Cave Diving - The Extreme of the Extreme
When you hear the word cave diving, what do you think of? Is it one of divers who go into dark gloomy caves trailing a rope or string so they can find there way back? Then one of that looks awesome how can I do it. You may even ask yourself what exactly is cave diving.
Pushing to the outer limits, when you are told you can only go so far is a great draw to the daredevils of extreme sports. Part of being extreme is being told the limits and not only moving past them, but also pushing past them. For most, that usually does not occur on the first try. There are several tries and possible injuries before this is accomplished. What happens when that boundary has been claimed? You start all over again to push it even farther.
Cave diving presents situations that you would not run into during a normal open or ocean dive. It exposes you to possible life threatening issues if you are not properly prepared. As a cave diver you are not concerned about injuries, since the only real injury that could occur is death, and that is final. It is for this reason cave diving is considered one of the most extreme sports. You can not get much more extreme than the fact that you could easily die if not successful. The fact that you go into unknown, do what others will not attempt or feel can not be done. The fact that you not only survived but accomplished the task brings self confidence. This will carry over to other areas of your life. In the world of a cave diver what could be more of an adrenaline rush than staring down the possibility of death and winning?
Cave Diving - The extreme of the extreme sports
A direct descent is not used in cave diving. It uses what is called a penetration dive. What this means is that you don’t use a vertical ascent to reach the air if trouble starts. The majority of cave divers are well versed in technical diving, but this does not reduce the dangerousness of this extreme sport. Another big draw to cave diving and its risks is the sight of stalactites and stalagmite formations. Then there is the chance of finding archeological items.
Extreme cave diving is done in a passage way that has no pockets of air due to the fact that it is flooded. If a malfunction should occur you have no choice but to continue and return to the surface, all this while still underwater. Your body then has a way to make things appear different then they really are when it feels a threat. It if for this reason you need to have some great control to convince your body what it thinks is happening is not really reality. You must have total control over your senses.
The dive is not the only peril but the return also. This is what brings this sport into the extreme category. The return can be complicated and very long. You must keep control over your senses as there can be an illusion of other things happening. One of the complicated things is that your body must readjust from breathing a mixture of oxygen and nitrogen to that of fresh air. The sensation of gravity as they return to solid ground is one of the elements that the thrill seekers are looking for. The fact that one wrong step at any part of the adventure can have disastrous results this is why cave diving is an extreme of the extreme sports.
Andy Jenkins is a staff writer at http://www.sports-gazette.com and is an occasional contributor to several other websites, including http://www.outdoorsportsenthusiast.com