Category — Stage Dive

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

A lot going on – keeping busy

The last weeks have been awesome, it started of with a basic Sidemount course, followed by a CCR experience, a multistage course, then Basic Cave DPV, an Intro to Cave course, taking some pictures with Matt and some guided CCR cave diving … I really like to do different things, so a schedule like this is just perfect for me.

First on the list was Tristan who lives and works here in Playa and felt it was time to expand his horizon and move into sidemount diving. First step was to work on a rig and after listing up his different options he decided to go with a basic webbing harness and a modified recreational bcd on top as buoyancy device. We used to first day for theory, talking about equipment, gas management, some history, benefits and dangers of sidemount diving among other things. The afternoon was spend with configuration and some time in the pool to fine tune the rig.


On the next day we went to Cenote Xtabay, to work on buoyancy, trim, fining techniques, equipment familiarity and zero visibility procedures. A very long day with hours in the water but leaving with a streamlined rig that started to be more and more an extension of Tristan’s body.
On the last day we went to Cenote Chac Mool to dive in low ceiling cave to show how easy and fast you can move in a sidemount configuration in passages that would really slow you down diving in backmount.

The very next day, I spent with Arthur who had just finished his cave course with Nando but wanted to try out CCR diving before going back to Poland. For his try out he chose the Classic Kiss . We met in the morning and I started with some basics on ccrs, different types and units, potential hazards and advantages over OC diving. Later we went to Ponderosa where he had the chance after some basic exercises to swim the unit in the open water and make his first bubble free experience underwater.


Right after that the finish invasion started with Lauri who came in from cold Helsinki to further his knowledge and experience in cave diving with a stage multistage course followed by a basic cave dpv course. A really perfect combination since it follows the principal of progressive penetration.
There are many different schools of thought coming from different point of views, environments, agencies and other ideas and so the first step always has to be to analyze and review them and see which one fits best ones believes. These also may change with time and from one environment to the next and so to be open minded and willing to try different things is the key in my opinion.
The main  topics for the two courses definitely should be different rules of gas management, streamlining of gear, team protocols, zero visibility training including pick up and switching, different failures and the response to these failures and then just train, train, train.
We definitely had a cool time and did some super nice long dives where one drill followed the next keeping us busy and alert. Lauri handled everything I was throwing at him from out of gas drills to zero viz having to pick up and switch to stages with his eyes closed while staying in contact with the team retrieving his scooter while lights out then towing and pushing fellow divers with dpv malfunctions and  all of that several thousand feet back in a cave. He mastered the techniques  necessary for long penetrations understanding the risk of these dives and accepting to start slow and never making too big steps. Now it is up to him to stay sharp and to adapt the skills learned in the Mexican caves to  the cold mine diving he is doing back home.

A couple of days later the finish invasion continued with Veli, Mia, Saara and Miksu that all came to do their intro to cave training with Matt and I. Although we had to fight with sickness and cancel sightseeing trips we fought our way through and at the end all four left as certified intro to cave divers.   I also had the chance to take Miksu and Saara on some guided dives afterward where they finally had the chance to try the learned outside the course environment. We went to places like Nohoch and Dos Ojos which are famous for their beautiful decorations.

Having some days off in between Matt and me took the opportunity to go and take some pictures  in Grand Cenote … here a little taste:


Finally I had the great pleasure to take Dr. Mel Clark on some guided ccr cave diving. Having been sick before I wasn´t quiet 100%  but to be around an energetic and fun person like her immediately made me feel better. She was packing her revo ccr and a camera and so we went for some longer dives taking what felt to me like 1000s of pictures. First day we were out at Cenote Pet Cemetery to dive both lines towards the blue abyss and a bit beyond. On the second dive we where joined by Michael another ccr diver with a Megalodon that made our team complete.
The day after we went to Mayan Blue to dive from B tunnel to E and F and finally back over towards A after the T. One of my absolute favorite dives!!!!
Definitely cool  to hang out with her and share experiences and discuss some different ideas, great time!

So that’s it, a short report on what I did the last weeks and maybe it also explains why I didn’t sit down in the evening to write about it, I was a bit exhausted =)

Thank you very much to all the divers that gave me the opportunity to show them a little bit of my world, it was a great to meet and dive with you. Hope to see you all back here soon!!!


January 18, 2010   No Comments