Author Topic: Hello cave diving people.  (Read 1943 times)

Offline Tribal Chestnut

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Hello cave diving people.
« on: November 05, 2017, 01:53:51 am »
Thought I'd say hello to the divers as that's why I'm here.

Since I started to get more comfortable underwater, squeezing through wrecks and generally feeling less clumsy in the water, the idea of cave diving started to seem like a not too daft proposition, especially after I was coerced into doing a cavern course which I loved.

I've seen plenty of videos shot in France, Mexico, etc, which tempted me further, so I thought I'd have a stab at 'normal' caving first to see how I faired and if I'd be happy in some more constrained passages a little way from daylight.

So far I've just tarted about around some of the Burrington Combe caves and a trip to Swildon's, but I'm absolutely loving it.

The 'dry'(ish) caving side of it all is such fun that I'm not sure I'll ever feel the urge to dive, my only regret is not doing this earlier in my life.

I plunged through Swildon's sump 1, so could see myself maybe taking some gear down to get me through some of the other sumps (please no one get excited, I can't afford to die at the moment so anything I do will be done safely), but with the way things are going I can't ever see myself having the urge to dive seriously/properly/whatever in caves.

Today was pretty good as I took my daughter into a couple of easy caves for the first time and she was quite happy - no claustrophobia issues & didn't even fuss about the spiders on the way into (& out of) Sidcot Swallet. I'm especially pleased as she was petrified when I took her into Gough's Cave and the Hellfire Caves when she was younger.

So I suppose this post is a 'thank you' to cave divers as without you I wouldn't have discovered such a bloody awesome activity that I can also enjoy with the little one.

Thanks!

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Hello cave diving people.
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2017, 09:43:20 am »
If you've been actively caving on Mendip you'll no doubt be in contact with one or two caving clubs (directly or indirectly). This should mean it'd not be too difficult to find a way to speak to Cave Diving Group members.

I'd recommend that you get to know one or two CDG folk; they can chat through what you're doing and perhaps help steer you away from situations which, if things do go wrong, would be outside your own diving experience. Apart from making it safer for you it would probably mean they could also make recommendations as to where to go (or not to go) so you might enjoy it more as a result. If you then decide to pursue it a bit more seriously, you'd already be in contact with the right people who could oversee your progression as safely as possible.

The above isn't just my advice, it's standard advice. Enjoy - but stay safe.

Offline Tribal Chestnut

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Re: Hello cave diving people.
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2017, 12:46:10 pm »
Thanks Pitlamp. I was on the verge of joining a particular club, but have since been in contact with another that seems like a much better option.

I did meet a CDG bod earlier this year at my local puddle so I could have a chat with him before taking things any further. I'd require some new kit and time spent in OW using it, so crawling through sumps will not be happening any time soon.

Also, I'm really enjoying the dry stuff & looking forward to getting stuck into some more serious ropework etc, so will be quite content with that for the foreseeable future.

Offline ah147

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Re: Hello cave diving people.
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2017, 05:37:07 pm »
This is how it starts...

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Hello cave diving people.
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2017, 07:04:15 pm »
ah147 is bang on there . . . . !

You crack on with the dry caving; the more of that you can get under your belt the better, if one day you'd like to dive in caves.

One other piece of advice; if you offer to help carry gear for people who are actively cave diving, it's a very good way to learn. You can see the different ways folk set their gear up (and discuss why, once they're back out of the water). It's also more caving experience. When the time comes to apply to join the CDG, if you decide to take things that far, then you'll already be known.

Most of the equipment is exactly what you'll be used to as an O.W. diver - it's just configured differently.

Good luck.

Offline Paul Marvin

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Re: Hello cave diving people.
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2021, 06:18:12 pm »
Thanks Pitlamp. I was on the verge of joining a particular club, but have since been in contact with another that seems like a much better option.

I did meet a CDG bod earlier this year at my local puddle so I could have a chat with him before taking things any further. I'd require some new kit and time spent in OW using it, so crawling through sumps will not be happening any time soon.

Also, I'm really enjoying the dry stuff & looking forward to getting stuck into some more serious ropework etc, so will be quite content with that for the foreseeable future.

That's the key buddy getting some actual caving under your belt a lot of divers turn cave divers but know absolutely NOTHING about caving and cave or even mine exploration this is the reason that they dont get accepted by the CDG they may be very good divers but thats as far as it goes .
I dont know where I am going, but will know where I am when I get there.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Hello cave diving people.
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2021, 07:14:56 pm »
I just noticed this topic is from a few years back; how are you getting on Tribal Chestnut?

Just to add a little more detail to Paul's comment; he's right that the CDG is normally reluctant to accept folk with no real caving experience immediately as members. But this has nothing to do with any perceived elitism which is sometimes suggested. It's basic common sense, which has evolved from vast experience since the CDG was formed 75 years ago.

CDG members recognise that many divers from an O/W background are highly skilled, very motivated and have a lot to offer. The Group is always willing to advise on how to work towards a position where folk become ready to join. We would rather engage with aspirant members in a spirit of helpfulness, rather than hear bad news.

Offline Paul Marvin

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Re: Hello cave diving people.
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2021, 08:30:44 pm »
I just noticed this topic is from a few years back; how are you getting on Tribal Chestnut?

Just to add a little more detail to Paul's comment; he's right that the CDG is normally reluctant to accept folk with no real caving experience immediately as members. But this has nothing to do with any perceived elitism which is sometimes suggested. It's basic common sense, which has evolved from vast experience since the CDG was formed 75 years ago.

CDG members recognise that many divers from an O/W background are highly skilled, very motivated and have a lot to offer. The Group is always willing to advise on how to work towards a position where folk become ready to join. We would rather engage with aspirant members in a spirit of helpfulness, rather than hear bad news.

Exactly, a friend of mine who has recently been accepted as a CDG member did exactly what I advised him, he came from a diving background and I took him caving for the first time ,HE LOVED it , I said to him get some experience under your belt with caving and you are exactly what the CDG are looking for young and above all willing to listen and learn. He approached the Northern section and was accepted with open arms. He is now obsessed with the caving side of things , makes me feel my age at times. Although I am not a CDG member I have and do dive with CDG members, all that I have dived with I have found to be great guys   :bounce:
I dont know where I am going, but will know where I am when I get there.

Offline Steve Clark

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Re: Hello cave diving people.
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2021, 09:31:33 pm »
I started cave diving from a scuba background. Quite a lot of cave dives in France & Florida, generally clear(ish) water in large springs. Also a fair bit of support diving for the deep project stuff around Wakulla and our own project surveying the St Georges resurgence in the Dordogne.

My first ‘dry’ caving experience (other than White Scar as a kid) was beyond a 900m long, 30m deep sump. I learnt a lot that day!

Having moved to Lancaster, I’ve now started from scratch with a handful of trips in the Dales and getting the hang of basic SRT. Kinda annoyed I didn’t start 20years ago. Caving, at least the good bits, is not at all like what I thought it would be.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Hello cave diving people.
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2021, 09:58:57 pm »
Good for you Steve - best of luck.  :thumbsup:

Offline Blueberry

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Re: Hello cave diving people.
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2021, 10:17:11 am »
Hiya Pitlamp,
Following advice am getting caving experience 'putting the miles under my belt' Am playing in P8 at present, SRTing and rigging, got down to sump 1 on Friday. Coming from a diving background it's really quite interesting and great fun. My goal for 2021 is to dive sumps 1,2 and 3. 4 I feel would be too comitting for me. I'm already 58 and would like to see 59.
 

Offline Ian Ball

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Re: Hello cave diving people.
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2021, 01:36:26 pm »
Go for it

Have you read this? I assume so but always worth a reread.

P8 diving by ah147

Offline Blueberry

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Re: Hello cave diving people.
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2021, 03:10:56 pm »
I have read it before. He did write it up well. pity about the car accident on the journey in. There is still a line at the start of sump 1. I think rope would be a better word for it and also a large bag on a the ‘washing line’

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Hello cave diving people.
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2021, 06:52:32 pm »
Good luck Blueberry - but take care in the P8 sumps. There may be better places to get a bit of experience first.

By the way, I've now been told who Tribal Chestnut is and I know him (and have cave dived with him) - so he doesn't need to answer my question as to how he's getting on!

 

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