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  1. #11
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    I do think agency matters. If I'm diving with someone with a gue cave cert I know that they met a well defined standard and learned the same procedures that I did. In my mind there's a lot of strength to that. Same gas planning, same hand and light signals, same line management techniques, same responses to emergencies.

    There's a whole gue community worldwide and I can (and have) integrated smoothly with divers from all over the world.


  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scubaru View Post
    as I haven't got into cave yet.

    . In 15 years, almost exclusively dived in Northern Florida,

    I like cave diving.
    I'm confused. Have you been cavern certified for a long time?


  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by rddvet View Post
    I'm confused. Have you been cavern certified for a long time?
    I misspoke. I should have said "I have no interest in ocean diving. I'm more interested in cave diving."

    But to answer your question, no. I've been OW and AOW up until now. I'm getting cavern certified (finally) this weekend. The springs of northern-to-central Florida account for 90% of my dive log. Life got in the way of getting cave certified sooner. Almost a year ago, I started getting serious and budgeting and planning my cave courses. I got sidemount and nitrox certed in Northern Florida, practiced a few months, then got drysuit certed in Northern Florida, practiced a couple months. Then a flood came last August and put 4ft of water into my home, and punched the dive training schedule in the gut. I was finally able to dive again last month. Got back and started practicing again. Scheduled my Cavern class for this coming weekend. Intro in next month or two. I would have combined them but my buddy's schedule only allows us a weekend at a time. So we'll just keep training one weekend, practicing new skills the next few, rinse and repeat until we're full cave by the end of the year.


  4. #14
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    I have never met a UTD instructor or as far as I know ever seen any of their students. The major turnoff to me for UTD is their sidemount manifold. I actually think it takes away a lot of the advantages of sidemount. As far as telling someone to choose an agency GUE is the only one I would recommend based on the agency alone and not recommending a certain instructor. I have never seen a bad GUE instructor or a GUE student who couldn't frog kick. I can't say this about any other agency that I have been around.


  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by whodunit68 View Post
    I think it's ok to bash UTD on this forum
    Ok then No, just kidding, but you essentially get to be trained no-navigational limits within 6 days officially (although i have seen 5 day course reports). Seems pretty quick to me, but I really don't understand the whole endorsement system for stages etc.
    Given the multitude of courses, having someone reasonably local in combination with diving opportunities seems mandatory for a UTD "career".


  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelly Jessop View Post
    Things to consider
    1) ...Find an instructor that is very active teaching in a location you plan to dive. Yeah, you may pay more,but quality instruction, plus the extra bit of advice from a "local" person is worth the money you pay...
    Quote Originally Posted by bamafan View Post
    I have never met a UTD instructor or as far as I know ever seen any of their students. The major turnoff to me for UTD is their sidemount manifold. I actually think it takes away a lot of the advantages of sidemount. As far as telling someone to choose an agency GUE is the only one I would recommend based on the agency alone and not recommending a certain instructor. I have never seen a bad GUE instructor or a GUE student who couldn't frog kick. I can't say this about any other agency that I have been around.
    Quote Originally Posted by SUB ZERO View Post
    Hello guys,

    I would like to know if there is a big UTD community in Florida. I was going to sign up with a UTD cave course but I was told that UTD does not have a very large presence in FL and they do most of their cave dives in Mexico. Unless you want to dive overseas UTD may not have the biggest network of instructors / dive buddies in FL.

    Comments?
    Been Diving No FL on a monthly basis for a little while (nine years?) and never met either a diver or an instructor, that I knew of, who was affiliated with UTD while diving the springs. Not saying there aren't any, just never met one. FWIW, I am not shy about shaking hands and meeting other cave divers either. So there is my perspective on UTD in No FL.

    I think you brought up a valid point about an instructor you trust.

    With that said, please take the time to consider, as has already been pointed out, there can be "real" value from learning from someone who frequently dives your location of choice. Because you have not yet really experienced diving in caves from a teacher-student perspective you may not fully have your arms around the breadth of the undertaking.

    Going to extremes to make a point, would an instructor with 5000 dives in calm clear warm water and limited experience diving caves be a viable cave instructor? Perhaps, but probably not my first choice. (No slam directed at anyone)

    I started cave training with 2000+ logged OW dives in various capacities under my belt and thought I knew my way around scuba diving. I was thoroughly humbled more than once during my cave training and continue to be on a regular basis. In fact, remaining teachable has been very good for me. I am very thankful for the wisdom imparted to me by my different cave instructors and equally as much by my mentors and other divers.

    Learning about cave diving for me was a progressive journey to be enjoyed, not about getting full cave ASAP. As my journey continues to progress, my opinions and perceptions continue to evolve as well.

    Whatever route you choose, welcome to the dark side, get ready to empty your wallet, and to experience things beyond the comprehension of most people on this planet.

    Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
    -Ferris Bueller

    The most certain way to stumble into the future, is to live your life looking over your shoulder.
    -Jeff Hawes after getting a huge mulligan...

  7. #17

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    Thanks very much fellows. This thread has been helpful to me on multiple levels.

    When I was diving recreational depths, I would have selected the course purely for the instructor without paying much attention to the agency. I would travel to train and I would pay only for a quality learning experience and that was it. I was also a traveling diver and during my trips I noticed huge skill variation between one insta-buddy to another from trip to trip. They would all have "Advanced Open Water" card but the skills would be so far apart that it was not even funny. At recreational depths it was something I could tolerate so it did not take much away from the diving experience.

    When I got into technical diving the same trend continued. Some of my technical diving buddies are very rigorously trained while others got their tech certs within a few days. Since they do not dive technical depths very often, when they do it shows. This has led me to appreciate another dimension to training and that is the overall community that you become part of after you certify. When it comes to UTD and GUE, these agencies do not just train you but they offer you a connectivity to a filtered out community. Of course there are well trained divers outside these two agencies as well but it seems like other agencies do not filter out the poorly trained divers so you will have to go out into the wilderness and find out like minded dive buddies.

    Since one of my motivations is to do cave diving, I am not sure if this concern should be carried over to cave training. If all agencies teaching Cave course are also leaving behind a community of equally trained, competent divers then I may not even limit myself to UTD. In that case, I could select an instructor like Rob Neto, Edd Sorenson, James Wyatt or Jill etc. The question then becomes who will be my dive buddy from there on? Are all cave divers (From various agencies) as diversified in their skill level as the insta-buddies I meet on recreational charters? To be honest, I dont know. Perhaps you guys can enlighten me.

    Once again, many thanks for the info. Like I said it has been helpful in many ways.


  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by SUB ZERO View Post
    . The question then becomes who will be my dive buddy from there on? .

    You'll meet people. I'm lucky as I trained with my fiance and she is my dive buddy or is supposed to be. Over the past few years I've dove more with my other buddies than with her.

    I generally avoid people at dive sites and keep to myself, but I've still managed to make a few buddies to dive with. All it will take you is a couple posts here looking for a buddy, then a vetting dive where you do a easy peasy dive to make sure they're not a kook. If you like them and they like you, you've got a long term buddy.


  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by SUB ZERO View Post
    The question then becomes who will be my dive buddy from there on? Are all cave divers (From various agencies) as diversified in their skill level as the insta-buddies I meet on recreational charters? To be honest, I dont know. Perhaps you guys can enlighten me.
    Thats an issue, and you really don't know what you've got when you link up with someone trained differently. There's so many things in cave diving that unless you specifically go through all the situations you won't know if you're really on the same page.


  10. #20

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    The UTD Z manifold is a ridiculous concoction, I'd never buddy up with someone using something so silly.

    Long ago GI3 smashed the earth and two sons burst forth, JJ and AG were bright as the sun and spread the dir far and wide. They couldn't stay together as there was much darkness to illuminate. Then AG started referring to himself as AG and doing some weird equipment things, likely the influence of west coast rap culture. Now they both spread the dir, have snappy hair and sporty clothes....but AG talk with his hands a lot....that's how you can tell the difference. The end.

    Did you see any critters in that cave? StygoBites.com


 

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