Most training organizations use the phrase Basic Cave Diver to refer to the 2nd step of training as an advanced level of Cavern Diver training.
It is possible to complete this training stage with one tank equipped with a dual output valve such as a Y or H valve or even two separate tanks.
Specific organizations will permit skilled rebreather divers to use accepted rebreather devices equipped with bailout gas.
During this level, the limitations imposed by each training provider are up to them. However, cave divers who use only one tank can usually obtain permanent certification.
Divers who undergo training with two tanks simultaneously can obtain a certification valid for 12 or 18 months from the issue date.
CCR divers who have reached this stage of training are not usually issued with a certification card but are recorded as a transitional phase of their education.
Divers are always motivated to improve their knowledge, regardless of the situation.
Most experts argue that although trainees are allowed to learn the basics of cave diving when they do not go on to receive additional education as cave divers, they put themselves in danger in the overhead environment.
So it is highly recommended that each participant complete all available programs. At this point in the program, many basic abilities covered at the underground level were further developed and refined.
Cave diving at ground level involves keeping a distance from the central cave passage and limiting penetration in one direction.
The fields of geology, hydrology, conservation, methods, tactics, problem-solving, and emergency preparedness are given more significant consideration and attention.
Particular attention is paid to swimming technique, buoyancy, and trim, emphasizing minimizing sedimentation, especially when performing multiple tasks or in times of urgency.
Scopes conducted outside the cave often take two days to complete after taking lessons in the cavern-level class.
Instructors are also constantly trying to expose their students to more complex conditions that present them with new problems, such as sediment, low and high flow, tides, or formations.
Training companies often advise students to get professional scuba training and Nitrox certification if they haven’t already.
The following restrictions have been placed to determine the safest range for novice and introductory cave divers to practice and gain more experience.
- Divers can go to a maximum depth of 100 ft or 30 meters.
- Starting visibility of at least 30 feet or 9 meters
- There is to be no decompression at any time.
- No restrictions require a dive unit to swim in a single file formation.
- Penetration lengths are restricted to 1/3 of a single tank, 1/6 of a set of doubles, or around 30 cubic ft of air.
- Single tanks must have a capacity of at least 70 cubic feet (2000 liters) and a minimum initial pressure of at least 2000 pounds per square inch (140 bars). An initial pressure of at least 1800 psi (or 120 bar) is recommended for doubles.
- There is no complicated navigation, including traverses, circuits, or explorations. There should be no leaps or gaps; every penetration must occur on the primary guideline.
- There are strict prohibitions against diver propulsion vehicles and various task-loading equipment.
Some of the Equipment Needed for Basic Cave Diver Training
The student participating in the Introductory or Basic Cave Diving course will be provided with the essential items:
- Mask plus fins. The use of taped straps as well as spring straps are recommended for fins, and robust neoprene mask straps are recommended over the use of silicone/rubber straps.
- Tank designs should have a minimum carrying capacity of 70 cubic feet (2000 liters) and a minimum initial pressure of at least 2000 pounds per square inch (140 bars). It is required that a single tank arrangement be fitted using a dual valve outlet if the trainee opts to use a single tank.
- Buoyancy equipment, like wings or even a BCD suitable for the flotation of the specified tanks, is required, with back-mounted wings becoming the recommended choice.
- Certain agencies require trainees who plan on wearing wetsuits to use redundant wings.
- The appropriate attachments include a tank plate with the harness, a BCD, and an integrated pack.
- Two high-performance, first-stage regulators with a total of 2 2nd stages, one of which is connected to a lengthy hose at least 7 ft or 2 meters long.
- One submersible pressure gauge and power inflation hose, and, if necessary, a drysuit inflation hose must be included in the regulators. Yoke attachments are strongly discouraged in favor of DIN-type connectors.
- A single primary diving light is sufficient for the specified dive time. Due to the difficulty of utilizing these lights with reels and the vast storage space needed when strapped to the diver, pistol/lantern grip lights aren’t advised.
- Two backup battery-powered diving lights with a burn period longer than the specified dive times.
- The student will need 30 meters or, at minimum, 100 ft of double-braided safety line on a safety reel/spool. Several organizations advise a backup spool.
- Training will need a dive computer or a feasible timing device with a depth gauge, slate, pencil, and submersible dive tables. In most cases, the use of console gauges is strongly discouraged.
- The backup computer/bottom timer should have such a depth gauge plus backup tables.
- 1 or 2 two relatively small knives or cutting equipment to control entanglement are installed on the harness.
- Wetsuit or drysuit that is adequate for the length of the scheduled dives, preferably with a hood for further impact, safety, and warmth.
- Every team must have at least one primary diving reel featuring a double-braided line at least 350 ft or 110 meters long.
- Depending on the area preference, there should be at least three directional line arrows plus three non-directional markers, like cookies or clothes pins.
- A backup mask that is acceptable (optional)
The Cavern level, in addition to the Intro or Basic level, is frequently combined into 3-4 days sessions by most instructors.
Divers who intend to resume their training immediately typically take a short break following this lesson to engage in more activity and recovery.
Before continuing to the Apprentice or Full Cave level, most divers opt first to get some competence in the activity.
In this scenario, students need to ensure they do not exceed the cave’s linear penetration restrictions and utilize no more than 1/6 of the capacity in the doubles before turning the dive.
How To Choose Your Cave Diving Instructor
It would help if you chose the right cave diving instructor for you.
To get started, they need to be compatible with how you approach scuba diving. They have to dive into the cave continuously beside the instructional activities.
Instructors need to be insured and need professional-level costs commensurate with their commitment to the skills they are training.
You can talk with your instructor about their diving history and achievements in other areas besides training.
You are committed to an agreement to continue your education in primary life care.
Find out what equipment your trainer uses as they explore the caves.
Which mode of scuba diving do they most often use—back mount, side mount, and maybe rebreather? It is very beneficial for your training to attend classes offered by instructors that use equipment comparable to yours, especially when starting.
Having someone to look up to while navigating the maze might be helpful.