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Cave training - GUE vs. TDI/IANTD (or other)

Discussion in 'Cave Diving' started by naick, Feb 4, 2019.

  1. Germie

    Germie Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Netherlands
    567
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    Cave training cannot be done in malta. Cavern can, but even for intro, the 'caves' are too small. Malta has a lot of caverns, caves called for recreational divers, but it are no real caves . In Billinghurstcave, there is a line, and a T, but you are mostly in daylightzone. The total length is too small to ever reach any turnpressure, the max length you dont see daylight is maybe 200m. It is extremely wide, you cannot see the walls on both sides at once. So yes it is nice, but not a cave to teach intro or c1 in. It is just a big big chamber at the end.
    In Mgarr ix ini are seacaves, yes in one you dont see daylight anymore, it goes up to air. But here it is quite narrow and to do any skill in the notdaylightzone the instructor cannot move around from backt to front or front to back and in a few minutes you are in open water again.
    I know there are cavern and cave courses teached, but then you are not prepared for real caves in my eyes. Cavern yes, intro and cave no. I know that even full cave is teached in Malta, but then for sure you are not prepared.
     
    leadduck and taimen like this.
  2. CptTightPants21

    CptTightPants21 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: NY/NJ
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    When just starting out, the best approach to ensure you are truly ready for cave training would be to take fundies and get a tech pass. After you get the tech pass you will know with absolute certainty two things

    1: That you are ready for cave training from any agency or instructor
    2. Whether or not GUE is something you want to continue with as you do Cave 1/2.

    In terms of class progression of Cave 1/2 vs a Intro/Apprentice/Full progression, it depends on your personal preference and situation. Cavern/Intro/Apprentice/Full are typically 2 days a piece and split into 4 day blocks of Cavern/intro and App/Full. Cave 1 is typically 5-6 days depending on agency and will progress a student slightly past the intro phase and closer to apprentice. Cave 2 is also typically 5-6 days and will get a student past full cave and into stage diving. Some full cave courses will incorporate stage diving, but it is not guaranteed and the shorter class time (4 days) leaves a good chance stage diving won't be addressed to the same extent it will be in a Cave 2 class.

    I did Cavern/Intro, a week long fun trip at intro level, and then my apprentice/full. I typically recommend the Cave 1/Cave 2 approach for the extra class time and the further progression after each class. I find the intro level standard of 1/6 to be antiquated, especially in Florida and it is usually the one standard that most students will break.
     
  3. Germie

    Germie Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Netherlands
    567
    428
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    For trimix, up to full trimix, courses or fun, with wrecks over 100m depth, Malta is really nice.

    The problem in diving is the mentality. I know good and nice gue divers, but also snobs. Same with other angencies.
    Personally i have never done a course in diving that you didnt allow you to do more after the course. Because 20 m was too shallow, i did aow. Because i wanted tech i did trimixcourses. I havent done itt, fundies, etc myself. I see now that some really could have benefit of such a course, but there are divers that dont need it. You have to look at the individual. And I am happy that there are agencies with this freedom. If i could had go from normoxic trimix to t2 with gue i maybe had done. When i wanted full trimix i have looked at tdi, utd and iantd, preferred ''dir' or teamdiving. I have looked from italy to egypt to malta and decided to go to malta. This was iantd . And the course was good.

    With cave i looked for a trip where cavern to full cave in 1-2 weeks was an option. I found this in Mexico, thailand and italy. Florida was not known by me then.
    I ended with a good tdi course. Only intro would have been too limited. So here already you see the individual thing.
    Some divers I say do intro, get experience, do full cave. Others can do full cave directly after intro. I see the same now when teaching. And then i advise what is best way in my eyes. Some do not agree and move to another instructor, others agree.

    But remember: if you do all levels with the same instructor, the opinion is you do this because others let you fail .
    If you do every course with another instructor, the opinion is: you do this because your last instructor advised you to slow down.
    You allways do wrong. :D
     
  4. wetb4igetinthewater

    wetb4igetinthewater Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle
    3,909
    2,267
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    Thanks for the info! You saved me a lot of trouble.
     
  5. Germie

    Germie Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Netherlands
    567
    428
    63
    If you want to do cave training in Europe, the Lot area in France is best. You also can do cave courses in Spain.
    Some instructors offer it in the Jura region, but there is no filling logistics, and also the weather can be a problem. The caves in Jura are shorter, and most are narrow. The courses I have seen in the Jura are taken by locals who can do it in weekends, drive home, work over the week and go back for another 2 days instruction.
    The minediver course can be done in Germany.
    Cavern can be done in Malta. Cavern is not offered a lot in France as there are not always caverns, or the dives are not worth to stay in the cavern. You see people in Europe do directly intro to cave, or move to full cave directly.
    Beautifull caverns you have in Malta, Mexico, Florida.
     
    wetb4igetinthewater likes this.
  6. naick

    naick Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Belgium
    50
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    I'll most likely want to do it in Mexico. Nice weather, good logistics, very beautiful caves. Other option would be Lot, France, which is just a few hours drive away.
     
  7. chrisch

    chrisch Solo Diver

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    As you are in Belgium have a look at my friend Patrick's site to see if any of these dates suit you. We trained with Pat and he is very convivial and easy to get along with. Depending on which part of Belgium you are in as to whether the language suits you (he does English well) Abyss plongee - STAGES TEK 2019
     
  8. johnkendall

    johnkendall Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: UK
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    Whilst I'd love to offer cave training in Malta, there aren't any suitable caves there. Plenty of little caverns, but no real cave. Believe me I've looked :)

    Thanks
    John
     
  9. wetb4igetinthewater

    wetb4igetinthewater Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle
    3,909
    2,267
    113
    You want to do your cave training in Mexico, but not in sidemount? The issue isn't just getting through small holes, but all the stalactites, twinsets will limit you*. Honestly, I'd suggest cave training with the likes of Steve Martin, Steve Bogaerts, Natalie Gibb, and others that people here have recommended. You just have a glut of awesome sidemount cave instructors down there. It seems to me be an easy decision.

    * I know a lot of twinset divers are likely to react to this, but I have a number of friends who are cave diver instructors in Mexico, and that is the consensus. Not looking to start bickering with anyone.
     
  10. Germie

    Germie Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Netherlands
    567
    428
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    You can really do a lot of cavediving in backmounts in Mexico. So limiting as newbe cavediver, it will not. If you only want to do intro to cave, there are no restrictions done.
    But of course sidemount is a nice tool. I dove both last november in Mexico.
     

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