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Thread: Help in finding a cave course

  1. #1
    RBW Member bryanhnsn is an unknown quantity at this point bryanhnsn's Avatar
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    Help in finding a cave course

    Hello.
    It's about time for me to do a cave diver course, and I really am in the blue as to where. I live in Israel, and there are no "wet" caves here - so we have no cave diving, and no cave diving instructors (makes you wonder why...). In our tech diver community, we also have vary few certified cave divers.
    But we do have a few nice wrecks. And generally, I understand the difference between a wreck/cave pennetration. And I have never found a good opinion on weather or not cave training suits wreck divin. your opinions..?

    Anyway, my budget isn't very high. And still, I want the best Quallity training I can get. And of course I know what Cheap training means. If I could find a dive center I could at for a short period in exchange - I guess that would be perfect...

    What about DIR courses? do they have any bennefits? I don't really like their concept ("any other way - you're dead"), and at least the GUE fundementals does'nt teach anything I can't do - so I think I'll pass on them. Any reason not to?

    I think it is most likely I will do the course in the mediterranian sea or in europe. Going to the USA or mexico probably isn't going to happen. So far, the only reccomendation I have is for a guy nammed Tody in Sardinia. Any thoughts?

    Anyway, I have cheked out TDI and IANTD standards, a king of got a picture of wich courses I need to do. But how far in certification levels do you tthink is a reasonable goal at first, for someone who has never been in a cave?

    On the other hand, I am a CCR/OC Trimix diver, OC advanced trimix is planned for September, and I have +- 100 hours of rebreather dives on an Inspiraion. I have been working in the last few years a a diving instructor, currentley with a rating of Deco Procedures/Adv. Nitrox in TDI, with 3000 sport dives and a few hundred tech dives, I guess.

    Also, would you reccomend doing these coursen onn CCR or OC? would there be any rel difference as to what I am Certified or Qullified to do?

    So where do you think I should start from, and how far do you think I should go in a 1-2 week corse? and do you have any reccomandations for an English speaking Instructor?


    Thanks,
    Bryan

  2. #2
    Randy Thornton Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict's Avatar
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    Re: Help in finding a cave course

    Hi Bryan,

    Just a few observations about taking a CCR Cave Course -

    1. Most CCR Cave Courses are run as a complete full cave course, what is sometimes referred to as "Zero to Hero". Depending on which agency is being used, this may actually be a requirement. The current thinking is that with CCR, cave divers are much more likely to push the limits in a cave with regards to penetration distance and so several of the agencies feel that it is most appropriate to do the entire course at one setting in order to give the diver the necessary skills to cope with significant penetration, jumps, etc. If you feel as though you want to break up the course into multiple segments, ie. Cavern, Intro, etc. TDI has that option available.

    2. Location for courses - The majority of CCR cave courses are taught in one of 3 locations - Florida, Mexico or France. Of course, there are other options, but this is where the largest majority of them are taught. All 3 locations are well suited with an infrastructure to support instructors and their students, with probably Florida being the longest established.

    3. You might want to consider doing your training in an environment that includes multiple types of underwater cave environments, ie. high flow, silty, no flow, etc. etc. This will give you a wide range of experience which you can carry with you from location to location. Occasionally some cave diving students will find that they are under prepared for high flow caves when they have been trained in easier environments, and then end up having to take additional remedial training elsewhere to catch up.

    4. Pricing - Most cave instructors that I know have fairly standardized course pricing. I would HIGHLY suggest that you not choose your CCR Cave Instructor based on price. The difference in pricing between the different instructors will be minimal and at the end of the day, the instructor's price is just a part of the overall cost structure.

    5. How long does it take? - Provided the student comes to the course well prepared, a typical CCR Full Cave Course will run between 7-8 days. These are very long dawn till dusk type days, and you will go to bed each night exhausted but with a well deserved smile on your face! Of course, all legitimate CCR Cave Instructors will demand successful completion of all required skills during the course. If the student requires additional remedial work or practice, additional sessions will be scheduled at a later date.

    6. What about DIR? If you are referring to GUE, they currently do not have a CCR Cave Course, and in fact are just recently starting as an agency to embrace CCR diving. (Better late than never!) You will find that most CCR Cave Instructors will work extensively with you on gear configuration, trim, buoyancy, cave specific procedures, etc. You should come away from the course with very good fundamentals whether you are diving in overhead or open water.

    7. Which cave instructor? - I would absolutely pick an instructor that personally dives CCR in the cave and is qualified to specifically teach CCR Cave and not just an OC Cave Instructor that is willing to teach you on OC and then let you dive CCR in the cave later. You want to experience CCR Cave during the course, which has some very unique procedures and fundamentals. (Hope that makes sense!)

    If there are any other questions I can answer, fire away, or feel free to drop me a PM.

    Regards,
    Randy

    If there are any other specific questions about a CCR Cave Course

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    Re: Help in finding a cave course

    Quote Originally Posted by Mixaddict  View Original Post
    but with a well deserved smile on your face!
    Bull...... shit.......

    You go to bed with raw fingers, weeping silently, smelling of piss and stale drysuit funk.

  4. #4
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    Re: Help in finding a cave course

    Quote Originally Posted by Tienuts  View Original Post
    Bull...... shit.......

    You go to bed with raw fingers, weeping silently, smelling of piss and stale drysuit funk.
    If you hear a reference to "Mr. Sunshine," I think you can rule out Tony.
    Ken

    Quote Originally Posted by Dsix36  View Original Post
    Just remember that listening to an idiot such as myself may very well get your arse dead.

  5. #5
    Dive Addicts Michael Thornton will become famous soon enough Michael Thornton will become famous soon enough Michael Thornton will become famous soon enough Michael Thornton will become famous soon enough Michael Thornton's Avatar
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    Re: Help in finding a cave course

    Bryan,
    I think Randy covered most of your answers I just wanted to give my opinion on Cave divers vs Wreck Divers. I'm sure I will get people arguing with me on this but in my opinion (which just so happens to be right ) is that Cave Divers make good Wreck Divers and generally Wreck Divers need quite a bit of work to be good cave divers.

    The main reasoning is Cave Divers are anal about Trim and not silting up the bottom, a good cave diver is always aware of his surroundings so as not to disturb the cave conditions. He also streamlines his gear to avoid entanglements etc.

    Should Wreck Divers also do all of this? Yes but sometimes they get a bad rep of crawling along the bottom pillaging through debris with all sorts of hammers, reels and accessories hanging off to get caught.

    That being said both a great classes and after someone is Cave Trained I still believe learning the specifics of wreck diving is important since it imposes risks and situations that you may not find in a cave.

    I teach CCR and OC cave through IANTD and TDI, both courses are set up in a way that leaves a lot to the instructor so I agree with Randy that picking a good instructor is one of the most important things you can do.

    If you plan to do it on the Inspo you will need to find an instructor who is at least diver level qualified on the Inspo.


    Hope this helps. When are you looking to do the course? If you are interested I am probably setting one up in Florida in February. If you want to do it in France or somewhere else PM me and I can recommend some instructors.

  6. #6
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    Re: Help in finding a cave course

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thornton  View Original Post
    I think Randy covered most of your answers
    Do you really call him "Randy?"
    Ken

    Quote Originally Posted by Dsix36  View Original Post
    Just remember that listening to an idiot such as myself may very well get your arse dead.

  7. #7
    Randy Thornton Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict's Avatar
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    Re: Help in finding a cave course

    Quote Originally Posted by kwinter  View Original Post
    Do you really call him "Randy?"
    Not unless he wants to get slapped up the side of the head!

  8. #8
    Randy Thornton Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict's Avatar
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    Re: Help in finding a cave course

    Quote Originally Posted by Tienuts  View Original Post
    Bull...... shit.......

    You go to bed with raw fingers, weeping silently, smelling of piss and stale drysuit funk.
    My bad! You are absolutely correct Tony!

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    Re: Help in finding a cave course

    Quote Originally Posted by kwinter  View Original Post
    Do you really call him "Randy?"
    I've seen the Thornton Boys around Randy, and I can attest they both shudder violently and call him "Daddy Dearest" when he speaks to them...



    "No More Wire Hangers!!!!!!"




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  10. #10
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    Re: Help in finding a cave course

    Quote Originally Posted by Tienuts  View Original Post

    You go to bed with raw fingers, weeping silently, smelling of piss
    so no change there then :)

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