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Cavern Course - November 9th-11th

Discussion in 'Trips and Marketplace... Cave Diving' started by kensuf, Sep 21, 2018.

  1. kensuf

    kensuf Cave Instructor

    I have two spots open in a cavern course that will run from November 9th through the 11th in High Springs.

    Do you dive in the springs of North Florida regularly and want to see what's around the corner? Are you looking to stretch your skills as a diver? The Cavern Diver Course is a safety course designed to introduce students to the techniques and skills needed to safely enjoy the natural beauty of the caverns in North Florida. The Cavern Diver course allows graduates to explore the areas within the daylight zone by training you with the proper planning, procedures, and techniques to dive in caverns safely.

    This is not a cave diving course!

    I need to stress this point – while this course is the foundation for cave training and is a good base to begin technical training, it is NOT a cave diving course.

    What makes Cavern Diving different from Cave Diving? Cavern diving is within the daylight zone, no more than 200’ from the surface, and can be safely conducted using regular recreational gear with a few minor modifications.

    If you have ever done a dive in Blue Grotto or the Ginnie Springs Ballroom, you have already done a cavern dive. However, this course will teach you the fundamentals of how to dive these locations safely.

    This course serves three purposes:

    1. It teaches the student how to dive within the overhead environment in the daylight zone and other limitations of cavern diving.

    2. It teaches the student about the risks and hazards of cave diving without the proper gear or training.

    3. It is the first step in the training for cave diving.

    What’s in it for you?

    You will learn buoyancy, trim, and propulsion techniques that will make you a better diver.

    You will gain knowledge that helps you to appreciate our natural environment.

    You will learn techniques to manage stress and anxiety, making you a more comfortable and confident diver.

    Course prerequisites
    (these requirements must be met prior to commencement of training):

    Minimum age 18, 15 with parental consent
    Open Water Scuba Diver certification
    Own your own basic kit (BCD, Regulator, Wetsuit, Mask, Fins)

    Recommended pre-reqs:

    Advanced Adventure Diver (or equivalent)
    25 logged dives
    Nitrox diver

    Course schedule:

    Lecture and Equipment Workshop on Friday from 12:30-6PM.
    Field work and dives all day Saturday and Sunday.

    Course fee $400. More information can be found at http://www.divegainesville.org/wp-content/uploads/Cavern_Diver.pdf

    If earned, certification will be through the NSS-CDS.
  2. rddvet

    rddvet DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Florida
    I like that this is a cavern class only, not cavern/intro. My instructor made us do cavern by itself and gave us a minimum number of cavern dives before moving us up(cave 1). I think it was a major factor in my skills as a diver now. I see a lot of people get whipped through cavern and intro together, get the cave bug and rush to the next course. In reality many of those people should spend time mastering the new skills they learned.
  3. SJT1961

    SJT1961 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Tampa, FL
    Completed the Cavern course with Ken Sallot a couple of weeks ago. Just wanted to post some feedback.

    Great course! Ken is extremely knowledgeable and teaches in a relaxed, non-threatening way. I learned a great deal and also had fun. He doesn't haze you, but does have high standards and uses the opportunity after every dive to debrief and teach after first hearing your perceptions of what went well and what didn't. Ken expects his students to have a mature attitude and be able to self-analyze and problem solve.

    Day 1 we did 5-6 hours of didactic lectures and gear review. Ken is extremely thorough and covers everything clearly. He gives great examples (and diagrams) from real-life situations to help one understand his points. He makes sure you grasp the points before moving on. Safety and conservation are highly promoted.Very organized.

    Day 2 was 1.5 hours of land drills covering basic cavern stuff (running a reel, line markers, etc) but also more: lost buddy, lost line, and a timed-test to show us how much longer it would take to navigate to exit with no viz. This was followed by 3 dives in Ginnie Springs. We covered fin techniques, following a line blind, buoyancy control with eyes closed, primary light failure, running the reel, gas management, START drill, etc.

    Day 3 was 2 dives at Peacock springs (Lower and Upper Orange Grove). More involved reel running, air-sharing exit eyes closed.

    Would highly recommend Ken to anyone who wants to learn cavern/cave. I will be back for Intro to Cave after I dive a bit at the cavern level and dial in buoyancy, trim, and propulsion.
    northernone and The Chairman like this.
  4. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    I've only dove with Ken once, but he's always impressed me as an excellent communicator and very laid back. I'm glad you enjoyed his class and recommend him so highly! Good job completing it and good job to @kensuf for being a great instructor.
  5. rddvet

    rddvet DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Florida
    That's exactly why I stated earlier I like that it's cavern only. Too many people put cavern/Intro together and many students don't have the basics down before they start heading into a cave. By limiting yourself to the cavern for a little while, you'll really build the basics skills. Let's be honest, after a short dive you see the majority of most caverns. I personally found that that really pushed my wife and I to take a fun tour of the cavern then spend more time on the dive working on skills. I think that having Intro right off the bat allows people to explore and not get "bored", so spending extra time on skills doesn't happen. Though this is all just my opinion.

    Good write up, and as usual Ken seems to be one of the go-to instructors in the area.

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