Pluto Dive Blog
News and events from Pluto Dive

26

Sep - 2016

 

Playa del Carmen, Mexico


Playa Del Carmen is located on the Riviera Maya just under an hour from Cancun Airport. This Fishermen's' village has become the favorite place for dive vacations because of the underwater river system AND rich coral reef that are home to an array of sea creatures and rich coral reefs.
The coral reef in the Riviera Maya is the second longest barrier reef.
There are different levels from 33 feet to 45 feet for diving that allow divers with little experience to experience Caribbean fish like angel fish, parrot fish, stingrays, moral eels and turtles. Some of the deeper sites might require a different level of experience.
There is a mix of things to explore from reefs to wreck diving and of course the famous caverns.

 

 

Cavern Diving


You need a normal certification to explore the 15 caverns in Playa del Carmen. You can experience caverns with interesting characteristics and sunlight effects, unusual flora and animals. A certified guiding instructor will escort you through the caverns if you are not familiar with the area

 

Cave Diving


Cave diving Playa del Carmen is different to diving through the caverns, you need more than just a basic diving certificate.
With the right certification and experience, you can explore the vast cave systems that are regarded to be some of the best in the world. Your guide should be able to provide you with information on the local regulations that cave divers are required to adhere to

 

 

There are different conditions in the caves, some are harder some easier for shallow depth to sediment caves that are fragile and require care when you are diving. The caves have lots of interesting stalagmites and stalactite column formations
For information on cave diving Playa del Carmen visit http://www.plutodive.com/diving/technical/cave-diving  
You'll find all the information you need about diving in the Riviera Maya and all the wonderful things you can see and do in the area

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20

Sep - 2016

 

Playa del Carmen: The world’s best cenote diving destination


Playa del Carmen: The world’s best cenote diving destination written by: musgrovesheryl One of the joys of scuba diving comes from exploring caves and other formations found close to water bodies. A cenote is a surface connection to an underground water body, frequently found in coastal regions near caves.
Due to the beauty of these underground complexes, many scuba divers have branched into the equally enjoyable sport of cenote diving. While this looks similar to cave diving, it is vastly different in that the divers stick to the natural light zones found in cenotes.
Caribbean delights
One of the best destinations for Cenote diving is Playa del Carmen in the Caribbean coast of Mexico. Apart from the excellent tourist facilities found in the region, it also has some of the most stunning cenotes in the world. The Dreamgate cenote, ranks among the most beautiful in the complex and consists of two arms. The Upstream and Downstream arms offer one of the most spectacular dives between stalactites and natural columns.
Also worth considering is the Cenote Tankah that connects one of the biggest underwater cave systems known as Nohoch Na Chich, with the ocean. It is located amidst a mangrove field, giving enthusiasts the sensation of diving beneath the jungle to encounter fauna from the surroundings.

 

 

Certified divers


Last and most famous of the set is Cenotes Dos Ojos. The name Dos Ojos is Spanish for two eyes; a reference to two neighboring cenotes connected through a cavernous zone. The first Cenote is the BARBIE LINE and contains a lot of day light while the second is BAT CAVE LINE and is quite dark, surrounding an air filled cave in which bats live.
For you to participate in cenote dives, all you need is to be a certified Open Water Diver with a minimum of 20 logged dives and skilful buoyancy control.
If you want to try out some cenote diving in the Playa del Carmen region, look for Pluto Dive, a local provider of quality scuba diving services. Find them on Street 40 between 5th and 10th avenue and will meet all your cenote diving needs.



 

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10

Oct - 2015

 

Cave Diving exploration



One of the goal for any trained cave diver is to find a new cave system to explore , the feeling to be there as first human is like to discover a new Everest and climb it all in one breath.
Planning and training are essential parts of such difficult and technical section of cave diving.
You will need to be trained in climbing ( not all the entrances are easy to reach) , multistage and decompression diving , deep diving , survey diving , advanced side mount diving  and no mount diving.
Be prepared physically and mentally :
long walks in the jungle carrying a lot of heavy equipment can be impossible if you are not fit enough.
Cave diving in new caves can put you in very hard task loading  dive , no visibility can be expected , even for long periods ,you need to lie new line in the system, than you need to survey it , your mind has to be well trained to avoid put you in danger all time .
Here in the Riviera Maya we still have a lot of caves to discover, we only need time to go in the jungle and work for it.
New discovery are done in different time , you need to find the new place as first part of the plan .
Way to do that are , talking with Landowners (they know their lands) , walk around in the jungle ( not safe) or take a small Plane and  fly over taking GPS references at the interesting places.


 

Once identified the possible cave to go you will need to find the owner and ask for permission to go there, if he say yes the planning will start.
Reach some places can be difficult and sometimes you will need to cut the thick  jungle to open a decent path to walk in , than you will need to carry equipment there , for the first time can be used very light
One , just to see the cave potential , small cylinders , primary and back up lights , fins and mask , a big Primary reel.

Short dive will be done in all the directions to find a way to go , if you got it , will be time to come back with more equipment to continue the survey. Essential is to mark the place with GPS coordinates to know where you are and make a precise map.

Now we have something to work on , real diving plan can start , we need Sherpa to go there? May be mules? The path can be cleaned enough to pass through with a truck? How many cylinders we gonna need ? How many cave divers?

Once you answer realistically to all that questions you can start you first real dive at the cave.

Normally a team of two cave diver is good to start , with a set of double cylinders each ( better if in side mount ) , they can work together or in different ways , one in upstream and the other in downstream ( be more conservative)  , starting to lie down line with proper tie offs and markers , if they are lucky they can both finish an exploration reel of knotted line ( each 10ft/3m) , at that point the real survey start , with slates you need to mark at each tie off (called station) Azimuth , depth and distance , once on the surface will need to copy all the data on a proper survey page , avoiding to lose all the work done.


 

As much as the system grow during the next dives , as much is complicated to make a proper  cave diving plan , team or divers will need more cylinders , deco stops can be involved , passing in to major restrictions , deep places can be reached than gas switches must be expected , sideways passages will be visited before to continue on the main line and a mazes of cave can be grown .
The possibility to find connections with other caves is very high here in the Riviera Maya , leading team of cave divers that love to discover new places to continue they survey for long periods of time , putting down miles and miles of new cave line per year.
Curiosity of the unknown guide them along dirt places , long walks , task loading dives , complex navigation and danger just to have the personal reward to have been in symbiosis with the magic of the nature ,that magic you can only find in cave diving.

 


 

 

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28

Sep - 2015

 

A Day of Cave Diving Playa Del Carmen



Plan is stage diving in cave , using side mount equipment.


Early morning wake up , 6:30 am , have a nice breakfast


To get in a hard day , 10 minutes to check on line news and socials , than get ready for the meeting in Pluto Dive Shop.


At 7:45 Marcia , Fulvio and Me meet at the shop and start to load the equipment in the truck , 3 tanks each diver , the plan is a long cave diving , pressure check , light check , video and equipment check , ready to go.


 

At 8:20 we are on the highway direction to the cenote Dos Pisos , just after Tulum , we do a brief stop in a market to buy some soft drinks and water , is really hot and we need to be hydrated , than we have to drive 1 hour to get at the place , we call the owner to advise we are arriving in a bit , we stat to talk about life and our bucket list , after one hour drive we are at the dive site , it is time to set up gear and take everything down to the cave entrance , after 40 minutes all is ready and we jump in the water , bubble check , equipment check and match , plan review , gas , time and depth , team position and we start our long dive , plan is 90 minutes in….


 

Descending in a small and silty passage we move on the main line slowly , after 10 minutes the cave open up and show us an amazing place with a lot of speleothems , we stop to take some photo shots and than we move over, 35 minutes in the dive is time to leave the stage tanks , proper signal , switch to side mount bottles and we are ready to continue our swimming in the cave , is beautiful over here, impossible to describe, you need to be in this place to understand what we feel. After 90 minutes into the dive we call the turn around , it is time to go back , we start to swim toward the exit of the cave , at 140 minutes we find our stage bottles , a little bit earlier but we do not stop a lot to take pictures on the return.

Another gas switch and we are again breathing from our stages , 35 minutes a we will be out of this amazing place.

We slowly move in the alley , take some other shot and finally get back to the surface.


 

We are trained Cave Instructors and dove those places many times but you need to see our eyes and faces after that dive , we smile and the only words are thank you each other ,it is impossible to explain that feeling , we get caved again and we are happy like puppies.

Now is the time to pack all the equipment taking only memories and leaving only bubbles.

Getting back on the highway we are ready for the most yummy roasted chicken in all the Riviera Maya.

In late afternoon we are back at the shop , store everything and prepare the equipment for another day in the Amazing Caves in the Riviera Maya.

 

 

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21

Oct - 2013

 

One of the most unique and appealing aspects of diving Playa del Carmen is the chance to experience so many very different types of dives. For example, you can dive Playa del Carmen offshore with Pluto Dive to explore fantastic arches and caverns, be entertained by colorful fish and corals as you gently float above a rich coral reef, or head inland and dive several cenotes in the area. Cenotes are basically flooded sinkholes and they have been a vital part of the Yucatan Pensinsula landscape for thousands of years. Without them, the Mayans wouldn’t have been able to establish civilizations and they still supply fresh water to people on the Riviera Maya to this day.

Cenotes are also fantastic destinations for diving and no dive trip to the Playa del Carmen area would be complete without diving a couple cenotes because cenote diving is cave diving at its finest. As the light filters down, it forms azure-colored shafts and columns in the crystal clear water and lights up natural structures in the cave. Further exploration reveals breathtaking stalactite and stalagmite formations and even marine fossils. As long as you are OWD certified, you can dive a cenote and we will bring you to such well known cenote destinations as Dos Ojos, Angelita, and Carwash to name a few. Our cenote guides are experienced Open Water Dive Masters (or higher certification), use a full set of cave diving equipment, and have completed courses to be authorized for guiding divers in caverns.

Dive Riviera Maya and experience the stunning beauty of cenotes near Playa del Carmen with all of us here at Pluto Dive!

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