...as promised in last Summer we returned to Playa del Carmen and we took a Cavern Diver course with Camilo Garcia from Divers Underground. We highly recommend it to others!
We spent 6 days diving with Divers Underground.
On the first day we got our Introduction to Tech Diving with two very nice reef dives on the shores of Playa del Carmen.
We took the IANTD / TDI Cavern Diver course the next two days at the cenote Chikin Ha. As we were not very experienced divers it was pretty tough in the beginning - too many things to control at the same time. But Camilo Garcia is a very good, experienced and patient teacher. However, becoming cave (or cavern) certified is not a "kindergarten certification" as most entry level certificates are, where all you have to do to be certified is to successfully survive.
Camilo is very serious about cave diving and he will make sure, that you successfully acquire all techniques and routines, that are required in an overhead environment. If you have gone through his school you will be prepared to not just 95% but most probably 99.999% of the situations which might occur to you while diving. And he is very strict about that. You will have to repeat the excercises until you do it properly and in a safe way. The excercises include valve management, out of air situations, losing your mask, no visibility diving, line laying and finding and tons of other stuff.
During this course and the following day our (and Camilo's) friend Luis Fernando Amezcua, dive guide and diving teacher at Kabah-Na, Mahahual, joined in and took the course together with us. So the fun factor was doubled ;) - at least!
The last three days we spent with "fun diving" (well, the course was fun as well, but that was the way Camilo put it ;) ). As some of our techniques were still "improvable" we still did some more drills, but at the same we were diving around Taj Mahal, Ponderosa Cenote, The Pit, Pet Cemetery, Grand Cenote and Dreamgate Cenote. During theses days Camilo was only "ghosting" us, to see, what we were doing. During these dives we started to call him "el fantasma negro" as he was diving without his light most of the time and once in a while he "appeared" somewhere in the dark, where we did not expect him - and sometimes we were a little surprised to suddenly see him hovering behind a set of stalagmites.
Our skills improved with every dive we took and we (and Camilo) became very satisfied with our progress and the absolute skill level we had reached after the six days of diving. When diving, we actually look like cave divers now - and not just like ants thrown into the water ;) .
We'll be back for the Intro to Cave and Full Cave training in Summer :) .
One last remarkable thing: Camilo has a fotographic memory. After every dive he will give you a debrief and he won't forget one little detail. I have never seen someone being as accurate in his memory as he is.
So, thanks to Divers Underground for the dives, all the stuff we learned and the company and friendship! As we stated before - there will be a continuation!
..and to all of you out there: GO DIVING WITH THEM!!!!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
August 16, 2013
Hey guys, thanks again for the helpful review.
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Now that you're coming for the rest of your Full Cave training we are going to have lots of caves to explore in the future so you better start looking at taking more time off work and more time for fun diving...
See you next month!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.