Trip Report My Review Of Ghost Divers At Tajma Ha Cenote

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lexvil

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Was there about 10 years ago, not “cave“ certified but I only started diving in ‘71 so I may not know better?
2F6C68D3-D3DA-4CA0-A080-B573D1EC6AA3.jpeg

also diving Truk to the SF maru
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:wink:
 

Manatee Diver

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natural sun light penetration counts as one light source. if you have no natural light in the area you are diving in the cenote, you are in a cave. period.

the reality is that some areas of some of the cenotes are in fact technically considered a cave. even though you may only be in that zone very briefly, it does not change the fact.

The amount of light penetration required for a cavern dive is up for debate but for many it is just enough light to see the exit with your eyes adjusted for darkness, it doesn’t require the light itself to penetrate to light up the area. And the adjusted for darkness is important because modern lithium rechargeable dive lights are incredibly bright. For $100 you have a light that fits in your hand that is brighter than most cave exploration lights used in the first couple of decades of the sport.
 

Lorenzoid

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The amount of light penetration required for a cavern dive is up for debate but for many it is just enough light to see the exit with your eyes adjusted for darkness, it doesn’t require the light itself to penetrate to light up the area. And the adjusted for darkness is important because modern lithium rechargeable dive lights are incredibly bright. For $100 you have a light that fits in your hand that is brighter than most cave exploration lights used in the first couple of decades of the sport.
Right. When I did my first cenote dives in 2004 I had no clue about anything, and it wasn't until after I started reading SB a couple of years later that I learned some of these cenote dives might stretch the definition of cavern. I was convinced my guide had taken me to points that were beyond a cavern zone. However, at no time on those cenote dives did I stop, turn my light off, give my eyes a good minute to adjust to the dark, and THEN determine if I could say a glimmer of light from an exit.
 

halocline

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At some parts of the darker passages, I looked behind me just to see if there was any light behind me and there wasn't. It was pitch black. And I'm not cave certified.

If you were on the gold colored cavern line at Taj, there is visible natural light along the entire length of it, but in the middle (the line route is shaped like a very long and skinny "U") it's very faint, and you wouldn't see it unless there were no other dive lights around and you gave your eyes time to adjust. It would appear as a very faint deviation from the absolute pitch blackness of zero light. I dive on that line frequently because it leads to a few very beautiful cave passages. It's a pretty long cavern line. I would be interested to know if someone has actually measured the distance from the farthest point in on the line to the surface of an exit. If I remember right, that must be no more than 130 ft. It seems pretty far to me.

Still, dozens of people are guided on that line every single day of the year, year in and year out, and you don't hear about divers getting lost or dying. That means that generally speaking, the cavern tour guides are doing a decent job and the dives are relatively safe for OW divers. It's pretty well regulated, and there are cave instructors in there every day. If they see something amiss on the cavern tours, usually they are not shy at all about speaking up about it.

I'm glad you had a good time, and it sounds like you'll do more. You might even consider taking a cavern course with one of the cave shops down there. My favorite is the one that is right at the entrance to Taj, (at least for a few more months until they have to move) It's called Under the Jungle.
 
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cleung

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I just put together a compilation video of footage from YouTube that allow reuse. This will show divers what Tajma Ha is like. I would not take most of my dive group members to this particular cenote unless they can show me solid buoyancy skills a no fear of the long, dark passages.

 
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cleung

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If you were on the gold colored cavern line at Taj, there is visible natural light along the entire length of it, but in the middle (the line route is shaped like a very long and skinny "U") it's very faint, and you wouldn't see it unless there were no other dive lights around and you gave your eyes time to adjust. It would appear as a very faint deviation from the absolute pitch blackness of zero light. I dive on that line frequently because it leads to a few very beautiful cave passages. It's a pretty long cavern line. I would be interested to know if someone has actually measured the distance from the farthest point in on the line to the surface of an exit. If I remember right, that must be no more than 130 ft. It seems pretty far to me.

Still, dozens of people are guided on that line every single day of the year, year in and year out, and you don't hear about divers getting lost or dying. That means that generally speaking, the cavern tour guides are doing a decent job and the dives are relatively safe for OW divers. It's pretty well regulated, and there are cave instructors in there every day. If they see something amiss on the cavern tours, usually they are not shy at all about speaking up about it.

I'm glad you had a good time, and it sounds like you'll do more. You might even consider taking a cavern course with one of the cave shops down there. My favorite is the one that is right at the entrance to Taj, (at least for a few more months until they have to move) It's called Under the Jungle.
The DM for Ghost Divers told me to let him know when I reached 2,000 PSI at which point it was time to turn back and this is what I did for both dives. I wasn't navigating but during the first dive I came to the air pocket that looked like the inside of a bat cave while during the second one, we hit the one that has the long roots. Could have been the other way around but these were two distinct open air sections I visited along the routes.
 

rick00001967

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The amount of light penetration required for a cavern dive is up for debate but for many it is just enough light to see the exit with your eyes adjusted for darkness, it doesn’t require the light itself to penetrate to light up the area. And the adjusted for darkness is important because modern lithium rechargeable dive lights are incredibly bright. For $100 you have a light that fits in your hand that is brighter than most cave exploration lights used in the first couple of decades of the sport.
i did not intend to give the impression that every cavern has to be "well lit" by sunlight. sorry if it came off that way. but there must be some natural light. every cavern becomes a cave at night right ?
bottom line is, if you cover your light, let your eyes adjust as you mentioned, and it is dark enough that you cannot see, then you are in a cave.
i actually enjoy covering my light so i can see everyone ahead of me and seeing the cavern in its natural light.
hopefully we can get back there some day.
 

Manatee Diver

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bottom line is, if you cover your light, let your eyes adjust as you mentioned, and it is dark enough that you cannot see, then you are in a cave.

And if you find that, and you are on a gold line, contact the line committee. The cave instructors installing the gold lines take their job seriously in regards to safety. A death in the cave, even something as simple as a medical event, can get a cave closed for everyone.
 

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