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Do I need a cavern cert to do a guided Mexican cenote dive?

Discussion in 'Cave Diving' started by Antarctic-Adventurer, May 14, 2011.

  1. Antarctic-Adventurer

    Antarctic-Adventurer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: From the UK but currently living in Japan
    159
    16
    Some good advice in this thread. Thank you for all the replies. I think I will get cavern certified. Even if I don't strictly need it, I will no doubt learn a lot which is always good.

    Does anybody know which agency offers the most comprehensive cavern cert? I would like to learn as much as possible from the course.

    (Incidentally, this was the video that first got me interested in the Cenotes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZKuA_QZnBg&feature=related)
     
  2. lowviz

    lowviz Solo Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Northern Delaware or the New Jersey Turnpike
    7,300
    4,216
    Yes, it's the one that is best for you personally.:wink:

    Do your homework and have fun.

    BTW, take cavern or into to cave.
     
  3. Capt Jim Wyatt

    Capt Jim Wyatt Hanging at the 10 Foot Stop Staff Member

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: High Springs - Cave Country
    2,625
    1,860
    You cannot take intro to cave until after you have taken & passed cavern.
     
  4. lowviz

    lowviz Solo Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Northern Delaware or the New Jersey Turnpike
    7,300
    4,216
    ...or one immediately following the other. I like this config best as it is a bit challenging, but really reinforces the concepts.
     
  5. Krazytomdiver

    Krazytomdiver Divemaster

    # of Dives:
    Location: Alona Beach,Bohol,Cebu,Philippines
    301
    55
    As a dive guide, Is there a written rule for guide to diver ratio in any type of diving??? If so please state that dive organization.rule description,and ratio. As far I am aware it's the dive guides decision as to what he/she considers safe. Please enlighten me with your vast knowledge & experience.

    "living life without a hard bottom"
    KT
     
  6. shark_tamer

    shark_tamer Photographer

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Montreal, Canada
    754
    3
    I did dive the cenotes in July 2010 and you don't need to be cave certified to dive them.

    As per our divemaster, we did the most difficult one called " Dos Ojos ". OW divers were not accepted for this cenote dive. You needed to be AOW and higher. At some points during the dive, space was really thight ... roughly 2 to 3 inches all around to go thru !!!

    While in Mexico, I was in Puerto Morelo and staying at Iberostar Beach Resort and I dove with Dressell Divers located on site. They also offered the one day cenote excursion package. The divemaster for this dive was cave certified and he was diving with doubles. The briefing was pretty extensive and safety was the main feature. After entering the water, every diver gets checked presonnally by the dive master to verify proper weight and buoyancy. The ratio was 4:1 ... 4 divers per divemaster.

    While diving the cenotes, the main things you have to concentrate on are:

    - Always follow the line.
    - Check air supply every minute.

    We did 2 cenote dives that day, and the second one was the best one by far. On the first dive, you are not exactly sure what to expect and are a bit more excited and nervous. The second one was the most difficult of the two, but you feel more in control on the second one !!!

    Diving the cenotes were the most memorable dives I did so far and highly recommend them ... if you feel up for it !!!

    Enjoy !!!
     
  7. Capt Jim Wyatt

    Capt Jim Wyatt Hanging at the 10 Foot Stop Staff Member

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: High Springs - Cave Country
    2,625
    1,860
    Correct, you can take cavern over a 2 day period then on the 3rd day start the intro course.
     
  8. lowviz

    lowviz Solo Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Northern Delaware or the New Jersey Turnpike
    7,300
    4,216

    And I would like to add that "Intro to cave" is a BIG course, despite the name. Gets you something like 1,000' of penetration along the gold line.

    I would have thought that "intro to cave" would get you just a bit into the cave on sixths so you could pat the sign's @$$ on the way out.

    Putting this out as more for the OP to consider...

    (this course is in slight disfavor with instructors as it really tempts newbies to press on / jump / traverse / ...)
     
  9. Capt Jim Wyatt

    Capt Jim Wyatt Hanging at the 10 Foot Stop Staff Member

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: High Springs - Cave Country
    2,625
    1,860
    The intro course is a single tank program and the diver can dive to a maximum of 1/3 of their gas pressure. Basic cave is a double tank program and the diver can dive to 1/6 of their gas pressure.

    I prefer students enroll in basic cave and learn to cave dive with double tanks. However learning to dive double tanks should not be done in conjunction with either of these training programs.

    Students who show up with experience diving double tanks are better off in the long run making it through the entire 4 class cave diver certification program.

    The 4 classes for the traditional cave diver training agencies are: cavern, basic, apprentice & full.

    No where in any of these classes is penetration distance a goal, or really even a consideration. Going in the cave correctly, with proper technique & safely are the goals along with not doing any damage to the cave.
     
  10. Dirty-Dog

    Dirty-Dog Frequently Censored ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Pueblo West, CO, USA
    1,992
    1,015
    I don't know how formal an "organization" exists, but my understanding is that the owners of the cenotes (mostly Mayans) have a set of rules guides are expected to follow. I've seen it posted at a couple of the cenotes.
    As I recall:
    No more than 4 divers per guide.
    Guide must be full cave.
    Guide must use full cave gear, including doubles and long hose.
    All divers must have lights.
    Tours are limited to the cavern (sunlight) zone, following a permanent line.
     

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