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Questions frequently asked

FAQs

 

1.  How much experience do you need before taking cave diving training?

2.  What SCUBA equipment do I need to bring for my training?

​3.  Do I bring a wetsuit or a drysuit?​

4.  Should I break up my training into sections or modules or take the complete training all at once?​

5.  How do I enter Mexico, go through customs and get to Playa del Carmen?

6.  What training agencies do I represent?

 

 

1.  How much experience do you need before taking cave diving training?

 

​A: The IANTD Standards requires a minimum 50 logged open water dives with a minimum advanced open water certification.
Personally, I recommend that anyone interested in cave diving training have a minimum 100 logged

 

scuba dives and some type of training beyond open water certification.

 

In addition, any experience using double tanks makes a big positive difference in the comfort and performance in participating in a cave diving training course.

 

Usually, it depends on the individual in how well they perform in the cave diving training.  Most of my students have advanced and/or technical diving training and many are open water instructors.

 

I always suggest that you take the IANTD Essentials or GUE Fundamentals course before your cave course this makes the difference between completing the program and not completing it.

 

 2.  What SCUBA equipment do I need to bring for my training?

 

​A:  Please bring the following personal equipment:
Fins
Mask
Computer(s)
Wetsuit/Drysuit
Booties
Hood
Slate/Wetbook
Deco Tables
2 Small Lights
2 First Stages* (DIN)
2 Second Stages
Pressure Gauge
4 Stainless Bolt Clips
Small Knife or Cutting Tool
Watch
Depth Gauge


NOTE:  We use double Aluminum 80 cubic foot tanks with a dual outlet manifold system with DIN connections.  *If you do not have two first stages, I can provide one of them.

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.  All the manufacturers and/or distributors offer quality equipment, and some of their items may be less inferior to others.  Dive Rite, GOLEM, Halcyon, OMS, X deep, ScubaPro, Sartek, Oceanic, Oxychek, 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 specialty cave equipment you will need for your cave diving training.  They are:

  • 7 foot/2.3 meter low-pressure hose for your primary regulator.

  • Safety reel/spool.

  • Directional arrows, non-directional markers, and clothes pins.

  • Primary reel.

  • Jump/gap reels.

  • If Side Mount configuration; I provide the X DEEP, Z-SISTEM UTD.

  • Wings Back Mount BCD.*

  • Stainless Steel back plate.

  • Primary light – Most cave divers are now using 1000 – 4000 lumens LED lights.​

 

 

 

You will be asked 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 65-pound lift wing BCD as it will too much bag and the air inside will shift side to side and 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.
 
 SIDEMOUNT HARNESS
+Razor
+X-Deep
+Z-sistem-UTD
+Halcyon
 

 

 

3.  Do I bring a wetsuit or a drysuit?

 

​A: The water temperature in the cave systems is 77 degrees Fahrenheit /26 degrees Celsius in the fresh water and 79 degrees Fahrenheit /27 degrees Celsius in the salt water.   

 

Most divers wear a 7mm wetsuit with a hood or drysuit. 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 first-rate 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 physically powerful with your dry suit then I have seen no problems with it being used.  One bit of input, during the warm weather months of April – October you will bake like a potato inside before you enter the water. 

 

 

 

 

4.  Should I break up my training into sections or modules or take the complete training all at once?

 

​A:  This question gets a huge discussion from a variety of people in the cave diving community. 95% of my students fly into Cancun from all parts of the world. Examples are Finland, Sweden, Belgium, Switzerland, Norway, Korea, Japan, Thailand, United Kingdom, Canada, United States, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, and Israel.

 

Most students prefer all of their training combined as they would rather avoid multiple trips to the Riviera Maya since it can get quite expensive.  Some people argue that complete training is too much of an overload at one time. Statistics say not so. Of the 70+ certified cave diver fatalities since 1970, 97% are from the module or multiple-step type of training. I agree. I think that statistic alone shows an obvious message.

 

One training agency forbids the complete training at one time.  The concept has merit as the idea is to gain experience between different levels of training.  However, because most cave diving is only available in select regions of the world (Florida, Bahamas, France and the Riviera Maya) and usually offers challenging logistics for access to the dive sites, it’s not like you can jump into your vehicle and go cave diving anytime you wish.  For the majority of people, cave diving participation requires extensive planning, financial discipline and available time.  

 

Instead of learning only some of the information, why not learn all the information?

 

From common sense and logical approach, this is what I suggest.  If you are not 100% confident about your physical and psychological ability to participate in cave diving training I recommend either gain more open water diving training and experience or take the CAVERN/INTRO TO CAVE DIVING courses.  

 

If you are psychologically and physically comfortable with your diving ability and experience level and want to seek the best-disciplined training available, the complete cave diving course training will reward you with far-reaching achievement, satisfaction and success.  

 

There is no better joy in teaching than watching students evolve from awkward little ducks and progress each training day into confident and competent cave divers.  In addition, gaining experience is always the best teacher! 

 

 

 

5.  How do I enter Mexico, go through customs and get to Playa del Carmen?

 

​A:  When you arrive at the Cancun International Airport, you exit the plane at the second level and proceed to the bottom floor.  More than likely you will wait in line to go through Immigration.  

 

You should (better) have your tourist paper completed and signed twice.  You will need a passport to enter Mexico.  Once you are processed in, walk to the baggage claim.  

 

Be sure to get yourself a cart to carry your luggage.  Be sure you have your luggage claim check.  After gathering your luggage, walk and wait in line to go through customs.  

 

When it is your turn to press the light, present your signed customs form and press the button.  You should get a green light.  If you get a red light you will be asked to search your luggage.  

 

Just say you are scuba diving.  Once through customs, push your luggage cart onward until you get to the final doorway. Proceed outdoors and steer yourself off to the right.


Choices of travel.


    If I am picking you up, exit the terminal doors and turn left. I should be waiting at the little gate. If I am not there yet, wait inside the Welcome Center Restaurant or the Outdoor Pavillion.


    If I am unable to pick you up, a popular and economical way to travel to Playa Del Carmen is the ADO Riviera Maya buses. With your baggage handler and your luggage follow the Cancun International Airport building to the opposite end (east end).  

 

You will be walking at least two hundred meters.  You want to find the RIVIERA MAYA bus to Playa Del Carmen.   It will be a dark blue in color.  It usually leaves every hour.  I

 

I will cost $250 pesos or about $11.00 USD.  It will be easy to find a guy to sell you a ticket.  Just keep telling them you want to go Playa Del Carmen.  This bus specifically takes people to Playa Del Carmen.    Put your luggage in the bottom side luggage compartment of the bus.  When the bus leaves you will have a 45-minute bus ride.


    When you arrive in Playa Del Carmen the bus will take you to the bus station that is within two blocks from the Ferry to Cozumel.  Exit from the bus and get your luggage,   

 

Right next door on the south side of the bus station is a street with a row of taxi cabs.
     

The first day of your training or guiding we will begin at 8:00 a.m. Usually, with most classes, I will do an orientation and paperwork the night of your first-day arrival.


   This procedure to PLAYA DEL CARMEN IS EASY & SIMPLE to do. Trust me on that.  If you staying elsewhere I can help you with transportation and directions or probably the hotel you have chosen will furnish their own transportation from the airport.


    If you wish to rent a car for transportation, there are several car rental businesses at the Cancun International airport.  They are Hertz, Avis, Budget, Alamo, Enterprise and much more.  The best way is to reserve a vehicle on the Internet and be sure you have your confirmation #.

 

6.  What training agencies do I represent?

 

I am an "active" Instructor with the following training agencies.

IANTD INSTRUCTOR TRAINER #803
IANTD TECHNICAL CAVE INSTRUCTOR #4877

 

 


 

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