Probably all of us have already been in show caves, where beautiful stalactites, stalagmites and many other different kind of speleothems are in the giant halls. I am sure, that many of you have already imagined, what a great thing it would be, if you were flying smoothly, effortless, freely throughout these halls, close to the ceiling to see everything from above. That is exactly what you can do in the Mexican caves. The cave divers, who use underwater diving vehicles (DPV) have the privilege to experience this. Of course there is a price of this experience. I’ll introduce you that an extremely dangerous activity, which requires years of training if you want to do it safely, can be a lifetime fabulous adventure.
Among divers it is believed that riding on a DPV in a cave, is one of the most dangerous forms of diving. The overhead environment, the lack of natural light, and the fact that you can not breathe from the water like fish, make the cave diving itself challenging, but if we add a DPV to this mix, creates a new level of danger. This device is like a magnifying glass: makes your weaknesses bigger, and if you have an issue, far back in the cave, and you need to swim out on fins, I do say: that is a problem.
In order to walk on this dangerous way safely, proper training is necessary. Of course nobody was born with perfect diving skills, we need to learn them. Divers usually spend hundreds of hours underwater, before they enter to a cave diving course and spend other hundreds in water-filled caves to develop and master their cave-related skills. For a cave DPV ride, you need to be solid in the water because, as the GUE DPV1 Study Guide says: “If you are going to get into trouble, a DPV will easily let you get there quicker.” But everything can be learnt, and if we draw on the knowledge of experienced divers, we can do it safely.
Although it is unavoidable, but the persistent learning has a prize. Probably caves are one of the nicest natural phenomena on Earth. Millions of people are marvelling at them throughout the world, but only very few of us have the possibility to fly in them. The DPVs allow us to move on with minimal effort and enjoy the sight from bird’s-eye view over long distances. Than we feel, it was worth to work for so long.
I believe the DPV diving in caves has an inherent risk, that we need to accept, but with perseverance and diligence we can learn how to do it safely. At the end we can have amazing experiences, that very few people can own. Later, on the boring days, you can be immersed in these memories and prepare for the next flying.