The cavern zone is the part of a cave from which daylight is still visible. It is probably the most beautiful part of the cave, and has some incredible scenery. It is essential that curious divers learn the proper techniques to safely explore this new environment without endangering themselves or damaging this fragile environment.
Agencies we teach for:
Cavern diving helps to prepare and train divers that want to safely venture into the cavern zone of caves and overhead environments like wrecks. It is a very hands-on, fun course, where you will learn to multi-task like never before!
The cavern course develops the minimum skills and knowledge for safe cavern diving. Topics include cavern diving planning, good cavern diving techniques (line and light use), body positioning (trim), cavern propulsion techniques, emergency procedures, problem solving, and other specialized needs of cavern diving (silting, entanglement, disorientation, and equipment modifications). Throughout your cavern course you will learn how to streamline your equipment, and use new gear such as using a reel, a backup spool, and a long hose on your primary regulator.
TDI, NSS-CDS and IANTD
A book called Basic Cave Diving: A Blueprint For Survival by Sheck Exley is strongly recommended for our Cavern students. It is now available as an online download. Click Here
The more you read and prepare for your cavern course, the more enjoyable it will be for you!
Gear you need to provide:
You will need to have your own basic scuba gear, required for open water diving. Remember: No Snorkels! No Gloves!
* Mask (preferably a low volume mask)
* Fins (no split fins!)
* Computer or watch and tables
* Tanks and weights and tanks (which can be hired from us if you are from out of town).
You must also OWN the following gear to participate in cavern class:
* Your own primary reel
* A 7 foot hose on your regulator
* Two battery powered underwater lights
* Two cutting tools are recommended. Our favorite is the Zknife.
* Slate or wetnotes with pencil
What the course entails:
1. Policy for Cavern Diving
2. Gas Matching Procedures and Management to Include Dissimilar Volume
3. Psychological Considerations
4. Equipment Considerations
a. Cylinder options
b. Regulator options
c. Buoyancy compensator device / harness options
d. Reel options
e. Proper weighting
a. Hand signals
b. Light signals
c. Touch contact signals
6. Swimming Techniques
a. Body posture/ trim
b. Buoyancy control
c. Line following
d. Propulsion techniques
a. Breathing techniques
b. Stress management
8. Cavern environment
b. Local access requirements
c. Land owner relations
9. Cavern Conservation
10. Problem Solving
a. Emergency procedures
b. Equipment failure
c. Silting conditions
11. Accident Analysis
12. Review of Dive Computers and Decompression Theory
13. Cavern Diving Etiquette
14. Properly deploy a guideline
15. Properly follow a guideline
16. Touch contact communicate
17. Correctly deploy directional markers
18. Adequate pre-dive planning
19. Equipment check and equipment matching
20. Bubble check
21. Specialized propulsion techniques
22. Proper buoyancy control
23. Proper body posture
24. Proper stress analysis (detection and management)
25. Properly follow a guideline with eyes closed (or covered); simulating loss of visibility
26. Demonstrate Air Sharing, 'cave style'
27. Demonstrate light / hand -signals and touch contact
28. Anti-silting techniques
29. Demonstrate mature, sound judgment concerning dive planning and execution
You must be at least 16 years old to receive a Cavern Diver certification, there is no maximum age.
Schedule/Timing for Cavern Course:
We train all the time, and have multiple instructors on staff, many full time, so we do weekday and weekend classes.
Call us or check out our Calendar for dates of upcoming courses.
How long does the course take?
We typically do it in 2.5 days. The first half day is for line drills and gear preparation. The remaining days are spent in the water, diving at least two different cavern systems.
Where we do our course:
We do our Cavern Diver training in North Florida, the caverns there are very beautiful, and ideal for cavern training (Orange Grove Springs, Peacock Springs and Little River Springs).
Prerequisites for Course:
* Before participating in the cavern diver course, you will be asked to fill out a standard liability release form and a medical statement. If you answer YES to anything on the medical form we will require that you get it signed off by a physician.
* Open Water Diver certification, or equivalent.
* Advanced Open Water certification is recommended
* You must be Nitrox certified, or enrolled in the Nitrox course.
* is HIGHLY recommend for all diving activities.
What you can do afterwards:
* Dive, dive, dive in the MANY caverns across the state of Florida, indeed anywhere!!!
* The cavern course also trains you to dive safely in the overhead environments of shipwrecks.
* The safe diving practices learned during your cavern course will apply to all types of diving you do in the future, including open water recreational diving.
* Continue your diver training with more specialized training.
* The Cavern Diver course is a prerequisite to Cave Courses.
This includes your academic material (online), your dive training, a certification card from your chosen agency, and photos (above and below water).
What not included is gear hire, gas fills, food, lodging, dive site fees & transportation.
Dayo Scuba maintains the worlds leading Cave & Cavern Diving Forum. For more information and resources about cavern and cave diving, check it out: