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Apprentice Cave Course

Entering the Cave at Jackson BlueThe Apprentice Cave Program is the third level of the cave diver’s learning progression. While traditionally the Full Cave certification has been done over four days, the need was realized for an intermediate level where the newer cave diver has a chance to practice the basic, fundamental skills of cave diving before attempting to pursue a Full Cave Diver certification. Please realize that you will not be permitted to start this level of training unless you have prior training in the use of double cylinders. If you wish, the Apprentice course can be combined with the Full Cave course and/or the Basic Cave / Introduction to Cave course.

The Apprentice program is two days long and a training level only and if the course is completed successfully, you’ll be awarded a time-limited temporary certification which will enable you to dive with double tanks while staying within certain limitations. This card will expire after one year from the date of issuance and the course will need to be repeated before entering Full Cave training. This course is intended only to introduce the Intro to Cave/Basic Cave diver to the specific requirements, planning and skills needed to safely enter the overhead environment on dives involving limited navigation off the mainline. The need for continued training after this level cannot be over emphasized, as this does not prepare you for complex navigation within the cave environment.

Just beyond the sign in Devil'sDuring the course itself, you’ll be exposed to some of North Florida’s most exciting cave dives and making a minimum of four dives within various cave systems. You’ll be introduced to decompression procedures and also the proper use of jump and gap reels combined with the correct use of line arrows and other non-directional markers. This will enable you to make simple navigational decisions within the cave system while still maintaining our continuous guideline to the surface. The drills and skills already learned in previous cave diving programs will be reinforced by repetition and refined in more challenging environments than the diver has been exposed to thus far.

When considering this Apprentice Cave Diver program where decompression will be a part of our daily diving, it is recommended that you’ve taken Advanced Nitrox & Decompression Procedures course, Tech 1 or its equivalent, in order to give you an insightful look in current decompression theory and a head start in the handling and usage of decompression cylinders.

Here’s a list of equipment that will be needed for this class: a mask and power fins (springs or straps taped), wet or dry suit, double tanks that hold at least one hundred and forty-two cubic feet of gas, a decompression cylinder with a regulator, two first stages each equipped with one second stage (one with a seven foot hose) and a submersible pressure gauge, a back plate/soft pack and wing, tables/bottom timer or dive computer, a cutting device, wet notes/slate and pencil, one primary light and two back up lights, line arrows and cookies/clothespins, two jump or gap reels/spools, two safety reels/spools and one primary reel per team.

As with all cave and technical classes that I offer, please realize that participation in the class does not guarantee certification. Should you not end up with a certification, I will provide you with a list of areas that need more practice and am more than happy to assist you in working with these. As always, if you have any further questions regarding training, scheduling or any other aspect of cavern and cave diving, please feel free to contact me via email, generally I will respond back to you within twenty-four hours.