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Cavern Class Info Please

Discussion in 'Cave Diving' started by wjefferis, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. wjefferis

    wjefferis Photographer

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Pensacola, Florida
    I am getting my gear configured and ready to take a intro to cavern class by the end of the summer. The reason I am waiting this long is to really become used to my new BP/W set-up and hose configuration, from changing over from a jacket-style BC. My question to you certified cavern, cave divers, and instructors out there is about doing my intro to cavern class with a single tank set-up. Will I be required to have an H-valve on my single tank in order to take the class or will a standard K-valve be ok for the intro class?
  2. BabyDuck

    BabyDuck Rebreather Pilot

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Winterville, NC
    you will (most likely, i'm sure there are wild cards in this as in everything, grain of salt applies as always) have to have an 'h'. however, you can borrow or rent from your instructor or the shop you're doing your class from.

    the best way to get the straight dope on what's expected of you is ask your instructor! :)
  3. bamamedic

    bamamedic Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Somewhere between "hold my beer and watch this!" a
    Are you taking an Intro to Cave class or a Cavern class? For the Intro to Cave class, I think you need a H valve, but I don't think you need one if you're just taking the Cavern class.

    Note: Not a cave diver yet, but taking the class in April! :D
  4. ianr33

    ianr33 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Wah Wah Land
    My understanding is that Cavern can be done in normal OW gear. Check with your instructor though as he may have an opinion on that.
  5. OneBrightGator

    OneBrightGator Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: St. Augustine, FL
    Bama is correct. You will not need an H-valve for Cavern, but you will (or doubles) for Intro to Cave.

    Before you buy a single piece of gear I strongly suggest you meet with your instructor. They will save you wasted time, energy and more importantly money.
  6. Stu S.

    Stu S. Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Florida
    Here is the entire list with all the info regarding what you learn, and what you need for gear.

    NACD Training
  7. DA Aquamaster

    DA Aquamaster Directional Toast ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: NC
    As noted above, Cavern is fine with a single tank/single outlet valve, but you would need an H valve or doubles with a dual outlet manifold for Intro to Cave.

    Once you take your Cavern class it may be adviseable to get a set of doubles and get comfortable diving with them before taking Intro to Cave if your ultimate goal is to complete Full Cve where you would need to use doubles. I am a big believer in getting comfortable in gear long before you show up for a class and I am an even bigger believer in training in what you will ultimately be diving.

    In my opinion, if a diver is already comfortable in doubles it makes sense to do both Cavern and Intro in doubles as well as Full Cave.

    But I agree you need to discuss it with your instructor and see what their expectations and recommendations may be before you show up for class. Most instructors will also be willing to look your configuration over and suggest changes so that you are squared away before the class starts.
  8. wjefferis

    wjefferis Photographer

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Pensacola, Florida
    Thanks everyone for your input. The reason I haven't talked with an instructor yet about the intro to cavern class is because I don't plan on taking the class until the fall. I just got my BP/W and long hose configuration and I want to spend the spring and summer getting very used to it. I don't know if I want to take intro to cave or full cave in the future. I have learned to never say never when it comes to diving. I have been doing alot of reading about the DIR philosophy of diving and it makes alot of sense. I want to apply it to both saltwater and freshwater. Taking an intro to cavern class to me just makes sense. I think it will open alot of opportunities for me in the future.
  9. willembad

    willembad Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: As far away from salt water as you can get in Flor

    Just finished Cavern in November and it's a great class. I think you're missing something. The first "level" of cave training is Cavern certification. Then you go on to Intro to Cave, Apprentice, Full or Cave 1, Full Cave depending on which agency your training with. There is no "Intro to Cavern" cert.

    Have fun and pick an instructor and talk to them before purchasing anything!

  10. giles45shop

    giles45shop Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Odessa, FL
    Sounds like you are on the right track, but I will echo what others have said. You really need to talk to an instructor about your gear and what you want to do. It's not too early either. I started talking w/ my instructor a couple years before I actually took a class. He gave me some suggestions on gear as well as skills to work on before class. I think you'll find most instructors will be willing to talk gear configs even if you haven't signed up for a class.

    If you are interested in DIR, I would suggest finding some DIR divers in your area and dive w/ them. It's good to read up on things, but you really need to experience this kind of stuff first hand to understand how it works in the real world. The DIR divers I have dove with have been very skilled in the water and a real pleasure to dive with.

    One thing you will almost certainly need is a cannister light. Cavern is "possible" without one, but it's HIGHLY recommended to have one. This is a fairly big investment, so start planning now if you don't already have one.

    Take it slow and enjoy it. Cavern is the fist step and will give you some good personal insight on whether you want to go further w/ cave training. Even if you go no further it will be a great asset to your in-water skills. Be prepared for a long, expensive and intensive road if you progress beyond cavern.

    Best wishes and dive safe,


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