What is happening? – Some news from Mexico

Just before I went on vacation I taught a cave course with Mark from England who had recently moved to Playa del Carmen in his armoured car and Meril a French pilot extraordinaire. In the last days we also had the pleasure to be joined by Anneleen who had done her training a couple of months earlier and now came in to practice a little.

The first days we had Etienne with us who is assisting towards becoming a Cavern Instructor and Mauro who did his last assistance before his Intro to Cave Instructor evaluation which he passed later with flying colours … Congratulations again.

As always we started of with a bunch of training in the open water to get used to the equipment, the configuration and the local environment. Once they felt comfortable it was time to start with the cave related training which meant a bunch of zero visibility exercises first on land and then underwater to prepare them as good as possible for running through those exercises later in the cave.

Both of them did great and it was amazing to see their progress from day to day. It really always impresses me how steep the learning curve is in the first couple of days. I think the key to success is to introduce new skills and new information always step by step and let the student master the one before moving on to the next. I compare cave diving to a juggling act while riding a mono cycle. The main idea is first to learn how to juggle lets say two balls, then three, then more. After that learn how to drive a mono bicycle and then combine the two. Some people maybe will need first to learn how to juggle on a normal bike as a step in between and so forth.

In any case we had great fun and always a good spirit even if the days were long and the weather horrible.

At the end we did some really great dives and even as a team of three they rocked through multiple out of gas scenarios combined with zero visibility, restrictions and anything else a cave dive could possibly through at you!

After that I took some time off first to go exploring down in Tulum with Kim and after that was off to Austria to meet my baby nephew Lorenz for the first time. I spent three wonderful weeks with my family far away from the jungle and dark water filled holes. Of course being a true cave diving addict I had to at least spent an hour a day on you tube checking out some cave diving videos =)

Back in Mexico I started right off with Ivan who did his technical cave diver training with me some time back and this time came down for some multi staging and a basic DPV course. Since my schedule is still not that busy he decided also to always take some time off in between which worked great for me as it gives me the time to go down to Tulum and explore some more.

Since some time now I really have the great pleasure to be in a project with Kim a cave diving instructor who lives down in Tulum.

Kim found what he first thought was a virgin cenote in an area he was long interested in. Being super happy about the discovery he decided to call the cenote Lycka which is Swedish and means happiness. While freediving  it he found that there was already a guide line in the entrance from a previous exploration team. He enquired with Jim Coke at the QRSS and no data was reported from any team about any cave in that area.

We then decided to make a joint effort of resurveying and retrieving the data and also while doing that, to look for further possible exploration. Now after we connected other Cenotes (one of them named Lorenz after my nephew) it already turned into Sistema Lycka =)
So far we make great progress and I am enjoying the time a lot. The cave is really very different with unique characteristics and colours. So I am sure not to get bored on my days off, thanks to Kim!!!

I make sure to keep you posted on the progress.

Happy diving


1 Ross { 08.12.10 at 4:19 pm }

Good for you guys! Glad you are having fun – tell Kim we say “Hi!”. How is you sidemount system coming along?

2 Patrick { 08.16.10 at 5:06 pm }

Hey Ross,

Yes we have fun LOTS hahahaha!!
We should have the system in the shop by the end of the year, fingers crossed!


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