Virtual Cave diving - Bringing teams together
As some of you know we are partial to Cave diving! This environment is one of the most challenging that a diver can train for and it demands concentration, practice and skill refinement.
When you ask most people about Cave diving they will tell you how dangerous it is! How claustrophobic they feel and so on….. It’s not the most dangerous thing you can do! I fancy my chances more in a flooded cave than a squirrel suit! That being said the cave demands respect and dedication to training in order to be proficient.
This June a group of GUE NZ divers returned to Quintana Roo with the intention of furthering their training and enjoying more of the amazing underwater river systems easily available to divers. Warm water, good food and old friends were high on the hit list. This time however there was extra bags in tow…. VR Cameras!
I have helped out previously with CINDAQ, a local NGO dedicated to protecting the Cenotes and Aquifers of the region. Through citizen science, volunteering, education, outreach and a dedicated group of highly skilled individuals this team aim to provide and extend protection to the strained fresh water ecosystems that are so critical to life on the Yucatan peninsula.
Throughout the trip we were able to capture some of the vast network of cave systems in full 360 Video! From the clear open water environments to the salt water mixing layers and deeper salt passage karst environment. We built a bank of footage that we could use to illustrate the scale and beauty to land owners, scientists and anyone who would not have the opportunity to visit these incredible locations.
Teamwork features heavily in Advanced Diving NZ’s posts! No exceptions here! The amount of people who volunteered their time, skills and equipment to make these shoots happen was amazing. Just having the light to be able to shoot in these places required a team of divers and tens of thousands of lumens output!
One shoot in particular took 5 divers to illuminate an enormous passage called the Mayan Skyway in Systema Ox Bel Ha. Have a look at a clip below to see the shear scale of the conduit!
Showing people these places can create amazing reactions, since our mission the footage is being used to create unprecedented awareness of the environments and we hope create a more positive approach to maintaining them moving forward. It is not every day you can go cave diving with an unlimited gas supply after all!
Samuel Taylor Coleridge - “In Xanadu did Kubla Khan a stately pleasure-dome decree, where alph, the sacred river, ran, through caverns measureless to man, down to a sunless sea.”