Tips on How to Be a Cave Diver
A lot of divers may think that cave diving is a dangerous and mysterious activity, suited for people who seek thrill. However, when done properly, cave diving could be such an extremely safe yet safe activity. In fact, cave diving offers people a whole new view of the world. This activity will heighten your sense of exploration as you go deep into the waters.
If you are thinking about being a cave diver, you need to complete a course, specifically for cavern-diving. In this post, let’s talk about all the things you need to do to become a certified cave diver. Are you curious about what steps you need to take? How does the course work? What we can tell you now is that it all depends on the agency of your choice. But if you’re curious about what to expect, then keep on reading this post.
Is Cave Diving for Everyone?
Before we proceed with the discussions, it is essential that we first talk about the difference between a cave dive and a cavern dive. A cavern dive is generally conducted during the first part of cave diving. The part where you can still see the light as soon as you look behind you. Once you can’t see the light, in whatever direction, it now becomes a cave dive.
When taking the course, you must be able to fulfill several of the prerequisites, just like any other advanced dive courses. This would include logged dives, which normally happens right before you start the training. Generally, you should be able to complete the course called Advanced Open Water, the one you should take to be a certified diver of up to 130 feet or 40 meters.
In addition to the abovementioned course, you’ll also be required to take a cavern certification course, or any similar course that can certify that you have sufficient experience, especially in an overhead environment. Also, you need to be experienced in night diving, confident enough with low-light methods of communication means, including torches. It is also considered a must that you be qualified with a twin-tank system, which may either be in the back mount or side mount configuration. Lastly, most agencies would also require your recent diving experience in all the aforementioned environments.
What Will You Learn from The Course?
As mentioned above, the skills you learn, which may range from basic to completely advanced, would greatly depend on the agency, as well as your diving style. Cave diving would require divers like you to use a flutter kick, which is the method that has fewer chances of stirring up especially at the bottom. In addition, this method also significantly reduces visibility.
The course will also teach you how to use a reel and a line. Learning these skills would certainly ensure that you will know your back into the water’s surface. Stress management will also be taught in the course. It will teach you how to remain calm while you handle multiple problems at once. As these can create dangerous situations for you, it is essential that you know how to manage your stress.
Drills that are out of air also often paired with a lost mask, as well as torch-failure situations. Completing this training would allow you to be prepared to deal with potentially dangerous problems, as calmly and as safely as possible. Not only that, but you’ll also be enlightened on minor skills, which would all be helpful if you’re into some serious cave diving experience.
The Necessary Equipment
In case you’re not yet familiar, there are basically two ways you carry the tanks when entering a cave: side mount and back mount. While the side mount has lost its popularity in the last few years, it is likely to replace the traditional back mount configuration in the coming years.
With the tank carried under your arm, along with two independent air supplies, it may look a bit weird but it already is an extremely versatile and comfortable system when you are under the water. In addition, the side mount configuration might also take a lot of getting used to, specifically the way you use swapping regulators, which ensures that you use the gas equally.
Cave divers, traditionally, are used to the back-mounted twin tank configuration. While it can be a bit prohibitive when you try to squeeze through a tiny space, back mount tanks are more than useful for a lot of dives. You will also be needing at least three torches. You may purchase a special cave-style torch, which you can use as your primary source of light.
Rather than focusing on the lumen power, you should also examine how the beam focuses. In fact, a dim light but with a focused beam would be extremely useful when you are cave diving, instead of a wide-beamed and bright video light. The remaining two torches would be considered your backup. They can also come in any style you prefer. Lastly, you need multiple reels. However, we do recommend that you discuss with your instructor first before you purchase one of these. That way, you will know that you’re getting only the appropriate reel style.
Where Can You Learn Cave Diving?
What’s great about cave diving is that you can get certified in multiple locations, allowing you to get the right feel of the sport. It provides you with the real experience, as well as inspire you to go one level higher every time you do it. There are several cave systems around the world, which includes Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. This, in fact, might just be the most popular cave diving destination, along with other well-known cave diving spots in northern Florida, as well as in Mt. Gambier in Australia.
Cave diving is certainly not for the weak of heart. In addition, this style of diving entails a confident and serious approach. If you’re up for the challenge, then you might want to get certified first. Most divers already have the capability to complete this certification but it is essential that you ask yourself first the reason why you want to become one. With this, you also need to think logically if you have the required discipline to be able to conduct a meticulous dive, every time that you do it. If you have decided that you are ready, then prepare yourself to be amazed by the magical environment of the world’s most beautiful caves. Hopefully, we have been of great help to you, in case you’re thinking of becoming a cave diver in the near future.