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Well, all I can say is, I've never had 2 dives blown out and still been well chuffed with a few days diving.

I dived with Blue Water Scuba (Imaginative name, eh?) basically because a friend works for them. Nice bunch, and I'll be back diving with them when funds allow.

I also used 7 fathoms deep dive centre for the Tekkie fun, and credit to Marv for having basically set up a dive centre doing only what he wants to do. Serious diving!

So, basically, it's all about caves now. No more open water. I'm converted. We jumped in with lightning and thunder at the surface, at night, and went for a little pootle. Along we go, and then Adam (my mate working out there) points at a hole about a metre across. Reel tied on, and in we go. My god. Cave diving. The one thing I thought I'd never be able to do, let alone want to. We go in, it tightens a bit, then opens up to a metre and a half, completely horizontal all the way. Loads of other routes as we were swimming, but most on closer inspection were dead-ends. Got to about 40m penetration, and we were at a dead end. Ideal that, as we were down to 2 thirds gas, and we could turn around easily enough. We come out to see the entire landscape underwater being lit up every few seconds by huge flashes of lightning. It was one of the most beautiful things I've seen in some time.

Basically, the two other dives were going to be the Francis Kita, in 50m, and the Malakov, in about 40. Both my kind of dive, with the added joy of having trimix going on for the deeper of the two. Everything kitted up, and ready to go. Stages all sorted, twins at the ready, and I get up in the morning to the sounds of the wind howling through the shutters. Not good. Dive got called. Same thing on the Malakov, except without all the preparation and details.

All in all, a good bit of diving, at mates rates, and one of the best dives ever. The guys cater for beginners and everything else, and they do pretty much all their diving from the shore.

So, the point of the story is basically even if you're a complete novice, looking at guys in big twinsets, rummaging around in caves and wrecks and things, give it a couple of years, and you'll be one of them. You never think you will, but you will. I never thought I'd go in a tight cave, especially not at night, but basically there I was. And loving it.

Just to add to the feeling, I read Sheck Exley's book this week too. Great read, and helps you understand a little bit more of what happened in the early days of cave diving, and some of why we do what we do today.
 

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Hi Digger, what gear did you have in the cave, redundancy, long hose, lights etc?-----no potential carping here, just interested.

Cheers, Malcolm.
 

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Digger, you've just made me feel very ill.  Seriously.  A trip report that holds absolutely no appeal to me *at all*.  

Scared the living daylights out of me.  i can categorically say that no matter how long I dive for I will not be shoving myself into a metre wide dead end tunnel..........*shivers*
 

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OK, on the gear front, we were diving long hoses, single tank (I know, but it was only a little way in, and we stuck to rule of thirds religiously) with 2 torches (again, it was only a little swim, and 3 would have been the order of the day for more serious stuff). We had planned to go back later in the week, and do some further penetration down another route we found. I would have been straight on the twins for that, as well as the 3 torch malarkey.

I must stress that all the kit was extremely familiar to both of us, we dive together quite a bit, and use very similar setups, including the same regs and stuff like. He uses an S-Tek harness for singles whereas I prefer the Buddy harness keeping my chest clearer, but other than that we were both very comfortable with each other, and could easily have called the dive at any time. That's why I like diving with mates. You know there's no cr*p after if you're not completely happy with a dive.

Another dive I should mention is Tunnel Vision, a tunnel about 20m long, really big space you could swim 3 across in, which I reckon is about the best introduction to cavern diving you could ask for. You're in the light zone almost all the way through, there's only 2 possible routes, both of which are the same length, and come out at the same place, and there's loads of fish and stuff in there, including a little false floor which you could have a great laugh hiding in and waiting for a group to come along! Only space for one in there, though, and only goes in about 5 or 6 feet. You do need a torch for it, but basically an easy long swim-through.
 

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I am with you Lou

If you want to see a grown man cry, just tell me that the keys to the brand new Ferrari are at the end of the small underwater cave and all I have to do is go get them for the car to be my own.


Still the lightning sounds great

ATB

Mark Chase
 
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Hi Digger, I really wasn't trying to have a veiled 'go'
My wife and I went to Minorca around 1999 to do the cavern tdi course, after a spectacular cavern type dive in Crete the previous year. It was the best diving I had done at the time and a real come-on for the cave course the following year-----that's when twins etc and the gear learning curve suddenly got steep
 


Don't stop now

Cheers, Malcolm.
 

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Digger,

Don't know if you're interested, or if anyone else might be...I was going to the TDI Cavern course with Martyn Farr in Wales back in June but he did his back in lugging his twin set (and the rest) up some cliff in Ireland and called the course.

It looks like I'll be doing it next year April-June sometime...no fixed dates yet...but let me know if anyone is interested in joining me...or if you're really keen and want to do it before then see Mr Farr's website....

www.farrworld.co.uk

Cheers for now..

Graham
 

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I'm interested. Date dependant, and price will be an issue to be considered, but if it fits, I'll come. Well up for it. I don't know if he caves in Wales are really in the same league as the caves in Menorca. Being able to light up the passageway completely with a UK400 makes it a bit easy. I get the feeling Welsh caves might be a little colder, and a little more challenging. None the less, I'm up for it.

Who did you do the cavern course with out there Malcolm? I know of a few places that could have done it, but if you're that end of the island it must have been with Marv or possibly someone he trained.

Digs.
 

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We did the cavern course in Minorca through Crystal Seas Scuba. At the time, they did not have a qualified overhead environment instructor on site.
They contacted Deepblue, then of Congleton, now of Plymouth-----they contacted Martin Robson who now operates as Eau2/Eau Zone on the South coast, and he did the course.
Martin Robson has a lot of cave diving experience, and is a real enthusiast.
Cave diving courses----you have 2 routes to follow.
Either the UK caving orientated side of cave diving, for which I understand Martyn Farr is the best in the business------or the largely French/Florida/Mexico style diving orientated side of cave diving.
I only know about the foreign stuff, perhaps there are others here who could give proper advise on the UK scene.
The CDG website has great info.

If you have in mind Minorca type vis, you would perhaps be better doing courses abroard. Certainly, some Florida caves have gin clear vis, and I understand Mexico can be better!
Against this, there is of course the famous English attitude we all love, if you can dive in crap vis, cave or open water, you can dive anywhere :)

Cheers, Malcolm.
 

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Digger,

Date is flexible...I mean we have plenty of time to plan it and we can wait until Spring but we could start planning some provisional dates now if you want to.

Price...well, I think it's around the 300 notes mark, but I'll double check over the weeekend and PM you.....loads of time for us to save our pocket money.

I'll mail the info I got from Martyn Farr regarding cost and minimum equipment needed.

There are some cracking B&Bs and I'll send you all that stuff too.

Cheers for now.

Graham
 
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