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Monday, June 03, 2013

Caving and Cave Diving

Caving is the sport  of cave exploring.It is often undertaken for the enjoyment of the sport, the physical exercise, exploration, or physical and biological science expeditions. What takes caving to the extreme is underwater caving, which combines both scuba diving and spelunking (caving). In order to start underwater caving a person must take scuba lessons. Special classes are needed to go cave diving because the underwater cave is a very dangerous place.
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Most underwater caves are formed by natuaral springs. The springs come up from the ground and become the headwaters for rivers or create lakes and ponds. The water from these springs comes at a constant flow rate that can create a strong current. In order to participate in this sport you must be in top physical condition to navigate such a long way underwater and keep your mind clear if danger arises. In underwater caving you can not swim to the surface like in regular scuba diving. In addition to this cave diving is not a sport for those who are claustrophobic or panic in tight spaces because panic while diving can be fatal.  
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The equipment necessary for caving is basic scube diving gear, an extra air tank, and underwater lighting. Ropes are one of the greatest essentials. They are used to guide a person in the underwater darkness. Rope is more commonly used because string can become taunt and break.  
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Extreme cave diving is done in a passageway that has no overhead air pockets and is flooded. If equipment were to malfunction you can't simply return to the surface, you must finish the dive and then come to the surface, which means your are still submerged. This is why a person caving must have control over their senses because the body has a way to dominate reality and convince itself that what it is experiencing is not actual reality, when it perceives any kind of threat. Cave diving is not performed with a direct descent but rather penetration diving. This means that the diver has no space to make a vertical ascent if they have a complication with the dive. The most difficult and dangerous aspect of cave diving is the return to the surface. A cave diver must be prepared to encounter many unknown elements. For example they must keep their wits when everything around them is telling them something different is happening, they must learn the depth of their dive, and the return is quite long and complex. The body has to readjust to breathing air, not mixtures of oxygen and nitrogen. This is why cave diving is so extreme, one wrong step during the dive could mean death-defying consequences.
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