Cave Diving Progression

First cave dive with my Camera


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Yesterday I ventured just outside of the cavern zone for the first time with my Camera. We have been diving these selected intro cave lines repetitively to start building up to filming that way. This has the benefit of confirming the layout of the cave in my own mind, allowing a lot of time to choose shots and areas I know I want to film, note down the times I reach those at and plan the filming dives accordingly. On the first dive with no camera, we laid the line and calculated my SAC rate going for a regular cave dive and I also made notes of the places I would like to stop and take some film and photos. The second dive the camera came too, we repeated some safety drills and agreed on the importance of dropping the camera in the unlikely even of an emergency. Although distance wise into the cave the dive was shorter we happily spent 50 minutes in some of the first rooms containing halo-cline and stalactites. The dive went very smoothly. Arrows were placed on the line pointing towards the exit at points I stopped to take some shots. It was very useful to see how communication could be lost with large video lights like mine as on the turn around if diving in a normal formation, where roles are reversed and I lead out, any signal Markus would of then tried to put forward with his light to get my attention would be drowned out in my light. We dealt with this by planning the points on the first dive were I was going to film so I didn’t need to have my lights on all the time and Markus being in my view or very close by when I made the shots. My air consumption came out the same with and without my camera which was interesting. The difference between diving in caves and caverns is large and I am eager to take my time on this transition especially when taking the camera. At the moment just outside of the light zone is good enough for me, you don’t need to penetrate extremely deep in the caves here to see some of the amazing sights they have to offer.

 

 

katy filming chikin ha sdt

Cave Diving Progression

Old friends


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Yesterday I went on my first cave dive after my course with good friend Markus who I did my courses with and Jeff who I met for the first time three years ago from my days as a videographer on Koh Tao showing my videos to open water students in his bar! and again in Dahab last year when he came to do 170m with Team Blue Immersion. The dives were incredible the first was a 30 minute dive in past Cenote Little Joe and up to Cenote Zacil. On the left between the two Cenotes there were these rooms where air had collected making it look from the angle we saw them at like the ceilings were huge iridescent mirrors and the Cenotes themselves added this eery green ambient light from their hydrogen sulphide layers. The second dive was my favourite dive so far. We penetrated further than the first dive on a different Cave line and it was a large underground vault with no cenotes to pass by just pure cave and a beautiful thick undulating halo cline throughout the whole dive. We managed to stay under it for most of the time but there were places that it became too close to the line and the fresh and salt water merged from our fin kicks sending what you could see into an oily blur. This was the first time I popped up to fin above the salt water layer and for a second it was if I had surfaced and was flying on top of water. Very surreal and I wish I could describe it better with photos! all in good time 

Cave Diving Progression

Line laying


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More line laying practise today in preparation for my full cave course coming up! I left a month between my intro course and full cave, because I wanted to dive and master the skills I have learnt before adding more on top and also become comfortable with the distance I am travelling into the cave. My initial ties offs and connects into the cave have become faster and so the dive into the cave is further. I catch my self at points, especially when I am 25 minutes into the line and I am no where near my turn around point on gas, having strange realisations of the reality of where I am and what I am doing. I guess in many ways it is unnatural for humans to be underwater to start with, add darkness and no access to surface for long periods of time to that equation and it equals one hell of a lot of respect for the environment your in and the safety procedures you have learnt 🙂