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Unsure of my next step for cave training...

Discussion in 'Technical Diving' started by Blackfrogfeet, Feb 26, 2021.

  1. Blackfrogfeet

    Blackfrogfeet Registered

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canada
    Alright, so about me...

    Pretty much all my training has been through the GUE curriculum (Tech 2, Cave 1, DPV1). I'm at the point now though where I am looking to transition both to Full Cave as well as move onto a CCR. The thing is I have very little interest in diving a JJ CCR in GUE config, so I will not be taking a CCR 1 + CCR Cave with GUE. Is there any point in taking Cave 2 with GUE and then redoing everything I've learned on a CCR with another agency?

    I'm feeling like I should become Full Cave on OC before transitioning to CCR Cave, but taking C2 would be a bit unnecessary as it is basically Full/Stage/Technical cave wrapped into 1 course. I'm sort of leaning towards just doing a quick 3-4 day Full Cave course just to get more experience, then transition to CCR later... I know people will say "tech diving is expensive, get used it", but money is a factor and I don't want to pay for redundant training.

    Is there even a need for me to become Full Cave on OC before taking CCR Cave training? I'm not interested in a zero to hero approach. I would get lots of hours in the ocean before taking overhead training and would not just do the minimum. I'm not living in cave country, so I won't be missing out on dives by waiting for cave training while I get hours on my unit.

    Just looks for opinions from people who have been there / done that.
  2. PfcAJ

    PfcAJ Contributor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: St Petersburg, Fl
    Why do you want to dive w ccr in a cave?

    you’re c1. Exhaust the c2 limits and then see if you need a rebreather to continue your goals.

    You might very well find that the juice isn’t worth the squeeze for those kinds of dives.

    For me, it was. I was doing 2-5 stage dives with some frequency and it made sense to transition to a rebreather. If you aren’t doing those dives and can see/do what you want on a set of doubles and a stage, enjoy that and save yourself the added risk, headache, and cost of the rebreather.
  3. VikingDives

    VikingDives Mostly Harmless ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: New Mexico
    I'm sitting here wondering why. Not knocking it, just wondering...
  4. Wibble

    Wibble Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: UK
    Seems there's two objectives: caving and CCR.

    You can't take CCR into an overhead without being pretty competent on it. Definitely not a 'cave' dive as opposed to cavern. CCR is about hours and ascents. To throw a number around: 100 hours would be a good amount of experience before you go back to caving.

    Your first CCR is about selecting the right unit for you. It's very personal and needs time for the selection process.

    I chose a Revo for my CCR odyssey. Things that were important to me was the two scrubbers, completely separate electronics (Nerd & Petrel), a sealed lung (in the box), a clear front, being able to mount 4 cylinders or 3 + big battery. Obviously your reasoning matters, so do lots of research.

    Once the box is chosen, then select your instructor. They're certified for specific units, some on many units.

    When the MOD1's done, you need practice. Lots of practice. Build up the dives, do lots of different dives and build down the depth. The really important thing is ascents and hanging around on deco. Sort out your bailouts, use different sizes and maybe sidemount them for streamlining. Do lots of ascents. Do full bailouts.

    The hours are important; your first 10 hours (OMG, it's hard, I've made a mistake... :)), the first 25 (getting easier), then 50 (feeling a lot more comfortable, but be aware of complacency creeping in!). Then 100 hours.

    In essence, it's a whole season.

    Then go back to caves.
    jale likes this.
  5. rjack321

    rjack321 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Port Orchard, Washington State
    Take GUE cave2, nothing else comes remotely close to this course. There is nothing in GUE Cave2 that you won't routinely use for your entire cave diving career.

    Restrictions? check
    Real touch contact vis? check
    Complex navigation? check
    Gas (re)calcs on the fly? check
    Gas calcs with stages? check
    Complex failures? check
    Survey? check

    Once you have 75-100+ full cave dives on OC - then decide if you want to take a CCR into a cave at all, and what kinds of training and experience you feel you're lacking to do that. You might also end up changing your unit or other attributes of your current unit to suit your goals once you are actually experienced enough to need a CCR in a cave.

    CCR cave is a comparatively new phenomenon, you can actually cave dive, on a CCR, without it. (minus a few sites in FL) There is nothing in CCR cave that is rocket science. There is TONs in Cave2 that in all likelihood won't be in a CCR cave class with another agency.

    I have done GUE Cave2 and a CCR cave cross-over with another agency (~9 years and 150 cave dives later). There was zero re-doing for me, everything I needed was already in Cave2. I took the cross-over because I was bored, needed a buddy, and wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything. It was fun, but GUE Cave2 was far and away better.
  6. Blackfrogfeet

    Blackfrogfeet Registered

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canada
    I see you're located pretty close to cave country so that probably skews your perspective a bit. I need to be clear that I am not interested in getting a CCR "just because". I live in a location where I can be shore diving in 100s of metres of water with only a 30 minute drive to the dive site. I am exhausting OC technical diving. This isn't a question of should I go CCR Cave or not. I am transitioning to a CCR no matter what because it makes sense for the majority of the dives I do, and because I will transition away from OC, I want to be capable of bringing my CCR into the overhead when I do those dives. That includes wrecks as well. There are also a small number of caves in my region, but they get deep quick and OC isn't the best option for them. I don't live in cave country. I'm not doing 2-3 hour dives in moderate ranges on OC. The question was what's the most logical way to transition to a CCR and be able to get into the overhead.
  7. rjack321

    rjack321 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Port Orchard, Washington State
    There is exactly one back mountable cave on Vancouver Island. I wouldn't take CCR cave to do that on your JJ. Take Cave2, learn all you can about cave diving on OC when the gas clock is ticking. If you want to dive Wet Dream on your JJ just go do it. There are plenty of divers around here who can help you with that without shortchanging yourself by taking some "meh" full cave class with another agency.

    If you really want to maximize your cave diving on Vancouver Island, the JJ is not the right unit.
  8. Blackfrogfeet

    Blackfrogfeet Registered

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canada
    Ok, this was the response I needed to hear. I'm always interested in opinions from people who have been trained through multiple agencies and have taken various pathways. Way too often I encounter GUE Kool aid drinkers and it gets hard to figure out whether they're speaking reality, or if they've been sucked in too deep.
    Wibble and rjack321 like this.
  9. jale

    jale Barangay Pasaway

    I ve also been through different agencies and even did GUE C1 and C2 but frankly even if GUE cherry-picks its intructors, it is always back to human relationship. My last course with GUE was crap as some TDI and IANTD or whatever I have been through before.
    If the instructor or you or the planets alignment is in a bad day, not much you can do.
    Don't stick to labels and go on opening your learning and take whatever fits you.
    And by the way, why should you not get a CCR just because you want it? How many people get stuff just because they need them?
    Lets be honest, you know the risks, you are the only one who can decide.
    DiveClimbRide and Blackfrogfeet like this.
  10. rddvet

    rddvet DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Florida
    Finish Cave 2 with GUE. I think you'll be disappointed finishing with other agencies. Alot of agencies don't even include stages in full cave (which is dumb). Start diving and then get very comfortable OC in caves. When ready, move to CCR if you wish. Depending on the unit you choose, you may be able to find a GUE instructor to train you on it (though not through GUE). I dive the fathom and one of the instructors on the unit is also a GUE fundies/cave (and I believe tech 1 and 2) instructor

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