By Laura Ginn
What is Cave Diving?
Cave diving, as its name suggests is a form of scuba diving that takes place in caves. Although it may seem like a scary sport to take part in, when done safely the experience is out of this world. There are numerous caves throughout the world, and every one is different. Taking part in the sport allows divers to explore areas that many people have and will never see in their lifetimes. It is a truly exhilarating experience, and one that once tried is impossible not to want to do again and again.
Due to the higher level of risk associated with cave diving, when compared to other forms of recreational diving it is advised to do a training course in this specification. Many companies will not even allow you to go on a cave dive with them unless you are specifically trained in this area. Companies like PADI and SSI both offer speciality courses in this area, as do a number of specific cave diving schools. A quick search on the internet will help you find these.
Cave diving training typically consists of learning the safety rules, learning how to properly handle the specialised tools needed, and the basics of the sport. After learning the rules, divers are then taken on four or five dives with a cave diving professional and are only passed if they meet the training guidelines to a satisfactory level. Due to the risk associated in this sport it is important to listen to everything that is taught and follow guidelines exactly.
A Different Perspective
Ever since recreational diving became a popular sport, cave diving has also been increasing in popularity. The clear visibility experienced in many underwater caves is truly spectacular, as is the types of marine life that shelter there. Exploring unspoiled, natural environments is one of the main reasons why many people choose to try this type of diving, and it has been said that this is one of the most beautiful types of dive that a scuba diver can experience.
Choosing a Dive School
When on holiday it is important to choose a dive school who you feel comfortable with, instead of just focussing on costs. It should be a top priority to check the qualifications of the people who you will be diving with to ensure your safety should anything go wrong. PADI and SSI schools are also easily discoverable by means of the internet, and knowing that a school is sponsored by one of these companies should give you a lot of reassurance.
Where to Cave Dive and When
There are cave diving spots throughout the world with some of the most popular being around the coasts of Mexico and Florida. The majority of recreational cave diving and training is done in North America, so this is a good place to start. Scuba diving is a pretty much, year round activity although avoiding diving during the rainy season is usually a good idea due to the poor visibility levels that often accompany rain. Strong currents are also a possibility during rainy seasons so unless you are an experienced drift diver, it is best to fully explore the area you plan to dive, and its seasons before booking a dive.
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- A Beginner’s Guide to Scuba Diving Equipment – Everything You’ll Need For Your First Dive (nauticalrecreation.com)