Nothing substitutes the thrill, fun, and adventure of cave diving. Diving is a sporting activity divided into three categories: open-water diving, cavern diving, and our feature today, cave diving. While the focus is fun and exploration, the most important thing to remember is to keep it safe while cave diving.
Open-water diving is the most commonly known type of diving and where all diving enthusiasts start. Open-water divers have direct access to the outer surface of the water and sunlight. On the contrary, cave divers explore enclosed and often dark spaces under an overhead ceiling. This isn’t a normal situation, and it can cause panic among the unprepared. You normally only have access to direct sunlight at the entrance of the cave. As a cave diver, you would expose yourself to underwater environments that lack open surfaces and are fully covered by cave ceilings.
Experience New Thrills
There are many reasons why people would want to take a journey through the deepest and darkest paths of the underwater world. Though it presents many hazards, cave diving is one of the most adventurous of the diving family. Nothing can be more thrilling than swimming through unknown paths and meeting unique creatures you’ve never met before. Cave divers have to learn to maneuver “pitch black” underwater environments. On the other hand, these potentially dangerous situations expose you to worlds the average person might never reach. You will emerge self-fulfilled and ready to take on any challenge life might throw your way.
Who Can Go Cave Diving?
There are many sites on the internet that provides a lot of information about all aspects of cave diving. However, it would be perilous to think that you can dive safely using the information you gained from hearsay only. In addition to appropriate cave diving equipment, fitness, and ability, you need a professional diving trainer to walk you through the learning process. The experience and guidance of a professional diver cannot be substituted with a single video or article. What you will need is an extreme SCUBA makeover.
The reality is, however, cave diving is not an adventure for every person. It is for those who want to explore the unknown. It is for individuals with a pioneering spirit and more than willing to go parts of the earth where no human being has ever been. At the same time, with ample preparation, anyone can do it.
Is it Worth It?
This can be a game for you if you want to learn the art of self-reliance and self-mastery. It is when you are navigating the underwater tunnels that you learn how to trust your own judgment and make independent decisions. The threatening situations you might confront in the underwater environment, will be an opportunity to practice self-mastery. It is here that you’ll learn to talk yourself out of panic and master physical reactions. You might even leave this place ready to lead and try new adventures.
Where and How to Get Started
You need three things to get started: a sound mind, healthy body and the passion to explore the underwater world. These requirements can simply be attained through the knowledge and experience of an expert cave diver.
If you feel like it is time to confront your fears or do something out of the ordinary, cave diving could be the appropriate adventure. Start by enrolling in a training program. Once you receive proper cave diving lessons you can join diving communities that would help you gain more experience.
The advantages of attending a diving course are vast. Most student divers appreciate training courses because they gain access to practical information about what entails cave diving, such as deep exploration and how to prepare and plan properly for your daring journey beneath the waters. They become more confident that they can explore the underwater caves without harm.
When you take a training course, you would also learn how to adjust your equipment in different environment. This is critical because you don’t know what you may encounter while under the sea. As you learn to dive deeper into bodies of water, techniques such as propulsion, buoyancy control and body position will come handy. You will learn these techniques during your training program. You will also get the chance to navigate the underwater world with an experienced trainer.
Most training centers require divers to have dived more than hundred times before they enroll for cave training. It is recommended that you pick courses that would provide you with advanced knowledge about buoyancy, trimming and finning.
There are cave divers all over the world. In North America, you can locate cave divers at Nevada, Indiana, Maryland, California, Virginia, Southern Ontario and Pacific Northwest. You can also find cave diving places in Brazil, South Pacific, Southeast Asia, Japan, Hawai’i and parts of Western and Eastern Europe. You will definitely need to have a travel checklist, as well. The experience you will gain from one cave will be different from that of another. However, imagine all the new creatures and rocks you might see!
Get the Right Equipment
There are different types of equipment required for the varying water depths you may want to explore. You must invest in quality dry suits, wet suits and double cylinders. Cave divers are required to wear “aluminum or stainless steel back plates” harnesses, as well as a “BC with a shorter inflation hose”. Harnesses for cave divers have additional D-Rings. Canisters attached to the wrist and waist are also a must have. There are many other tools used by open-water and cavern divers that are not necessary for cave divers and others that may not be necessary for open-water and caverns divers that are crucial for cave divers. For instance, cave divers don’t need snorkels and split fins but they must have reels.
If you’ve been involved in other types of diving in the past, that helps, but you still need additional training. The equipment used for other types of diving could be similar to the ones necessary for cave diving but the techniques and skills required are totally different.
Remember that you need professional training more than expensive and cutting edge equipment. To become a skilled cave diver you must undergo the rigorous study and practice. Nonetheless, once you master all the basics of this sport, you will enjoy a lifetime of fulfilling experiences. Not to mention, once you learn to follow safety precautions, you will be confident to dive in the deepest environments. Who knows, before long, you could be exploring new caves or guiding visiting divers.