Cave Diving – Take Your Vacation to a Whole New Level (Literally)
Ever wanted to follow in the footsteps of Phileas Fogg and take a journey to the centre of the earth?
Do you have Scuba Diving Certification?
Does the thought of swimming into deep, dark, underwater caves excite you?
Cave diving might just be for you then…
Of course, cave diving has it’s risks and is most definitely not for everyone. Most of the time you’ll be swimming in dark, claustrophobic underwater passageways. Eek. In the event of an emergency, you can’t just swim straight up to the surface (like you can when diving in the sea) – you have to go back the way you came.
In the past, cave diving was purely for advanced divers with special training (and a few screws loose). This has since changed, however, as the distinction between ‘Cave Diving’ and ‘Cavern Diving’ has made it more accessible.
So what’s the difference between cave diving and cavern diving?
As Matthew Karsten of ExpertVagabond.com says:
“To get more SCUBA divers interested in exploring caves, the sport was split into two different categories:
Cave Diving is when divers maneuver their way deep into underwater passageways with no easy access to the surface due to a ceiling of rock above their heads. There is zero natural light visible to the diver under the proper definition of cave diving. Individuals will often swim for many hundreds (even thousands) of meters from the cave opening, using multiple air tanks and a spool of penetration line to find their way back out.
Cavern Diving is similar to cave diving, the difference is that some natural light is visible to you at all times. So cavern divers don’t go as deep into the passages as cave divers do. The cave opening doesn’t need to be visible, just some sort of natural light emanating from that opening. The penetration limit for cavern diving is 200 feet (60 m) from the cave opening. Cavern divers also use a guide line to prevent getting lost, but it’s already attached to the cave floor or wall.”
So it seems that cavern diving is the more ‘beginner-friendly’ option, as anyone with the basic Open Water SCUBA certification can do it. Cave diving, on the other hand “requires a special set of additional certifications that the average recreational diver will not spend the time or money to get” according to Matthew.
So why would anyone want to go cave/cavern diving? As Matthew says: “If you think SCUBA diving an ocean reef environment is incredible, wait until you dive through a freshwater cave! It’s equally as alien and mesmerizing.”
“Light from the cenote opening (a.k.a. cave surface opening) slowly fades away as you push forward into the veins of the earth.”
Highlights of Matthew’s incredible cave diving experience in Dos Ojos, Mexico can be seen in the video below:
As Matthew says: “If you have your SCUBA certification, you need to do this. It’s unlike any other kind of diving.”
To read the full article and to find out more about cave diving, click here.
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