I recently had the pleasure of teaching the PADI TecRec Cave diver Specialty course to 3 great divers in the Philippines. Roy a dry caver & technical diver from the US, Karl an underwater photographer & technical diver who flew into Cebu from Manila and Poby a NAUI Course Director and NAUI Technical Director who runs a scuba diving operation in Cebu.
Over the next couple of days we were moving through restrictions and developing cave navigation skills. Even though we had to fight with some equalizing problems we still managed to accomplish everything. The students had a great time as they learnt some new diving skills and also learnt a lot about themselves. As their awareness grew we turned our attention to problem management and asking questions about how the individual & the team would react when confronted with challenging situations in a cave.
When training was done Roy & Karl had to fly back to Manila. But Poby wanted to take the PADI Advanced Sidemount course. He had a blast with the new configuration and is looking forward to the possibilities of sidemount rigging for cave applications in the future.
Poby had two days free after training and wanted to explore new caves. We manage to find 5 new cenotes around the area on private properties. After talking to the owner of the land, he gave us his blessing and we were the first to explore 3 virgin caves. I was surprised to find new cave sites so close to home.
We ran out of time and had to leave the other two caves untouched – at least until our next trip!
One of the greatest things for me about this sport is that even after years of working in this industry and having logged thousands of dives there are always things left to do and new techniques to be learned. It simply never stops.
In retrospect, I had a blast with these guys. Although we are all different ages, from different countries and are all individuals we are united in the same passion – “Cave Diving”.