As cave and cavern divers, can we actually call ourselves spelunkers….can we say that when we go to on a cavern dive we are actually spelunking…

According to the Dictionary spelunking is defined as exploring caves and caverns as a hobby, so it seems, yes we, cave and cavern divers, are spelunkers…we just happen to use different equipment and take different precautions…and require scuba diving certification for cavern diving and cave certification for cave diving.

On Wikipedia, cavern and cave divers are included in the explanation of ‘spelunking’ so if we were to vote on this, the answer would be YES!  we are spelunkers…See an explanation of spelunking

Scuba diving is a hobby, cavern and cave diving for many is also a hobby…so the ‘Yucatan’ Spelunkers can fall under this category.  Funny how this term is not used generically when referring to cavern or cave diving..but it really is a another form of Spelunking….(love that word, it is such a great word).  Lets call it dry spelunking, when you are cave exploring as we know it to be without scuba equipment and certifications and wet spelunking when diving in the caverns..as that seems to be the biggest difference.

So if you are a dry spelunker how do you become a wet spelunker? It is actually quite easy.  Take your open water certification either here, in Mexico, or in any other part of the world, and focus on getting your cert but also mastering your buoyancy.  Buoyancy is one of the most difficult skills for most divers to master, though once you get, you get it and your diving is much easier.  When I took my open water courses many, many years ago, my sister, who was already diver, told me to request extra time in my class for buoyancy.  The instructor was great, and she really got me to “get it’.  When I did my open water dives int he ocean, my instructor, bless his heart, was very complimentary and said that I had perfect buoyancy.  As an instructor, I always take more time with students to perfect there buoyancy so that they never have to think about it again.

Once you have your certification for open water’ dive, dive, dive, and dive..if you do your diving cert with us, we are able to get you ready for the caverns.  If you do it with another dive center we do have to check you out under water first.  If you obtained your certification and then did not dive for a few years, (it happens) then we will do a refresher with you, get you ocean diving and then evaluate your buoyancy to make sure the caverns are appropriate.  If you are struggling we will help you.  If you are not, then we will load up the truck and get ready for some jungle trekking!

I have only ever done wet spelunking and now I am curious about dry spelunking.  I am sure that dry spelunkers are curious not about wet spelunking….

When dry spleunking you need to worry about the following:

a) floods b) rainfall c) exhaustion d) hyperthermia

In wet spelunking you have covered these areas already when learing to dive and also cavern dive but you need to pay attention to:

a) distance from light sources. remain in the cavern zone unless cave qualified b) your air supply which is different from open water diving as we dive on thirds 3) diving with a certified guide…as a wet cavern spelunker

Both activities use lights, helmets, proper clothing, safety measures and spelunking with buddies.

But what can we offer in Wet Mexico spelunking that is not offered in other dry country spelunking….

1.  The feeling that you are in space..this is truly the greatest feeling alive..the fresh waters of this area let you see for miles and sometimes you forget you are in water it is soo clear..your reminder is the regulator in your mouth.

2. A peek into mayan history.  these systems that we currently dive were once dry caves and caverns that were used by the mayans to aviod travel on land through the thick jungles and let them travel through the caves and caverns to other places.  In the caverns, all archeological artifacts have been removed and documented for historical purposes, so you will not see in the cavern zones, the amazing things found by local explorers over the years.  but you do have a feeling of history as you dive.  that is enough to keep you engaged.

3.  Amazing formations.  the water protects the stalagmites and stalagtites so you see very decorated environments.  As divers are sailing through the waters and not treading on the rocks, our preservation of the systems are better than those that are walked…but please dont touch as we want all divers to see these wonderful formations.

Spelunking should be our state sport…as there are so many divers who live locally that continue to explore this massive cavern and cave system.  Now documented as the largest explored cave and cavern system in the world, there is something to be said about ‘wet’ spelunking.  Seems it preserves the environment better and gets you deeper into the systems….

Come and join us as we continue to ‘wet spelunk’ through the Caribbean coast of Mexico….an activity that many don’t know about and a great way to continue your love for spelunking.

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