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  1. #1

    Default Scuba newbie gets cave certified...

    Well, intro certified! The week before last myself and two others embarked on cavern/intro training with Edd @ Cave Adventurers. It was a grueling 4 days and honestly until the completion of our 8th dive, and even immediately after it, none of us were confident we were going to pass. Of course if you know Edd you know that's just his style. After each dive he critiqued us and sent us back to our rental cabin each night with practice drills to improve our apparent lack of skills (which obviously paid off).

    That said I'm extremely proud that I earned my intro cert from Edd. As the title implies I'm a scuba newbie and faced many different challenges during training. Foremost was my general lack of scuba experience. I entered Edd's class with just 31 OW dives and a simple PADI AOW cert (obtained just weeks earlier). Now I have a total of 39 dives in my logbook. Of course a lack of dives provided me with a small advantage of not having many bad habits he had to break me of. My lack of experience didn't translate into a lack of comfort in the water. Prior to training, Edd and I spoke quite a bit on the phone and while he was initially skeptical of my limited experience in the water I told him I was not only very comfortable in the water, but I would be easy to train because I was eager to learn. I credit my time in the military and my civilian sky diving experience with helping me gauge my ability to be trained quickly yet throughly in critical life or death skills. Basically I learn well under pressure and knew it going in.

    My next biggest challenge was diving SM! I barely knew what SM was and had never been in a SM rig prior to class. I dove a SMS 75 that I rented from him. In fact all my gear was rental except my mask! Of course he and his shop crew did a great job of fitting the rig to me and kitting me out. Here again I spoke to Edd before training and told him that all my dives heretofore have been in rental gear and I considered myself a fast study on learning new gear configurations. I had good command of bouyancy and trim prior to class but required lots of practice learning to frog kick (part of my homework).

    Challenge number three, three students! Some quick math will show that two students get an average of 50% more instructor time than three students do. While three students is an accepted training number, I'll never do that again. Anyone, myself included, would benefit from that additional instruction time. On the plus side I was able to learn from the mistakes of two others and endeavor to not make similar mistakes myself.

    So can a newbie diver in rental gear with no experience in the gear configuration he's diving pass cavern/intro? YES! Would I recommend it? NO! I consider my experience to be the exception to the rule. I've read all the posts here advocating X amount of diving experience and X amount of familiarity with your dive gear prior to cave training. As a general rule I would agree. My training was not easy, my passing was not guaranteed and I started it knowing I might wash out. But as I said earlier I was supremely confident with my in water comfort level and my ability to be trained and it paid off.

    I believe that each diver who wants to be cavern/intro/cave trained needs to look critically at their in water comfort level and their ability to learn new skills. Prior to class I read here about "task loading". Being new and ignorant I really had no idea just how task loaded one could become in cave training. Anyone can become proficient in one or two new skills, but becoming proficient in four or five or six new skills, all critical to your survival is a tough thing to do. Alas, Edd put me through the ringer and I came through in one piece.

    I want to thank everyone here for such a great forum. As mentioned I've done TONS of reading here and what I've learned here so far has allowed me to go down this road toward full cave diver with my eyes wide open. See you in the water!

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  2. #2


    Great post.... Now you can slow down and REALLY work on skills.... Find a shop in OKC that has a pool and hit it twice a month over the winter.... and lets' go dive Peacock this winter

    Why yes that was me in shorts and a t-shirt @ the 700' marker

  3. #3
    Administrator Forum Admin
    Join Date
    Oct 2000



    Forrest Wilson (with 2 Rs)
    Any opinions are personal.
    Sump Divers

  4. #4


    I'm also a recent graduate of Edd's intro class as well as living in OKC. I'm always looking for a cave diving buddy!

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by MitchHarrington View Post
    I'm also a recent graduate of Edd's intro class as well as living in OKC. I'm always looking for a cave diving buddy!
    PM sent!


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