The luck of finding the perfect dive buddy or dive team

Enjoying the sport you love doesn’t have a price, but doing it with the right buddy is priceless!!

I moved to Mexico 3 years ago and have been cave diving ever since. I did have some great dives before but not like here, every day can be a different cave. My house and the village I live in is on top of  the biggest water filled cave system in the planet, the closest entrance not farther than 5 minutes by car.

The Pit Cenote Mexico

But even having the best cave system running right under your bed doesn’t help if you have no way of getting to an entrance. A proper form of transportation is extremely important in our sport, due to the  amount and the weight of the gear and tanks. Once I got that sorted last year (Ford Explorer), I had the possibility to go diving by myself in side mount configuration whenever I wanted. Solo diving can be great fun but also gets boring pretty fast. I just need someone to share these moments of perfect happiness and sometimes the blood sweat and tears of exploration and who could be better than a good friend.

I write this article to say thanks to all the dive buddies that I had so far in the last couple of years. There is no greater pleasure than to dive in any condition and have perfect communication with someone just by looking into his/her eyes or to be able to recognize just from someones actions how he or she feels at that moment. I think that’s one of the best parts in this sport, an intense feeling of team spirit.

Another example here in Mexico is when you have to carry tanks through the jungle, getting eaten by mosquito’s while melting in the summer sun at 100% humidity, how nice is it to have someone to help and give energy when needed. Or to celebrate the advances in exploration or execute a perfect decompression dive and then cherish these moments with a great friend.
So to mention some: At the beginning of my cave diving life I started with a friend from the north of Spain, Xabi Mendiola, and we did many cool dives and learned a lot from each other. Then one day I had the luck to step into Protec and find the one that has been my main instructor ever since, the one that believed in me from the beginning and gave me the opportunity to not just be a tec diver, but to see tec diving as an art, Patrick Widmann. He then introduced me to one of his best friends, Tristan Termat, and day by day in the last year we became friends too and besides that a really great dive team.

Tristan has some characteristics that I value a lot, his really nice and happy attitude and that he lifts my spirit when I’m a little down. We also have more or less the same level of training, where in some parts he is stronger and in some other areas I am. So we really complement each other and have great communication and common goals in and out of the water.

In the last year we have done dives in very different conditions or using very different gear such as mixed gas diving in back and side mount configuration in The Pit, the Blue and the Black Abyss and the Kaan Lu’um lagoon (82m/269ft max depth), long range cave penetration in back and side mount with double stage and scooters as well as exploration dives with surveying and mapping or even just practicing skills in open water. I have to say at this point that those training days in open water are just great to learn and to test new procedures and different ways to fix possible problems.

The Dream Team

The Dream Team

Also in the Instructor level we started at the same time with the IANTD Advanced Nitrox instructor evaluation but now he has gone a little further and is an Intro to Cave Instructor while I’m still Cavern Instructor, but I will fix that situation soon =)I really hope that we both can reach higher Instructor levels in the future and teach high quality courses in a relaxed and fun environment.
Finally what counts for me is to have a nice day with friends, learn as much as possible, dive as intelligent and safe as I can and have fun while doing so.
So thanks to Xabi Mendiola, Miguel Lopez, Patrick Widmann, Tristan Termat, Kim Davidsson, Kelvin Davidson, Mauro Bordignon among others… hanging out and diving with you really makes my day.

DIVE SAFE AND IN GOOD COMPANY!
Alvaro

1 comment

1 tristan { 09.05.12 at 2:58 pm }

lets go for more dives man……

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