Cave diving is exciting and offers a unique challenge, but it is one of the most dangerous and intense forms of diving. It is an entirely different world from recreational diving; it requires a different type of equipment and certification after years of training.
Exploring the untouched underground world offers a thrilling, indescribable feeling. However, as cave diving is inherently more dangerous, taking a course in it can be very challenging. For instance, if a visibility difficulty occurs, the problem has to be resolved which you are still in the cave and getting back to the entrance might take hours. This might sound super scary at first, but after thorough training, and if you stick to all the cave diving rules, cave diving is an awesome experience.
If you've ever asked the question, 'what should divers do for their safety?', then this guide is for you. Here are some of the things to bear in mind before cave diving.
What is Cave Diving?
There are three different types of diving that are related to cave diving - spring basins, cavern dives and my dives. Cave diving is when you dive into a fully enclosed cave with no light and no access to the surface. It requires specialised certifications such as tri-mix or nitrox and one or two technical cave diver level certifications. Several caves require proof of dives before you can be granted access. The proof of dive supply is a compulsory safety measure in advanced caves.
Cave Diving Training
As earlier said, you should never attempt to cave diving without first receiving the proper training and certifications. Currently, improper cave diving training has resulted in over 400 recorded deaths. Training for cave diving also differs from training for traditional diving. For instance, you have to be trained in the particular cave diving swimming style which involves adapted flutter kicks and adapted frog kicks.
Before cave diving, ensure that you master frog kicking as it moves your fin from side to side, and significantly reduces the risk of sediment disturbance. However, if you are unable to master frog kicking, then you should master flutter kicking which keeps the fin motion above the body centre.
Cave Diving Equipment
The best way to differentiate a cave diver from a cavern diver or an open-water diver is to check the equipment being used. For instance, equipment redundancy is common with cave divers. They carry an extra pair for each piece of dive equipment so that if anything goes wrong while underwater, there can be a replacement to ensure a safe return to land.
Before entering into the world of diving, it is essential to purchase all the necessary equipment early so that you can get used to them. The complete cave scuba diving gear package is expensive. That's why if you can't buy everything, then you should consider renting the needed equipment.
For cave diving, there is no need for snorkels. Cave diving requires the diver to remain submerged in the water for long duration's, so the cave diver compulsorily need a cylinder to breathe. The cave diving mask you purchase should be in the colour black. Black masks are the standard for cave diving as they can absorb light. The material of a dark mask absorbs any light that can seep into the mask and distract the diver from essential spots such as the entrance.
Other necessary cave diving gear includes black, light and stiff fins, a dry suit or wetsuit, dive booties, small knives, masks, fishing waders and flashlights. You can learn about the best diving equipment brands by doing proper online research.
Cave Diving Body Form
To achieve the appropriate form for cave diving, several cave divers utilise unique weight attachments that can move their weight from the belt and onto their tank. The body positioning for cave diving differs from that of regular diving as the diver must realise a body position that is at the level. This way, the diver will avoid kicking up sediments from the cave bottom. This is highly important because once sediments start floating in the cave water, it can lead to visibility issues for long periods.
Cave Diving Proficiency
Before you can achieve proficiency in cave diving, there are education levels that you have first to pass through. According to NAUI, a certifying organisation, there are six levels of education to become a proficient cave diver.
Before cave diving, you have to learn how to be calm with facing potentially fatal situations. It is not possible to bring a panicking cave diver back to land. When a situation occurs while diving, it can take a long time to handle the problem, and it is human to start feeling anxious. This makes it even more crucial to take your training and practice seriously before diving into a cave.
Best Cave Diving Location
The ideal cave diving location is dependent on what you desire to see. Conduct thorough research to discover what the famous caves offer.
Also, your certification limits your cave diving location. There are some cave diving locations which only require regular certification. However, for an excellent cave diving location like the Indian Springs Florida, you need complete cave diving certification, proof of 100 dives and trimix certification.
Though cave diving is quite different from other types of diving, it can be a lot of fun, mainly if you are well prepared. Feel free to drop your questions and comments before diving into a cave.
Author Bio: Certified cave diver and American freelance writer Kevin Nelson. He has helped many people master cave diving and the equipment needed before diving into a cave.