africacaveexploration

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April 9, 2016   No Comments

CCR Cave Diving – Don’t believe the hearsay!

As an avid rebreather diver, and self-proclaimed cave geek, there is no better environment to combine both of my passions.

There are a lot of people who say that Mexico is not the place for CCR diving. They say it’s too shallow, too decorated, or even too small.  Well let me tell you right now, this is totally untrue!

As we all know, our number one skill when it comes to diving is “awareness”.  Add a touch of local knowledge to this skill, and a little planning.  You can have some of the best dives of your life, and you can totally use your machines to dive these beautiful caves.

When people tell me, it’s too shallow.  I always ask them to explain, and they tell me that diving in a 5m cave is too shallow for the rebreathers.  Well, if you have ever been to Nohoch Na Chich, or Dos Piso you will know that the average depth is 5/6m. With a low set point, and correct bail out planning, you can literally spend your entire scrubber floating around! You can take in the whole cave (in some caves) in one dive.  Doing this on open circuit, would take multiple days/dives.

When the “too small” comes up, I bring to their attention such caves as The Pit, Mayan Blue, Crystal and the list goes on.

Mexico, has an abundance of caves just PERFECT for our rebreathers. Just over this last week I’ve been “working” and spent many, many, MANY hours of guiding our customers on some bucket list dives.

One such dive springs to mind.  For anyone who has ever been to Dos Ojos cave system and seen the “Crocodile and Barbie” well this is the start of many potential EPIC dives.  The LSD section of the cave is as famous as the Dos Ojos system itself.

To even reach this jump is a multi-stage dive in itself.  It is about a 60 min swim or 25min trigger time on DPV. Once you pass the back to back arrows pointing towards Dos Ojos/the Pit,  the first jump after this you will find the LSD jump.

I first dived this line on my DPV user course in 2014, and I was hooked by the pure size and shape of the Cave.  It has the most spectacular rooms, colours and some breathtaking scenery.  Combine this with more jumps than I can count.  What do you have? Well you have the best dive of your life.

This passage (if you can call it a passage) is so big a plane could fit inside it at some points, it will blow your mind!

I’ve been down this jump line so many times OC, DPV with a ton of stages, and every time still not reaching the EOL (End of Line). I say to myself “next time I’ll do it” and never did!!!!

Then along came Henrik, long term guest, friend and CCR Diver. This was the perfect opportunity to use our machines for what they were intended for: cave diving and long run times!  We sat down, planned our bail out, planned our route. We even planned hydration and food breaks, as we knew it was going to be a long day.

We got to Dos Ojos very early and set up all our bail out tanks and the “mighty Meg, and Peg” as we called our units. After completing our in water checks, off we went.

We reached the jump in plenty of time, got into position, and connected line to line and ventured down the LSD passage!!!!

Let me just fast forward to the end of this story. The whole dive was awesome, it was every bit as good as I had dreamed and hoped for.  We reached the very end of line, well before it goes into sidemount passages.  We arrived to the T at the end of the main line in about 3 hours, maybe a little longer.  We celebrated with some high fives (for everyone who knows me, this has a significant meaning ha ha) and some hearty laughing into our loops.

We then started our long swim back, the cave looks different, however, the way home from the LSD section is just as amazing as the way in!

This is just one such dive of MANY that goes to show Mexican cave diving and CCR go hand in hand.  This dive is achievable on OC, however logistically we all know that CCR leads the way when it comes to gas logistics and LONG cave diving.

I will end this short story, and tell you. If you dive CCR and cave dive, then please combine them together and come out to Mexico. This is just one dive of so many I can talk about all day long!

I am happy to answer any questions you might have on this dive or any other, just email me at robprotecplaya@gmail.com

Some of your best dives, are just a click away!!!

March 16, 2016   2 Comments