Cenote & Cave Diving
If you wish to go Cenote or cavern diving, plan to learn cave diving or are a trained cave diver visiting the Mexican caves you must have good buoyancy control and trim down as to second nature in order to conserve, to protect the fragile environment you come to visit and enjoy.
It falls upon the cave diving Instructor to train cave diver students to become safe cave divers and conservation oriented cave divers not only save for them to enter and venture safely through the marvels of mother nature, but safe for the cave to be visited as well.
There is a need for emergency drills and exercises during training where the student comes to deal with worst-case scenarios in a safe and controlled environment with a cave diving Instructor controlling the drills. Most of these drills are either out of breathing gas scenarios or sharing breathing gas scenarios with backup lights or no lights at all, or even in search for a lost team member or lost guide line in simulated zero viz conditions. While conducting these survival skills we need not to forget the fragile environment we are diving in and protect and conserve the caves. There are a number of good cave diving related articles on our Blog. Please have a look.
While humans have been living in caves for millennia we have developed a strong, sometimes subconscious bond with them. Caves have provided us humans with shelter while providing a safe heaven from the outside environment and has been made home for a long time.
When cave exploration evolved from dry caves to the exploration of water filled caves the first technique used was breath hold or apnea cave exploration. With the development of the Aqualung divers started to venture into the water filled caves and underwater cave exploration was born establishing huge explored cave systems particular here in Mexico with hundreds of miles of guideline installed.
For a large number of cave sytems these explorers have crafted and published cave maps that have are available at ProTec dive Centers in Playa and Tulum. These cave maps can be used by visiting cave divers for dive planning as they show flow direction, depth, floor to ceiling height, restrictions, bottom composition and much more. They are great tools for cave divers wishing to explore a particular cave system.
Once a diver reaches cave diver level training and passes the training program he or she is a certified cave diver ready to go about and explore the wonders of Mexican caves. To explore the Mexican caves safety it is a good idea to begin with a guide who knows these caves well, to have a good look around, perhaps to dive the top 10 or 20 hot spots.
During this time, in particular if this is the first time visit to Mexican caves and your training did not take place here, you will be made familiar with local laws and regulations as well as where the entrances are, how to get in and how to deal with the gate keepers.
Once you are comfortable and know the area and caves a bit there is nothing wrong with renting a vehicle and some tanks to take off on your own to explore the extensive Mexican cave systems. Just stay within your training envelope and if you wish to penetrate further seek out training in stage or DPV cave diving techniques.