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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Puerto Aventuras, Mexico


    Quote Originally Posted by LCF View Post

    What I want to know is where anybody is finding someone who will do cave guiding for $30 a day? The LEAST we've ever paid is $150 . . .
    He means by the time you take out the need to rent a car and maybe some other expenses depending on the guide. Before I lived here I did the same for the same reasons. It makes a lot of sense to hire a guide.

    Alan Formstone
    Puerto Aventuras, Mexico

  2. #22


    Quote Originally Posted by LCF View Post
    Most of the caverns used for the tourist tours are pretty open. Yes, there is some damage done, no doubt about it; but no one is taking "inept open water divers" into anyplace that's really delicate. The majority of folks who do these tours are vacation divers, and are in Mexico for perhaps the only time they will ever be there. Taking a cavern class would be good education, but a day of cenote tours lets them see what the environment looks like, without spending their time doing skills. Some of the folks who do the tours get motivated and come back and get training -- I did. Some find out that the overhead environment is not for them, and they do it without spending the money on a class they'll never finish.
    I beg to disagree!

    Caverns tours to extremely sensitive, unique and fragile places ARE currently being offered. Based on my own observations it only takes a few short months to irreversibly trash a site, once "cavern groups" begin to frequent it. Many of the once beautiful cenotes have been heavily impacted and continue to suffer further damage from both divers and landowners (piss-poor technique / further "development").

    The visiting tourists encounter a continuously shifting baseline - they have no idea of what a site might have looked like in its natural state. It all appears beautiful but appearances are deceiving. To most all sites look alike and very few will have the situational awareness, experience and attention to detail to notice any of what would make a site "special" to someone more seasoned. So why encourage spreading the damage instead of conservation???

    I am clearly against the idea that open water divers with only superficial (if any) interest in the subject should be SOLD / lured into an experience they won't necessarily appreciate or be willing to repeat, but rather something that their peers will think of as "cool", something to check off in the dive log. Sadly the only real motivational force behind the decisions that many dive shops, landowners and other influential parties make is tourist $ almighty.

    In this particular case it appears that the OP already has visited the more popular sites and is now after a path less traveled.

    I just happen to think that it is a BAD IDEA to take open water divers (without even the bare minimum of overhead training) to such places.

    If there is sufficient interest to continue cavern diving after taking a couple of tours, the next logical step would be to invest some time and effort in training.

    If, on the other hand, the tours to the more popular caverns (both Dos Ojos and Chak are awesome) failed to spark any interest, I seriously doubt that any further exposure to less known sites will.

    A well taught cavern course could be had in 3-4 days and would tremendously enhance one's diving in general (trim, propulsion, gas planning, guideline protocols), introduce one to the overhead environment and refine one's diving, even if it does not result in certification.

    Just my 2 cents.

  3. #23


    I fully agree with your last paragraphe. I'll never forget the appreciation i got when i did my intro to cave course back in 1994 and my full cave in 1995. i was already Master OW instructor before that and i learned so much. I also had the pleasure of learning from Sheck before getting into cave diving.

    We are not all the same an we do not have all the same interest in training. My wife does have good buyancy control and good trim. She uses a Transpac, hogarth reg config and a streamlined config.... I do not see her as dangerous and i actually think she would hve no difficulty as a student. Of course, i will continue to help her develop her interest into cavern and cave diving.... With my intro, i'm sure it is not hard to guess that i wish one day she will become my cave diving partner...

    My initial question was simple. Can I, as a full cave diver and with instructor rating guide my OW wife into the cavern zone? i have been convinced by a few fine contributors that using a guide and continuing to get acquiainted to the area is a good idea.... I will go this way this summer.

  4. #24


    And what i hope is finding an instructor guide that will be a good fit with her so she will be motivated to go to next step with him.

  5. #25


    Good luck, I hope she takes to it but it's not everyone's cup of tea, I for one would rather dive solo than with someone who was not 100% certain that they wanted to be there. As much as we wish it sometimes our friends and loved ones do not share our passion for caves, I went to the Yucatan in Feb with some non cave certified dive buddies of mine hoping they would be bitten buy the bug and want to get cave certified, but alas they did not feel as strongly about the caves as I did and they would rather go back to wreck diving. So as much as I would like to have my 2 best friends be my cave buddies it doesn't look like it's going to happen, luckily for me I have met many great people while cave diving and have a new group of dive buddies to call upon. So even if she decides the caves aren't for her there are plenty of people out there who do share your passion.


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