the mental attitude for safe cave diving. I totally respect your intelligence level and will not brainwash you as if you are a robot or child. I prefer THINKING divers, not automated machine androids.
We will complete at least two dives the first day, four dives the second day and perform at least 12 to 14 cave dives and a minimum 600 minutes of bottom time when we successfully finish the training. If your training is the four days “Full Cave”, obviously there is less bottom time and dives.
BUOYANCY CONTROL and SWIMMING TECHNIQUE
If there one central core issue of quality cave diving training, it is the control of your buoyancy from start to finish of each dive. You must be the MASTER of your buoyancy BCD wings. Every moment of every dive is dedicated to horizontal trim and complete control while doing tasks and drills. If there is one thing you can practice prior to your cave diving training it is diving with double tanks and the back mount BCD wings.
Can you ascend and descend from 12 feet to four feet in depth moving at one minute per foot without dropping your legs? Can you swim upside down for 20 feet/6 meters horizontally at 10 feet/3 meters depth without crashing into any objects? Can you remove your mask and clear it three times staying completely horizontal at 10 feet, 8 feet and 6 feet? These are examples of the goals to meet during your cave diving training.
TRAINING AGENCIE I REPRESENT
IANTD-International Asociation of Nitrox and Technical Divers
Technical Cave Instructor No. 4877
Instructor Trainer No.803
I look forward presenting and teaching a quality cave diving training course for your personal benefit and future goals as a competent, skilled diver. It is my responsibility to present, teach, critique and develop you into a safe, skilled cave diver. It is your responsibility to prove that you meet the standards and values and show you have the right attitude and competent skills as a safe cave diver. You must earn your cave diving certification.