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easyrider003
01-31-2008, 22:14
I know there are a lot of people that do cave diving. If you are one of those people why did you decide to venture into it? Any advise you can give me? I have thought about taking a course and getting certified. Probably not this year but maybe sometime the next.

fireflock
01-31-2008, 22:39
I'm not a cave diver, but you might like this page:
Who Can Go Cave Diving? (http://cavediving.com/who/start/index.htm)

texdiveguy
01-31-2008, 22:43
Cave divers are nothing more then 'wannabe' wreck divers that can't stand getting sea sick once in a while!!

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
01-31-2008, 22:49
I agree with that for the most part. However, the idea of caves with high flow sounds exhilirating. I've often thought that if I can't tolerate the boat rides to the NC wrecks that I might try cave ding in North Florida.

Obviously this is from a biased source:

"...good cave divers are just frustrated wreck divers who can't get beyond seasickness."
--TDI Advanced Wreck Diving Manual

ianr33
01-31-2008, 23:59
Because underwater caves are special,beautiful places that only a few people will ever get to see.

A wreck is just a pile of rusty trash.

texdiveguy
02-01-2008, 00:04
"...good cave divers are just frustrated wreck divers who can't get beyond seasickness."
--TDI Advanced Wreck Diving Manual

Thats just what I was saying...well sorta in a similar context. :)

in_cavediver
02-01-2008, 05:23
I love to dive caves. I got hooked after taking a cavern class to see what is all about. Its appeals to me on many levels, including the technical aspect of dive planning, gear etc as well as the 'whole nother world' aspect. That and its real relaxing for me. I nice afternoon swim of a mile or so underwater is great.

As for the wreck diver things - well, in reality Cave and Wreck are close but not that close in skills. A wreck diver needs a cave class to cave dive. A cave diver who really wants to do serious wreck diving needs a tec wreck class.

texdiveguy
02-01-2008, 08:19
As for the wreck diver things - well, in reality Cave and Wreck are close but not that close in skills. A wreck diver needs a cave class to cave dive. A cave diver who really wants to do serious wreck diving needs a tec wreck class.

'Well said' :) .... both disciplines share so much in 'common' but still require their own sets of protocols and individual skill sets. Diving is great fun!

cummings66
02-01-2008, 09:15
For those that cave dive, do you often squeeze into holes hoping to find a big room beyond? How often have you got wedged into a hole and had to really struggle to get out? I assume cave diving is done with buddies etc...

Think
02-01-2008, 09:22
Because underwater caves are special,beautiful places that only a few people will ever get to see.

A wreck is just a pile of rusty trash.

:smiley20: I've only snorkeled around some planes in the Bahamas, so hardly wreck diving. And while it was cool to go down and see some fish hanging out in the cockpit, I gotta say I'm MUCH more excited about diving the Cenotes in MX than the wreck out by the reef.

cummings66
02-01-2008, 09:24
I used to explore caves a lot as a younger person, MO is after all the cave state and I did many wild caves. I've also seen circumstances where they fell in.

Do you guys that dive in them see that kind of thing very often?

Dive-aholic
02-01-2008, 22:28
Check out some of these videos:

Chipola Divers cave diving videos (http://www.chipoladivers.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=173&Itemid=153)
Stage6 cave diving videos (http://www.stage6.com/Cave-Diving-Videos)
Youtube cave diving videos (http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=cave+diving&search_type=&search=Search)

It's the beauty you see right there that makes me do it over and over again. Actually, I moved to Florida so I could cave dive on a regular basis. And it is all about the exploration. I do squeeze through restrictions looking for that virgin passage. Cave diving can be a team event or a solo one. I've done both. And, as for the wreck diving thing, I like wrecks, too. But at least with caves I'm not held to a departure schedule or sea conditions or storms or anything else. I go when I want, on my schedule, even in the middle of the night if I want to.

TommyB
02-01-2008, 23:50
I go when I want, on my schedule, even in the middle of the night if I want to.

Ain't that the truth--- Always dark at Orange Grove / Peacock et al. :)

cummings66
02-02-2008, 08:45
Is solo cave diving common?

Dive-aholic
02-02-2008, 08:50
I go when I want, on my schedule, even in the middle of the night if I want to.

Ain't that the truth--- Always dark at Orange Grove / Peacock et al. :)

Being a state park, can't go there in the middle of the night. But I've been known to be at Jackson Blue well into the night, especially in the summer when it's too hot to dive during the day.



Is solo cave diving common?

More common than a lot of people are willing to admit...

BSea
02-02-2008, 10:18
I used to explore caves a lot as a younger person, MO is after all the cave state and I did many wild caves. I've also seen circumstances where they fell in.

Do you guys that dive in them see that kind of thing very often?
I'm no engineer, but from what I remember from reading an article years ago, underwater caves are much safer from cave in's than those above water. The reason is because the water pressure helps support the cave structure so there is less chance of a cave in.

whse56
02-02-2008, 11:31
I must be a wussy-boy, there is no way you could get me to solo cave dive. I don't mind cave diving but one mistake or equipment failure and your chances of getting out alive seem to me to be pretty small.

texdiveguy
02-02-2008, 11:37
I am not sure how much cave diving is done solo....but I would guess a fair amount. I know quite a good amount of penetration wreck diving is done solo because of the site conditions may not be good for team diving within the wreck.

in_cavediver
02-02-2008, 15:57
I must be a wussy-boy, there is no way you could get me to solo cave dive. I don't mind cave diving but one mistake or equipment failure and your chances of getting out alive seem to me to be pretty small.

Realistically, the only item you can't make as redundant as team diving is your buddies brain. Everything else can be accounted for (buddy bottles, reels, lights etc)When considering solo diving, I can account for all of the gear problems but I can't account for my own cognitive mistakes.

In the end, its all risk management and each diver has to do what they are comfortable with.

Dive-aholic
02-02-2008, 20:44
I used to explore caves a lot as a younger person, MO is after all the cave state and I did many wild caves. I've also seen circumstances where they fell in.

Do you guys that dive in them see that kind of thing very often?
I'm no engineer, but from what I remember from reading an article years ago, underwater caves are much safer from cave in's than those above water. The reason is because the water pressure helps support the cave structure so there is less chance of a cave in.

Every breakdown area you pass in a cave is a cave in...



I must be a wussy-boy, there is no way you could get me to solo cave dive. I don't mind cave diving but one mistake or equipment failure and your chances of getting out alive seem to me to be pretty small.

I 2nd in_cavediver's response. When I solo'd in backmount, I took a buddy bottle with me. That way if I had an air loss, I had my buddy bottle to get me out. Now that I sidemount I have added redundancy with 2 independent air sources. I don't do a lot of solo cave dives since my wife is my usual buddy. However, we will do some solo portions while exploring new passages. In the smaller passages it's sometimes better to just send in 1 diver because the 2nd one isn't going to see anything anyway.

UCFKnightDiver
02-02-2008, 21:00
Check out some of these videos:

Chipola Divers cave diving videos (http://www.chipoladivers.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=173&Itemid=153)
Stage6 cave diving videos (http://www.stage6.com/Cave-Diving-Videos)
Youtube cave diving videos (http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=cave+diving&search_type=&search=Search)

It's the beauty you see right there that makes me do it over and over again. Actually, I moved to Florida so I could cave dive on a regular basis. And it is all about the exploration. I do squeeze through restrictions looking for that virgin passage. Cave diving can be a team event or a solo one. I've done both. And, as for the wreck diving thing, I like wrecks, too. But at least with caves I'm not held to a departure schedule or sea conditions or storms or anything else. I go when I want, on my schedule, even in the middle of the night if I want to.


I have a pretty awesome one to add right around your area Dive-aholic

Stage6 Cave Diving Videos Jackson Blue 2006 - Video and Download (http://www.stage6.com/Cave-Diving-Videos/video/2094146/Jackson-Blue-2006)

Dive-aholic
02-02-2008, 23:32
Jackson Blue is a beautiful cave! I'm in there at least once a week. Lately I've been exploring some of the unmapped area of the cave. Over the next few months I'm planning on shooting some video of different sections of the cave over several dives and putting something together to post on the 'net. I will definitely let everyone know when it's done. Let me know when you're up this way and I'll take you on a tour of the cavern zone of JB.

cummings66
02-03-2008, 10:39
All I've got to say is many of you have way more guts than I do. I just don't have the backbone for that type of diving, solo in a cave is so far beyond my comfort zone that it's not even on the same planet.

Like all things in diving, there's something for everybody.

in_cavediver
02-03-2008, 20:29
All I've got to say is many of you have way more guts than I do. I just don't have the backbone for that type of diving, solo in a cave is so far beyond my comfort zone that it's not even on the same planet.

Like all things in diving, there's something for everybody.

I lost my backbone carrying all the tanks I need for these dives. (doubles, stages and o2 bottles are HEAVY). You know there's a problem when it takes two trips to the spring BEFORE you gear up and put on your backmounts.

I learned my lesson, no more double tanks for me - I'm learning sidemount!! I just wished I was closer than a 1000 miles to the caves.....

Maybe in a few years we'll move. Its just so hard to give up a University job and its benefits/security......

Dive-aholic
02-03-2008, 21:08
Sidemount is the way to go! You still have a few trips back and forth between the van and the water, but it's much easier on the back with a truck cart. I was 2000 miles from the caves before I moved here. Fortunately, I didn't have a tenured job keeping me anywhere. Relocation was easy. But now I'm doing dives that require 3 trips to the spring before gearing up!

comet24
02-03-2008, 21:30
I don't cave dive but do wreck dive. The why for me on wrecks is to explore. People have been doing it since the start of time. Just to see whats through the next hole/hatch or whatever. I would do caves if they where close but when I take a trip I want the ocean and wrecks.

hudson
02-07-2008, 20:42
Right now I want to learn so I can get in more local diving, as well as improve my skills. Most likely I'll be so hooked that frequent Florida trips are in my future.

Thanks for the videos btw, very nice in high resolution.

Bahamas_Steve
03-10-2008, 17:52
If you are interested in Cave Diving, I would suggest reading Rob Palmer's Deep Into Blue Holes: The Story of the Andros Project. I was told that its out of print and fairly costly on Amazon $50-100 (I borrowed a copy from a friend). After reading, I've got the bug to research and go through proper training. Palmer makes it very clear that some of the most well trained Cave Divers ocassionally dont come back, and that is part of the risk. Anything can happen and as we all know (but dont often like to admit) even the most well planned dives can go wrong, then its up to your training to stay alive.

If you want to see some images or are interested in Bahamas Caves and Blue Holes, check out Cave Diving and Technical Diving Adventures (http://www.bahamasunderground.com) They run a guide service on Abaco.

ReefHound
03-10-2008, 18:34
I'm no engineer, but from what I remember from reading an article years ago, underwater caves are much safer from cave in's than those above water. The reason is because the water pressure helps support the cave structure so there is less chance of a cave in.

The water pressure may help support the roof but that just means that the roof is allowed to weaken and get more unstable before collapsing. Water also erodes away the rock faster than air.

ReefHound
03-10-2008, 18:36
All I've got to say is many of you have way more guts than I do. I just don't have the backbone for that type of diving, solo in a cave is so far beyond my comfort zone that it's not even on the same planet.

Like all things in diving, there's something for everybody.

It depends on how you look at your buddy, asset or liability. Some might consider a buddy just another failure point. :smiley2:

Splitlip
03-10-2008, 18:50
All due respect, I will never cave dive. The "It's about exploration, not little fishies" doesn't fly with me :).
But, I have friends who are cave divers who solo dive. Told me stories about getting rachetted in that raised the hair on my neck. Told me stories about buddies who died doing what they loved. (My thought was they died crying for their moms.)
Anyway, I have a lot of respect for these guys. I, however, prefer diving in Bombay Saphire gin.

LiteHedded
03-11-2008, 08:04
because it's dark and wet!
plus there's rocks!
:D

BSea
03-11-2008, 09:00
I'm no engineer, but from what I remember from reading an article years ago, underwater caves are much safer from cave in's than those above water. The reason is because the water pressure helps support the cave structure so there is less chance of a cave in.

The water pressure may help support the roof but that just means that the roof is allowed to weaken and get more unstable before collapsing. Water also erodes away the rock faster than air.

I'm not saying they don't happen because they obviously do. I'm just saying that the article I read stated that the chance of a structural collapse is less in an underwater cave than a cave not underwater. Originally I assumed the same thing, that the erosion & minerals dissolving would result in more cave collapses rather than less. But you know what they say about assuming.:smiley5:

So does anyone have any documented facts on how structurally safe underwater caves are compared to air caves?

Dive-aholic
03-12-2008, 01:43
No documentation but I can tell you that every Florida cave I've been diving in has at least one breakdown area. Usually there are several breakdown areas. BTW, a breakdown area is where the ceiling collapsed and broke down to the floor. Sure, most of these happened 100s or even 1000s of years ago, but who's to say more won't happen. It's a risk we take.

And for anyone who isn't aware, a cave diver just died in the Devil's System this past weekend. He was doing an exploration dive. No other details at this time. But he did die doing what he loved. I'm also quite sure there was no crying for his mom...

I've had the hair raising moments and I continue to cave dive. The only concern I have is how my survivors will feel, not me. I live my life to the fullest and enjoy every minute.

LiteHedded
03-13-2008, 08:31
from reports the vis was blown throughout the whole system.
maybe he caused a collapse?

in_cavediver
03-13-2008, 20:12
from reports the vis was blown throughout the whole system.
maybe he caused a collapse?

Not likely. He was 3800' in past the henkel restriction looking to explore a sidemount/no-mount passage. Initial reports say he had a RB and sidemount gear.

Vis was blown more likely due to exploration into a new passage from percolation and silting. That and the high rivers/low flows likely contributed as well.

Dive-aholic
03-13-2008, 21:53
Vis was blown more likely due to exploration into a new passage from percolation and silting. That and the high rivers/low flows likely contributed as well.

The Santa Fe hasn't been effected and neither has Devil's flow. Blown vis was either due to exploration or the problem that caused the dive to end.

JahJahwarrior
03-14-2008, 09:07
This is one of the questions I tried to answer in an english paper recently...

The Cave Diving Community PDF Download (http://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu/~mi777485/The Cave Diving Community.pdf)

PhD4JC
03-17-2008, 13:24
I've snorkeled the cenotes on the IMAX film Journey into Amazing Caves and have done wreck diving in the Caribbean.

The water clarity in the caves was incredible, in fact, it looked more like glass than water. The stalagmite and stalactite formations were interesting, but would have interested me more if i was a geologist instead of a Biologist.

Right now I dive more for the marine biology, but after reading Shadow Divers am thinking about wreck diving when I never have before.

LCF
03-18-2008, 04:02
Why dive in caves?

Did you ever hike up a creek bed, one where there were big boulders you had to climb and figure out how to get from one place to another? Often, the scenery didn't really change much as you went along, but you just couldn't resist the temptation to see what was around the next corner. And then there was the fun of the bouldering itself -- planning your climb or your steps where it wasn't obvious how to get there.

Diving in caves, for me, is a little like that. They're mysterious, and quite beautiful, but there is also the challenge of getting in there and navigating, and the pride in the skill I had to learn to swim through them without disturbing anything. There's the planning and the teamwork, and the constant challenge of getting better and smoother and quicker and more efficient.

And then, once you are diving, there is the crystal-clear water that makes you feel as though you are floating in mid-air. The cave stretches ahead of you and off to the sides into shadows that create a great mystery of what might be there. Your buddy in front of you floats effortlessly and glides with a flick of the fins; the light from the buddy behind you moves slowly and deliberately from side to side as he sightsees, reassuring you that he is nearby and well. The cave is infinitely peaceful, devoid of the hustle and bustle of creatures going about reef life. As you swim deliberately along, time seems to dilate, as your breathing becomes even slower and more rhythmic (unless you're diving high flow caves in Florida, that is :) ). It's akin to meditation, and both infinitely relaxing and infinitely intensely focused.

As I said in an essay elsewhere, cave diving is a drug, and I will do whatever I need to do to get more of it.

Wet rocks, man; wet rocks . . .

LiteHedded
03-18-2008, 07:21
wet rocks is where it's at
it really does feel like you're flying through some of those passages

scubasamurai
03-29-2008, 20:52
alll i know, if your interested in cave diving ( right now that is no for me sorry guys) try diving a sink out in florida. gives a new meaning to black out and using your head and training.

doczerothree
04-08-2008, 16:29
YouTube - Cave Diving Eagle's Nest (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkrnSwNSSpY) check this out!!

Splitlip
04-08-2008, 16:39
Spectacular.
Not for me, but spectacular non the less.

UCFKnightDiver
04-08-2008, 19:26
Awesome video
for me.....maybe one day!

spratman
04-09-2008, 14:56
It is definitely not for everyone, however, there are more similarities with cave diving and wreck penetration than not. NAUI has changed their prerequistites for the wreck penetration class. You must be full cave certified for it.

Funny someone mentioned seasickness. A good dive buddy of mine turned to the caves for just that reason. He gets violently ill on boats.

I did a cenote in PDC and I was hooked. It is an awesome experience. Not everyone's cup of tea especially if you are claustrophobic...:D

caroln
04-09-2008, 15:51
There's something magical about seeing what's on the other side of the rabbit hole. No matter how far you go, you always want to see what's around the next bend. Jill Heinerth talked at Beneath the Sea about the spirit of exploration and that's definitely a huge lure. Even a cave that you know a million other people have seen before is a new exploration for you, and it's so exhilerating. I couldn't care less about wrecks which is unfortunate since I live in wreck valley, but I dream about the day I can go back to the caves (2 weeks from today).

marchand
04-10-2008, 15:12
from reports the vis was blown throughout the whole system.
maybe he caused a collapse?

Not likely. He was 3800' in past the henkel restriction looking to explore a sidemount/no-mount passage. Initial reports say he had a RB and sidemount gear.

Vis was blown more likely due to exploration into a new passage from percolation and silting. That and the high rivers/low flows likely contributed as well.

He did have a RB and sidemounted bottles, but the tanks on his RB were 100% O2 and he was using the sidemounted bottles as dill. He also laid an additional 1000' of line past the end of the previous line. The passage he laid the line is was about 2' tall and 3' wide.

LiteHedded
04-11-2008, 13:18
I heard over the weekend that he was digging
that caused the blown vis

...allegedly

fire diver
04-21-2008, 23:05
Oh man I miss diving so much right now! Reading about the cenotes just brings back memories. The clarity, the beauty, the peacefulness, the serenity. Water that feels more like floating through air. Nothing but the sound of your regulator and exhaust bubbles. The Tourquois blue rays from the opening in the distance. It's a feeling like I have never experienced in any other form of diving.

Don't get me wrong, I still am pursuing my wreck diving training when I get back home next year, but I won't ignore the caves either. I plan on making trips to Roubideaux (which I visited the surface are a few months ago) and the Florida caves as well as more trips to the Yucatan.

Obviously diving with no direct route to the surface isn't for everyone. but it doesn't bother me, the rewards outweigh the mittigated risks in my mind.

PS, Do you have any caves up there in the Washington area? I have a sister up there. I could combine some diving in with a visit. Otherwise I'll just have to experience your costal areas instead. Wanna play tour guide Doc?

FD

LCF
04-22-2008, 05:14
No caves in Seattle, although I've heard rumors of some sea caves in BC. But I'd be happy to play tour guide for the non-cave diving we have -- it can be spectacular! Come on up -- just let me know you're coming.

Sounder
04-22-2008, 11:11
Yes! Come to Seattle and I'll play tour guide too!! No caves, but it IS dark when you get to depth!!

beperkins
10-16-2008, 14:31
I am not a cave diver but that is shere I want to go when I think I have had the necessary experience. To me (and obviously a lot of others) there is just something about it that draws you in. If you have to ask "why cave dive" I bet it is not something for you.

fire diver
10-16-2008, 16:26
I am not a cave diver but that is shere I want to go when I think I have had the necessary experience. To me (and obviously a lot of others) there is just something about it that draws you in. If you have to ask "why cave dive" I bet it is not something for you.

Not necessarily true for everyone. When I first started diving, I had no interest in diving caves. Then I did a Cenote dive. After that experience, I want more. I want to get cavern all the way up to full cave eventually. I want to see more and more and more.

UCFKnightDiver
10-16-2008, 16:54
to be honest, If you havent looked into or been in a cavern you cant really say, I started out thinking I would never do cave, but now I am cavern certified, and love it, and want to progress to basic/intro at some point.

ScubaDude
10-26-2008, 20:37
Never dove a cave before, but I am a wreck diving junkie.

Honestly though, all the wreck really provides for me is a good place to hunt. I'm not really into the history of the wreck, just glad it's available, if ya know what I mean.

Anyway, the descriptions and experiences that I've read here have sparked an interest in cave diving. I've always wanted to try it, just to add to my "been there, dove that" list. But now I really think I have a sincere interest.

With that said, where is the closest cave/cavern diving opportunity from Delta, PA?

Dive-aholic
10-28-2008, 16:21
The closest cave/cavern diving is in North Florida. Okay, there are other, closer locations, however, they are advanced dives that require the training and experience of cave diving before you attempt them. ;) Come on down to the panhandle sometime. Lots of spear fishing in the gulf and some of the most beautiful caverns and caves you'll find in Florida about an hour from the coast. You'll have the best of both of your worlds. :D I currently teach cavern and will soon be teaching basic cave. We could easily do a guided dive at the cavern level or a cavern class with a guided dive at the basic cave level once that's done. I'm sure you'll want to be back for a lot more after experiencing it, though. :D :D :D

ScubaDude
10-28-2008, 19:11
Thanks Rob, I'll keep that in mind.

LCF
10-29-2008, 05:05
If you have to ask "why cave dive" I bet it is not something for you.

Oh, this is EXACTLY what my husband said, when I first started making noises about cave diving. He pooh-poohed the whole thing, right up until he did his first day of cavern touring. He's full cave now :)

UCFKnightDiver
10-29-2008, 09:00
If you have to ask "why cave dive" I bet it is not something for you.

Oh, this is EXACTLY what my husband said, when I first started making noises about cave diving. He pooh-poohed the whole thing, right up until he did his first day of cavern touring. He's full cave now :)

agreed thats what I said at first too, now im cavern certified, hoping to get cave certed at some point.

jj1987
10-29-2008, 13:02
I am not a cave diver but that is shere I want to go when I think I have had the necessary experience. To me (and obviously a lot of others) there is just something about it that draws you in. If you have to ask "why cave dive" I bet it is not something for you.
I asked that, and I'm now Apprentice and cave diving at least 2 weekends a month.

It's a valid question, and cavern class was my answer.

fire diver
10-29-2008, 16:03
If you have to ask "why cave dive" I bet it is not something for you.

Oh, this is EXACTLY what my husband said, when I first started making noises about cave diving. He pooh-poohed the whole thing, right up until he did his first day of cavern touring. He's full cave now :)

Hey Lynne, where do you go caving at up there? Anything local or is at all travel?

LCF
10-30-2008, 06:38
All travel. I'm headed back to Mexico in three weeks -- yay!

RoyN
10-30-2008, 23:57
The only time I dive in a cave was at the Cenotes, I hid in the dark and suprised my mom. :D

Boy, my rear end sure hurt for the next month or maybe a year...:smiley19:

huvrr
10-31-2008, 21:53
The only time I dive in a cave was at the Cenotes, I hid in the dark and suprised my mom. :D

Boy, my rear end sure hurt for the next month or maybe a year...:smiley19:
Now, that, is priceless. Your poor mother.

bsktcase93
10-31-2008, 22:08
cave diving has to be very differnet...no way up

James1010
11-01-2008, 12:40
I have to say that wreck dives have an historic value to them. But cave dives are amazing because you get to see a new side of the world that is also amazing. So they are both great.

James1010
11-01-2008, 12:40
I prefer wreak dives to diving in caves and lol at the joke about seasickness.

in_cavediver
11-01-2008, 14:05
cave diving has to be very differnet...no way up

Sure there is, you just hit your head if you try to go 'straight' up.

It is different and does require a lot more planning. With good training and reasonable limits, its pretty safe. Without training, its Russian Roulette.