So you want to be a cave diver?

The underwater cave environment has majestic and fragile beauty.  It is almost as if the cave diver is a trespasser into some other dimension or reality. Sometimes you are not sure whether you are drifting through an underwater cave or strolling across some faraway asteroid. The silent tranquility disturbed only by the sound of bubbles is a lure that attracts many divers. The caves and their splendor stand to wait as silent cathedrals for divers to explore.

 

Occasionally, some divers succumb to the enticing unknown of the caves and venture into this almost timeless world without the necessary and proper training, equipment and knowledge of proper technique to safely and efficiently explore and enjoy this unique aspect of Planet Ocean. Under these circumstances the caves become tombs.  During the past 40 years several hundred non-cave-trained, poorly equipped, ill-advised divers have died in the underwater caves.

The cave diving community has analyzed these fatalities and found that almost every single cave diving accident can be attributed to one of the five fundamental diver errors. These errors are:

  • Failure to understand that open water training is insufficient for the cave diving world; not obtaining cave diving training.

  • Failure to maintain a continuous guideline to the outside of the cave system.

  • Failure to properly manage the air or gas supply by violation of the "rule of thirds".

  • Failure to understand personal limitations by diving to depths exceeding experience and training, diving to levels well beyond the safe limits.

  • Failure to provide adequate light; not using a minimum three lights.

The cave diving community through the National Association for Cave Diving (NACD), National Speleological Society - Cave Diving Section (NSS-CDS), International Association for Technical and Nitrox Divers (IANTD) and Technical Diving International (TDI) have designed educational programs to train open-water divers in appropriate cavern and cave diving techniques.  Both offer courses in cave diving and both are providing the recreational diving community with magazine articles, textbooks and maps to assist everyone in understanding the very special nature of the cave diving environment.

Before you decide you want to be a cave diver

Before you decide that you want to try cave diving, you should be a very skilled and experienced diver.  Superb buoyancy control in the cave is one of the highest priorities.

 

You should be comfortable while diving at night since the cave represent total darkness without lights on.  The caves can be both shallow and deep.  95% of the caves in the Riviera Maya are shallow.  However, being fully competent with decompression theory and procedures is expected.  You must fully accept and comfortable with the fact that your survival depends on your on skills in an environment that prohibits immediate escape to the surface.  Cave diving is not for the inexperienced, marginally trained diver.  Cave diving is for the experienced, physically fit serious diver who seeks to view an incredible world that not many will ever know.

How to Start?

CAVERN DIVER COURSE

For the majority of open water divers interested in the overhead environment, the CAVERN DIVER COURSE is a popular way to begin training.

 

About the course.

  • Skills and Equipment.

This program acquaints divers with the cavern environment, the equipment and the basic skills. Students learn how to use reels and to lay and follow a continuous guideline to the surface and begin to extend their comfort zone into the cavern area.  

 

Students generally use single tanks, stay within the natural daylight and develop the skills with buoyancy and swimming techniques. In addition, emergency procedures, the cave environment, stress factors, and many more topics are learned and trained.  

  • Duration. The course is done usually in a 4-day period with a minimum four cavern dives. The cavern diving course is a great way to determine whether or not a diver wishes to continuous training in cave diving.

View details about our Cave Diving Training.

INTRO TO CAVE DIVING COURSE
 

The next level is the INTRODUCTION to CAVE DIVING COURSE. This is a three-day course involving a minimum five cave dives. I prefer students to use double tanks with a dual outlet manifold so that there is plenty of volume.  However, side mount configuration can be used too. This course reviews that information from the cavern diver course and goes into more depth with the underwater skills, use of the reels and more knowledge about cave diving in general.

This training level limits the diver(s) to:

  • One continuous guideline

  • No restrictions.

  • No decompression.

  • 100 feet/30 meters maximum depth.

  • No complex dives involving jumps, gaps or permanent guidelines.

  • 1/6 air or gas rules for double tanks. 1/3 on single tanks.

There are several approaches to training in the cave environment.

Option 1

Option 2

CAVERN/INTRODUCTION to CAVE DIVING COURSE

A very popular approach to training for cave diving is the popular is a CAVERN/INTRODUCTION to CAVE DIVING course.

This is combining the two courses over a six day period involving a minimum 8 dives.  

 

It is considered the halfway point towards the complete cave diving certification training.

 

The 3rd level of training is the FULL CAVE DIVER course.

 

Duration. It is a minimum four days involving 8 - 10 cave dives.

Training. The training involves everything that is necessary to be a competent, safe cave diver.  

 

All cave dives will be conducted with exposure to a wide variety of underwater cave conditions such as:

silt, halocline, silty or low visibility, circuits, traverses, gaps, jumps and T's, siphons, restrictions, referencing, conservation, exploration/surveying techniques and logistics.

Issues discussed will include the fragile cave environment, accident analysis, stress management, psychological aspects, dive planning, air management, guidelines and reels, guideline techniques and protocol, safe procedures, decompression theory and procedures, landowner relations, team management, use of oxygen and controversial topics.

Have more questions?

Contact Gabriel Rubi (Marcia) for more details.

Complete cave diving in Playa del Carmen

Because of the great distances traveling to the Riviera Maya, the majority of students who are serious and dedicated to earning their cave diving training and certification usually participate in the COMPLETE CAVE DIVING course.

Duration & Dives. This complete cave diving course involves a minimum 14 cave dives minimum with at least 600 minutes of bottom time performed over a 7-8 diving day period.  The safe enjoyment of the underwater cave environment is based on a thorough, comprehensive training.  

 

The students will be participating in at least 12 hours of lectures/discussion and must demonstrate satisfactory competence and knowledge of all topics and skills presented by Marcia.  

Training. All cave dives will be conducted with exposure to a wide variety of underwater cave conditions such as silt, halocline, silty or low visibility, circuits, traverses, gaps, jumps and T's, siphons, restrictions, referencing, conservation, exploration/surveying techniques and logistics.  

 

Issues discussed will include the fragile cave environment, accident analysis, stress management, psychological aspects, dive planning, air management, guidelines and reels, guideline techniques and protocol, safe procedures, decompression theory and procedures, landowner relations, team management, use of oxygen and controversial topics.

Practice. A minimum 14 cave dives with the goal to complete a minimum 600 minutes of bottom time or more. We will perform matching, safety "S" drills; bubble checks and a thorough dive plan for each cave diving session.

The students will practice the following skills during your cave diving training course:

  • You will practice at least two "lost line" drills with your safety reel.

  • A "no mask" swim drill of a minimum 300 feet/95 meters following a guideline in the cave environment.

  • You will swim a minimum 60 feet/18 meters without a regulator to simulate a "real out-of-air" situation.

  • A minimum of six "touch-contact/share air" drills with "no lights" on.  At least three of these drills will be negotiating minor restrictions.

  • A minimum of 8 jumps or gaps with reels/spools.

  • We will perform "air/gas valve-management" emergency drills with the required goal of doing it in 10 seconds or less will be practiced on every dive session.

  • We will learn to understand and practice "safe" circuit and traverse dives.

  • We will perform an entanglement, cut/broken line drill safely.

  • We will practice drills involving exit on back-up lights, one fin swim and a no-inflator swim.

  • We will simulate lost diver situations.

Most important, daily emphasis on buddy awareness, line awareness, safely handling and gaining experience with the primary reel and the "art" of technique involving buoyancy control and finning.The cave diving world, more than any other aspect of recreational diving, requires extremely intensive, specialized training with substantial investments in time and specialized gear to be successful.  Open water training and experience, no matter how extensive, is insufficient for the cave environment. 

So, you wanna be a cave diver? 

The quality training from me awaits you!

Contact me

Address: 77712, Fuente de Cervantes 9, Santa Fe del Carmen, Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico

Check Availability

Copyright - Gabriel Gasca - 2018 - All rights reserved.

marciabuzo54@gmail.com

marcia@advanceddivermexico.com

www.advanceddivermexico.com