I’ve been a cave diver for more than 20 years; a dry caver before that; caves are a special passion for me regardless of their size, configuration, or their location. However, I must admit a special fondness for swimming in highly decorated caves — caves that were above water levels when they were originally formed.
There are several reasons for my love of caves, but one of the strongest is that swimming in that particular environment is a unique feeling unlike anything else in diving. In a cave, one has an opportunity to connect directly to the earth… it’s like a meditation on steroids. And the sensation is as addictive.
But all that, plus the breathtaking beauty that’s only to be found in caves, comes at a high price. And on this score, I am very focused on delivering to my students the best, most rounded, and mindful instruction possible.
When Paul Toomer took over as director of training for the RAID diving agency, he asked me to help put together a completely new overhead environment training program for the agency. I asked for help from a few close diving buddies to get the job done. These people included my friend Jill Heinerth, who not only made valuable contributions to the student and instructor manuals but spent more than ten days working with me and Paul to actually work through the whole program to sense-check it and what skills it called for students to do.
My view is tendentious, but the resulting program is right for today’s market. It is tough, the skills it develops are valid for the overhead and other dive environments, it takes into account recent developments in technology, equipment design, best practices, landowner relations, and is NOT North Florida centric speaking about practices and conditions used in locations outside the USA.
Your RAID Cave Diver certification consists of academics (remote learning as All RAID “textbooks” are online), face-to-face development session, equipment workshop, confined water, and extensive overhead environment training.
Please contact me directly for a full discussion about my cave training with me.
TDI: Cavern / Intro Cave / Full Cave Diver / DPV Cave / Advanced Wreck (all levels in OC and CCR)
RAID: Recreational Cavern / CAVE1 / CAVE 2 / Advanced Cave / Mine (all levels in OC and CCR)
PHOTO CREDITS: All the pictures on this page were taken by Jill Heinerth, Garry Dallas, Tom St. George.