The knowledge and skills you acquire in this course are invaluable — even if you never intend to go into a cavern or cave. But if you do want to explore caverns such as the ones at Vortex, Morrison, Jackson Blue or north-central Florida, this training is essential for safety. It can also be the initial step leading to full Cave Diver certification.
Whether or not you intend or even wish to venture into overhead underwater environments such as caverns, caves, wrecks or ice, you can benefit from taking this class. You will learn all sorts of new and dear skills designed to avoid incidents, prevent accidents and stay safe with your dive buddy.
A cavern is that portion of an underwater cave in which you can see the entrance and daylight clearly. As such, it does not require the same amount of training and specialized equipment as full-blown cave diving.
Skimping on skill training in any course is never a good idea. In this type of environment, it can be fatal. As part of this course, you not only learn, but solemnly vow to respect the importance of being comfortable under water whether in daylight or an overhead environment.
The lessons learned through this intensive training can and should be applied to all scuba diving, be it deep or shallow, warm or cold, inshore or offshore. Being educated, qualified and certified in cavern diving greatly increases your diving opportunities when the open water is otherwise too rough for boats.
One does not have to subscribe to “go where no man has gone before” to enjoy the secrets of Mother Earth.
What You Will Learn
Topics to be covered incorporate academic learning, dry-land exercises and in-water training.
Academic topics include:
- Intent and limitations
- Cave conservation, landowner relations
- Accident analysis and corresponding safety rules
- Cavern/cave formation and terminology
- Cave and cavern entrance types
- General and specific hazards of the overhead environment
- Equipment requirements and modification
- Cavern/cave diving techniques overview
- Cavern/cave dive planning procedures
- Standard cavern/cave diving communications
- Psychological aspects of cavern/cave diving; stress management
- Problem solving and emergency procedures
Dry-land exercises cover:
- Equipment modification
- Basic reel use
- Guideline deployment, including tie-offs and wraps
- Guideline retrieval, including team member role responsibilities
- Guideline following under adverse conditions/touch-contact communication
- Gas sharing while maintaining guideline contact In-water training includes repetition of all dry-land drills,
- Anti-silting propulsion techniques
- Simulated loss-of-visibility and loss-of-breathing-gas emergencies
- Multiple practice cavern dives
This course has these prerequisites:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be able to either answer No to all of the questions on the RSTC Medical History form, or secure a physician’s approval prior to taking part
To get the most from taking this class, you should:
- Possess above-average buoyancy-control skills
- Be extremely comfortable and relaxed in the water — even without a mask
- Own most or all of your personal dive equipment and be thoroughly familiar with its function and use
- Have recently logged a number of dives prior overhead environment training
The course consists of the normal pre-course self study, plus an evening of classroom and pool work, followed by two full days of in-water training.
All classroom and pool sessions take place right here at Harry’s Dive Shop. The three-day open-water training weekend takes place at Jackson Blue Spring near Marianna, Florida. Marianna is approximately sis hours from New Orleans.
This open water weekend is chocked full of fun yet educational experiences. The cavern and cave at Jackson Blue is such that you do not need to go far to marvel at the fossilized sea stars, sand dollars and sea biscuits — evidence that this was once the bottom of a vast, prehistoric ocean.
This course is available to individuals, couples and other small groups on demand, subject only to time of year and instructor availability. Please contact Harry’s Dive Shop for more information.
Course fees may vary depending on group size, time of year and other factors. Base price for a group of at least two people is $350 per person. Please contact Harry’s Dive Shop for more information.
Students are responsible for:
- Any fees associated with training dives
- Self-study materials
- Personal diving equipment
- All air or gas fills
- Dive site admission fees
- Transportation to and from dive sites
- Accommodations and meals, as needed
- Certification card processing
students are responsible for supplying the following:
- Mask and non-split scuba fins
- Adequate thermal protection (talk to us about this)
- Regulator system with two second stages — one on a seven-foot hose
- Reliable weight system, if needed
- One full cylinder per dive
- Dive computer
- Three lights: two primary, one backup
- 200 ft primary reel and safety reel or spool
- Compact, razor-sharp dive knife or cutting tool
- Slate or Wet Notes
Important: Consult store staff prior to making any purchases.
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