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Finally going full cave

Discussion in 'Technical Diving' started by Beau640, Jun 19, 2018.

  1. PfcAJ

    PfcAJ Contributor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: St Petersburg, Fl
    7,944
    7,344
    The maple leaf and that whole junction area with the bone room and mainline is a cool spot.
     
    Caveeagle and tbone1004 like this.
  2. Trace Malinowski

    Trace Malinowski Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Alexandria Bay, NY
    2,325
    2,526
    Then, there was the right post failure in Peacock when doing lost line just as you were tying into a rock, followed by the left post failure when you found the line. Your hand went to shut down the left post and your brain said, "Wait a minute! I need to breathe from one of these posts!"

    My favorite part of your course was when you found your buddy during the lost buddy drill, but he was unconscious.
     
    tbone1004 likes this.
  3. Trace Malinowski

    Trace Malinowski Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Alexandria Bay, NY
    2,325
    2,526
    Tips for cave training with me.

    1. Make sure buoyancy and trim are solid.
    2. Have fun.
    3. Never violate your gas rule.
    4. The better you perform, the more I will challenge you.
    5. We balance working dives with fun dives. After a dive where we put in a lot of skill work, we do a dive that is more like just diving for fun to see what we learn from it.
    6. We use a building block approach such as performing Basic 5 skills in tandem, facing into the flow at the gate in the Ballroom, to get comfy before entering the flow in the Devil's Ear.
    7. After the cavern level, failures will just happen. For example, a lost line drill will occur because I got you to lose the line rather than set it up by the numbers.
    8. Be prepared to think outside the box to survive. Example, I got one of my students to make a trust me dive and I got us "lost." He figured out the path of travel where a line wasn't visible because he noticed paint scrapes on the ceiling from bottles.
    9. Hand signals for "Follow me just a little bit," are educational.
    10. Realize that the cave is bigger than both of us and that I am not infallible. Be responsible for team safety including making sure that I have analyzed my gas and have the proper safety equipment even if I'm not "part of the team." The cave doesn't know that.
    11. When you suck just remember that's why we are working hard.
    12. When you don't suck remember the cave appreciates it. If you treat the cave badly it will retaliate.
    13. The cave doesn't belong to you and you shouldn't touch it. However, if you must touch it, think of the cave as if she is somebody else's wife, but your mistress. Touch her all you want, but don't leave any marks.
    14. I will teach you how we really dive various caves.
    15. I will teach you what you will do for safety, factoring in human laziness, rather than construct a perfect world that no one does outside of class.
    16. Have fun.
    17. Seriously, have fun.
    18. I meant it. Have Fun!
    19. HAVE FUN!!!
    20. Don't worry about passing class. Just relax and take one dive at a time.
     
    stuartv, wKkaY, Nick Steele and 5 others like this.
  4. Lobzilla

    Lobzilla Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: North Carolina, Maryland
    673
    167
    Since Trace was so polite not to mention why the lost and unconscious diver drill was so memorable, I'll tell the story.

    We had entered the catacombs near the ear, continuing our own line, and just as we were coming out the other end, Trace signaled me to stop and blindfolded me. After he came back it was: "Buddy - Where"? As I start searching, still reeling out, I realize where we are and even see the main line in the distance.

    My buddy was hidden behind a boulder somewhere right of the catacomb exit and he was 'unconscious'. After tying my reel to a rock, I get on top of him, holding the regulator in his mouth with my right, manipulating his buoyancy with my left, and start retreating along our own line. I assumed that taking the easy way out, going to the mainline, tying my reel in there, and exiting would have led to questions like: "How could you be sure what that line was and where it went?"

    For Trace, this was very amusing. For me it was very hard work, not ever having enough hands or enough space in the catacombs. And for my buddy it was a very agonizing ride of either being banged into rocks or being showed forward through gravel. After the debrief I swore to myself to never overthink an exercise again. Instead of asking "What is the most effort the instructor could expect from this exercise?" I will ask "What would he do in my fins?".

    Always apply the KISS principle.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
    lv2dive likes this.
  5. lv2dive

    lv2dive Formerly known as KatePNAtl

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Lake City, FL
    2,795
    2,085
    That is a great story. It’s also an example of Stop, think, act... what would you do in a real unconscious diver scenario, when you want to get your buddy out ASAP? And I’m not dinging Lobzilla here, my point is that Trace does a good job of setting up scenarios that make you think.

    I remember your class C (I was on deco for a couple of Lobzilla’s class dives), I’m really glad to hear you decided not to hang up your cave diving fins :).

     
  6. lv2dive

    lv2dive Formerly known as KatePNAtl

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Lake City, FL
    2,795
    2,085
    My nuggets of advice that I give all cave students diving in Ginnie: when you are in the Gallery, get out of the flow by getting as high as you possibly can. When you think you are as high as it gets, get higher. Then, get even higher. After a few more dives, you’ll realize how much higher in the cave you can go.
     
    joshk likes this.
  7. Lobzilla

    Lobzilla Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: North Carolina, Maryland
    673
    167
    C'mon K, don't be a fun spoiler here. Let them struggle along the line and have to turn just past the lips for a few times.

    You are living proof of where sheer determination and passion can get you.

    (K and I took the first stab at Fundies together and when I first got cave dander on my tanks in the Ear, she was hanging in the deco hole when we came in and was still there when we had to come back out.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
  8. rjack321

    rjack321 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Port Orchard, Washington State
    11,152
    5,889
    Good rule of thumb (not just the gallery but in many many other caves) is to follow the ceiling with your eyes, not the floor. If you are actively looking up you will also see the rest of the cave in the process. If you look down you end up just seeing the floor - actively look up and let peripheral vision be your friend.
     
    tbone1004 likes this.
  9. Beau640

    Beau640 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Michigan
    401
    215
    so many good tips in here! Can't wait to have 10 days of nothing to worry about except diving.
     
    JBFG likes this.

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