Cedam Dive Center
Puerto Aventuras
March/April 1997
Page 2 of 2

Chac Mol

Taj Mahal -cavern entrance


We were amazed at the attention to detail paid by our instructors . Every movement was observed and critiqued for safety and/or efficiency. We learned to critique ourselves for the mistakes that we noticed, but we were never sure if we would be told we were too hard on ourselves, or if our list of possible improvements was a bit too short.

We took a couple of extra days to complete our work because, frankly, we needed it. Cave diving is quite a bit different than open water diving, and we seemed to have an unconscious resistance to "unlearning" open water skills in order to accept replacements that are necessary in caves. We hope to keep both sets of skills and apply them where appropriate.

When we completed our work and wandered through the shop, Matt gave us his big grin and said "You earned your license to get your education." No truer words were ever spoken. We came away with a healthy respect for the environment and its unforgiving nature, a set of basic skills that require significant honing to begin to approach those that we observed in our instructors, and a real awareness of our limitations, not to mention memories of a number of mistakes that should never be repeated.

The last paragraph was to be a glowing recommendation, but we had a few problems that were handled as they occurred for the most part. The center tends to schedule the minimum amount of time to complete the course with two dives per day, but the instructors like to lecture the first day. This makes an extra day or two a practical option if you spend a lot of money to travel to take this course, and expect to complete it on your first trip. It isn't always easy to extend your trip once you arrive. Also, from the day we arrived we were offered dual certification because of the NACD and NSS instructors both participating in our class. As luck would have it, the addition of a fourth student prevented any possibility of this happening due to splitting the class for diving purposes. This was learned a week after our return home. Apologies were made and accepted, but it really dampens your enthusiasm when such surprises occur. The office expressed their concern that it never happen again, and you can't ask for more than that.

Since that trip, Mark has been back, and reports that things weren't as well run on the second trip. Costs were higher in Puerto Aventuras, and there didn't seem to be as much interest in customer satisfaction at most places. Mark didn't recommend Cedam after he returned. Now their web site has disappeared. They are still listed at http://www.cavediving.com/where2/mexico.htm#cedam, but the disappearance of their domain suggests that they may be gone.

If you are interested in Yucatan exploration, check out the Outside Magazine article Exploration: Gentlemen, Start Your Regulator and The Mystery of Nohoch Nah Chich

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Copyright © 1997 Randall C. Allen - All rights reserved
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