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caroln
02-13-2008, 11:20
I just signed up for my cavern and intro classes in Florida next month and can't wait. I have been working towards this since last July when I did my first guided cenote dive and got instantly hooked. I've done a lot of work on trim, buoyancy, and propulsion, including video taped workshops with a GUE instructor and another instructor who is also a cave diver. My question is, now with 3 weeks left to go before starting class, are there any last minute things that would be helpful to work on? For anyone that's been through these classes, was there anything you wish you'd worked on ahead of time that would have helped you get more out of the classes? Also, was there any equipment for the classes aside from the obvious that was especially good to have?

mwhities
02-13-2008, 11:35
I was told to work on buoyancy and trim mostly. I'm going to dive in an 8' pool and once I'm trimmed out and my buoyancy is in check. I'm going to remove my reel from my right d-ring and clip it off to my left chest d-ring while trying to stay at the same depth. After I get better with that, I will swim over to the ladder and tie off to it, while still trying to maintain buoyancy and trim. When I get that down, I'll start running a line from that ladder to the other one.

I don't have the luxury of an ocean, pond, or lake dive... so I'm stuck in an 8' pool. :)

Gombessa
02-13-2008, 11:44
I'd practice maintaining buoyancy and trim in a variety of situations, particularly blinded, no mask, while deploying/laying/stowing reels and spools, etc.

You'll learn all the specifics in class, but you'll need to be able to multitask and still control your position in the water, so whatever you do, make sure you do it in relation to keeping good buoyancy/trim.

caroln
02-13-2008, 11:49
I'm limited to a pool right now too, but I have access to it twice a week so I can't complain too much. I also help out with a class on Sundays, so I spend 4 hours at a time hovering in 4 feet of water, backing up, etc. Good idea to work with the reel in the pool. I haven't worked with it at all in a couple of months.

ianr33
02-13-2008, 13:08
For me the biggest aspect of the class was not the skills but rather the mental aspect of it. All your diving career you are told not to go into overhead environments and suddenly you are doing just that! Took me a while to get used to having all that rock above my head and the entrance maybe 30 minutes away.

Normally I take great pride in not touching anything when diving.Depending on the cave that needs to go completely out the window****nning a line into a cave such as Ginnie is more like underwater rock climbing than anything else.

Not much you can do to practice either of the above so I would suggest just learning in the class and enjoying it.

in_cavediver
02-13-2008, 17:00
I just have one other aspect to add. Remember to leave your ego behind. A good class should humble you a bit.

Oh, and remember, we do this for fun so have fun!

caroln
02-13-2008, 17:22
I just have one other aspect to add. Remember to leave your ego behind. A good class should humble you a bit.

Oh, and remember, we do this for fun so have fun!


The best classes I've taken have been humbling so I don't mind leaving the ego behind. One of my instructors told me that diving is fun AFTER his class--he was right :)

in_cavediver
02-13-2008, 19:23
I just have one other aspect to add. Remember to leave your ego behind. A good class should humble you a bit.

Oh, and remember, we do this for fun so have fun!


The best classes I've taken have been humbling so I don't mind leaving the ego behind. One of my instructors told me that diving is fun AFTER his class--he was right :)

I did cavern/intro then came back 4 months later for full cave. I was a bit stressed in the cavern/intro classes but I loved my cave class. Each dive was fun and for the most part relaxing. (helps my class all had been working to master the skills from 4 months ago in that time, plus logging around 100 dives in between)

Still, you ought to have fun, even if you do 'die' on a few of your dives or even worse, in the land drill like I did.

caroln
02-25-2008, 16:10
In a week and 3 days I'll be down there doing my classes...eeeeeeekkkkkk. I am so excited for this. I can't wait. This Friday I'm meeting up with a local cave diver to do a doubles/skills workshop for the day in the local YMCA pool. I have another trip to the Keys planned in April but I'm thinking of cutting it short and spending half the trip in the caves getting some more practice and enjoying the dives outside of class. Does anyone know how hard it is to find a buddy for intro level dives in cave country?? Worst comes to worst, I wouldn't be averse to paying someone to do a few guided dives. Either way, step 1 is just getting down there and getting through cavern and intro.

TommyB
02-25-2008, 17:30
In a week and 3 days I'll be down there doing my classes...eeeeeeekkkkkk. I am so excited for this. I can't wait. This Friday I'm meeting up with a local cave diver to do a doubles/skills workshop for the day in the local YMCA pool. I have another trip to the Keys planned in April but I'm thinking of cutting it short and spending half the trip in the caves getting some more practice and enjoying the dives outside of class. Does anyone know how hard it is to find a buddy for intro level dives in cave country?? Worst comes to worst, I wouldn't be averse to paying someone to do a few guided dives. Either way, step 1 is just getting down there and getting through cavern and intro.
Friend of mine Tom Johnson, does a lot of Guided tours @ Ginny Springs.
Also does the Peacock State Park systems / Little River for tours.
(He's full cave instructor / side-mount / etc etc etc)...
Send me a PM and I'll let ya know how to contact him via his website..

Also, if you need a buddy for intro, there's about 4/5 of us hit cave country at least every weekend and sometimes during the week.
Matter of fact, we're on the way there now, spend tuesday/friday just caving :)

Dive-aholic
02-26-2008, 02:31
In a week and 3 days I'll be down there doing my classes...eeeeeeekkkkkk. I am so excited for this. I can't wait. This Friday I'm meeting up with a local cave diver to do a doubles/skills workshop for the day in the local YMCA pool. I have another trip to the Keys planned in April but I'm thinking of cutting it short and spending half the trip in the caves getting some more practice and enjoying the dives outside of class. Does anyone know how hard it is to find a buddy for intro level dives in cave country?? Worst comes to worst, I wouldn't be averse to paying someone to do a few guided dives. Either way, step 1 is just getting down there and getting through cavern and intro.

You should detour over to Jackson Blue. You're likely to plan all your vacations in North Florida if you do that... :D

caroln
02-26-2008, 08:55
You should detour over to Jackson Blue. You're likely to plan all your vacations in North Florida if you do that... :D

I'm already working on convincing my husband we need to move down there :)

in_cavediver
02-26-2008, 11:32
In a week and 3 days I'll be down there doing my classes...eeeeeeekkkkkk. I am so excited for this. I can't wait. This Friday I'm meeting up with a local cave diver to do a doubles/skills workshop for the day in the local YMCA pool. I have another trip to the Keys planned in April but I'm thinking of cutting it short and spending half the trip in the caves getting some more practice and enjoying the dives outside of class. Does anyone know how hard it is to find a buddy for intro level dives in cave country?? Worst comes to worst, I wouldn't be averse to paying someone to do a few guided dives. Either way, step 1 is just getting down there and getting through cavern and intro.

You should detour over to Jackson Blue. You're likely to plan all your vacations in North Florida if you do that... :D

Not all - just most. We do a ski trip out west every couple years too!

Its a sad state when we my wife and I were discussing skipping the familes Easter plans (at our house non the less) to go cave diving 900+ miles away) since she has a 4 day weekend. The sad part - we're likely going cave diving......

And some say crack is addictive!

Dive-aholic
02-27-2008, 02:10
Hey, I just moved 2000 miles last year so I could be right by the caves! That was after making the 2000 mile one way trip every 3-4 months for a couple of years...driving...

caroln
02-27-2008, 08:59
Not all - just most. We do a ski trip out west every couple years too!

Its a sad state when we my wife and I were discussing skipping the familes Easter plans (at our house non the less) to go cave diving 900+ miles away) since she has a 4 day weekend. The sad part - we're likely going cave diving......

And some say crack is addictive!

At least your wife is in on it with you. It's a lot easier to justify ditching the family if you're both in agreement on the plan.

Charles R
02-27-2008, 10:30
I was told to work on buoyancy and trim mostly. I'm going to dive in an 8' pool and once I'm trimmed out and my buoyancy is in check. I'm going to remove my reel from my right d-ring and clip it off to my left chest d-ring while trying to stay at the same depth. After I get better with that, I will swim over to the ladder and tie off to it, while still trying to maintain buoyancy and trim. When I get that down, I'll start running a line from that ladder to the other one.

I don't have the luxury of an ocean, pond, or lake dive... so I'm stuck in an 8' pool. :)

My wife would like to thank you Micheal now I spend an hour every night in our pool with the lights off doing tie off and running line in our pool. its great practice just like being in a cave no light except mine I have also been practicing switching between my primary and Back up lights another important skill remember to practice in the dark.

caroln
02-29-2008, 18:49
Just got done with my practice workshop and so glad I did it. I tried both steel and aluminum doubles, and got some practice working with the light and the reel together, learning different ways of doing tie offs, etc. First time ever doing valve drills, and that part definitely was not fun. It was no problem reaching the valves, but my hands are all torn up. Ouch! Glad I got some practice in beforehand so I can get as much as possible out of the classes next week. Now I just have to do some line drills on land over the weekend, do some reading in the NACD manual, and I think I'll be pretty well prepared.

jeepbrew
03-09-2008, 23:59
Its a sad state when we my wife and I were discussing skipping the familes Easter plans (at our house non the less) to go cave diving 900+ miles away) since she has a 4 day weekend. The sad part - we're likely going cave diving......

And some say crack is addictive!


Have fun. My fiance & I are skipping Easter with the family to go shark tooth diving in Venice. Enjoy the caves!

TommyB
03-10-2008, 07:28
Just got done with my practice workshop and so glad I did it. I tried both steel and aluminum doubles, and got some practice working with the light and the reel together, learning different ways of doing tie offs, etc. First time ever doing valve drills, and that part definitely was not fun. It was no problem reaching the valves, but my hands are all torn up. Ouch! Glad I got some practice in beforehand so I can get as much as possible out of the classes next week. Now I just have to do some line drills on land over the weekend, do some reading in the NACD manual, and I think I'll be pretty well prepared.
Almost :)

It's not really fun until you get to the "lights out and Share air drills at the same time"..

So when you going to be down here?
Peacock + a lot of the others are still blown as far as diving.
Couple are still ok Ginnie and Manatee are still good to go.

Was at Manatee on the 5th. Vis was perfect!.. Flow was down to nothing, so we went upstream about 900 ft or so. Started at catfish sink.


http://www.divetraining.net/pictures/2008_mar_5/P3055565.jpg

LiteHedded
03-10-2008, 07:40
the flow being down to nothing at manatee worries me a bit.
flow about to reverse?

mwhities
03-10-2008, 08:34
My wife would like to thank you Micheal now I spend an hour every night in our pool with the lights off doing tie off and running line in our pool. its great practice just like being in a cave no light except mine I have also been practicing switching between my primary and Back up lights another important skill remember to practice in the dark.

Tell her I said "No problem!".

We almost have our pool (brother-in-laws) cleaned up. He's not going on the cruise next week so, he should have it nice and clean when we get back. I'll start hitting it on the weekends for sure.

After our cruise, we are heading to Gulf Shores (rented a condo) for the rest of the Easter Holiday. While I am there, I'm picking up my buddies LP95s (doubles) and another friends dual bladder wing. I'm going to get into the pool and see how I do.

Hopefully the pool will be clean and ready to go. ;)

caroln
03-11-2008, 12:22
It's not really fun until you get to the "lights out and Share air drills at the same time"..

So when you going to be down here?
Peacock + a lot of the others are still blown as far as diving.
Couple are still ok Ginnie and Manatee are still good to go.

Was at Manatee on the 5th. Vis was perfect!.. Flow was down to nothing, so we went upstream about 900 ft or so. Started at catfish sink.

I just got back. I dove at Manatee on the 8th, so just missed you by a few days. There was no flow at Manatee when we were there either, and it was gorgeous. My first time ever in a cave, so it was pretty memorable. We started at Catfish Sink too, but we only got about 500 feet so not quite as far as you. I had the best dive ever since I started diving at Ginnie on Sunday. We went in the devils ear and everything looked familiar from the million videos I've watched from there, but it was of course a completely different thing actually being there. On the rating system we were using, I rated that one as BTS (better than s*x)--yes it was THAT good.