Category — DPV

ProTec’s shop remodelled – An exciting start to 2011

First up I want to announce very happily that we have done some remodelling to the front of the ProTec shop. So far we have had only positive feedback and this is only the beginning, stay tuned for more changes and always some pics to check out. We are very motivated going into this new year with exciting projects on the calendar and some big news soon to be announced.


We also took the time to review our courses and schedules updating and changing them as we see dive training not as a static,  but an ever evolving and growing thing. We are very lucky to have a team of instructors and friends that are constantly trying out new equipment, techniques and procedure and we get to have interesting discussions about the way we do things. Of course not to forget all of the courses and students we get to teach day in day out, from all around the world that constantly bring new ideas that inspire us. When ever they struggle with a skill or procedure they force us to rethink the way we do it or the way we teach it and therefore help us to become better in what we do. There is no substitute for experience and this is certainly true as well for teaching!

Joram practicing lost line drill in Cenote Chac Mool

As for me I could not have been any luckier, after starting the year with a sick leave I got to teach some of my favorite courses!!!

It started of with Welmoed, a cave Instructor from Holland who came in to get some formal training on stage diving and scootering. As she had plenty of previous experience we could go right through to Stage-Multistage and Advanced DPV Cave Diver.

9 Days full of action and I loved every minute of it =)))))) Definite highlights for me were the 160min double stage dive in Cenote Outland, passing the Black Hole with all of its Skeletons, the 210min double stage, double scooter dive from Nohoch main entrance to the Blue Abyss and finally a 180min double stage, double scooter dive from Dos Palmas to the LSD section. Super awesome days that were made perfect by a comment from Welmoed:” This was the BEST dive of my LIFE!” Nothing sounds better in the ears of a diving Instructor!

Ready for a multi stage multi DPV cave dive!

After that Phillip from the Dominican Republic who runs Aquavista Films LLC came back for some more training in sidemount diving. Having done already very challenging exploration cave dives in his home he was looking to refine his techniques and get a set of critical eyes help him to become an overall better diver while showing him a couple of tips and tricks to make his life easier.
We started with some multistage training in sidemount configuration where we were joined as well by Kim my very good friend and exploration partner down from Tulum. To say the least we had a blast and did some really wicked dives looking at all the different aspects and gas rules that make stage diving in sidemount such an interesting subject.
After that we went on to do the advanced sidemount course as Phillip had already plenty of experience diving sidemount!
We started off with a morning of theory followed by 3 hours of intense training in confined water…and confined in was =)

Followed by two days of crawling through some of the smallest places the Riviera Maya has to offer, while dealing with one drill after the other. On the smile on Phillips face after every single dive I could clearly see that he had a great time…in his words it was:”EPIC”

Now I am off to be student myself again, doing a crossover to the JJ CCR and then I get to teach a CCR Cave crossover followed by yet another advanced sidemount course…am super STOKED!!!

Have a great 2011 everyone, filled with success, family, friends, health and plenty of awesome moments under water! Hope you find the time to come down here for some out of this world cave diving!

January 29, 2011   1 Comment

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

August 10, 2010   2 Comments