Yes, as long as you provide sufficient experience as a sidemount diver and I am satisfied with your comfort level with this type of configuration, you can join our Intro to Cave and Full Cave class in sidemount.
Sidemount is the best configuration for overhead diving. It offers real redundancy as well as easy access to your life support equipment to let you deal with problems, if any... It also helps enter silty area with a better trim and position, also optimize the weight you need to carry.
Get the equipment list for your Overhead training:
Depending on what part of the overhead program you want to learn, Cavern Diver, Intro to cave or even Full Cave Diver, different techniques apply for very specific environments. Cavern diving, is recreational and limited to ambient light with no restrictions, whereas Intro to cave and/or Full cave diver training will take you right into the dark places of the caves of your choice!
Emphasis is put on safety procedure, positive approach and basic skills built up to get you and your dive partner, in and out safe!
We offer a side course called Essential Diver training to bring you to the level required for overhead training, would it be cavern, cave or wreck diving. It is inspired by the GUE Fundies class. During this course you will learn the core principles that make a safe and sound diver, in single tank or doubles, up to you. ;)
Cerification is earned, the course is paid for! So we reserve the right to refuse certification to a diver if we think he/she does not have the required skills or mind set to get into cave environment. As it is a potentially deadly place, we take our training very seriously.
During your training you will be taken on training dives, there is no 'fun' dives in overhead training. Fun is a luxury aquired after mastery of all the skills making you, a cavern, intro or full cave diver.*
*This works as well for wreck diver training.
Again, it depends on what level of training you choose to take. It also depends on your ability to evolve around the skill circuit that you have to cover.
From three days (minimum) as a Cavern Diver to a whole week for Full Cave Diver, again this is a minimum. It is possible to ad training days if skills don't satisfy the certification requirements. Any extra training day is viewed on a prorata basis.
The Overhead training that I provide is modular. You can choose to take one module at a time and get some experience at each level prior to taking up the next one.
Cavern Diver 4 days
Intro to Cave 5 Days (if already Cavern certified count 3 days)
Full Cave diver 8 Days (if already Intro certified count 3 days)
Yes, for any overhead diving, specialy for cave diving, you need to get special equipment and it has to be configured in what we call a 'Hogarthian' way. What I mean by this is the Essential diver's equipment for safe and sound cave diving with the KISS principle, where all is kept simple, accessible and streamlined.
If you prefer it is possible to rent some of this equipment but we recommend you take training in gear you are already used to. Also, basic gear is not for rent. Mask, fins, boots, wetsuit, dive computer, backup lights and air deco table cannot be rented.
'We've all been in this situation where training seems like getting another certification card but believe me, this environement can and will kill you if you are not trained and equiped for it. Doesn't matter that you are in a cavern or in a wreck, when no direct access to the surface is possible you need to follow strict set of protocols. NO open water experience is going to help you when you get in trouble. There is no 'if' but 'when' it's gonna happen.'
Technical and Overhead Instructor
Owner of Essential Scuba Training