Cave Diver Training in Spain's Caves
Updated: Aug 11
Finally! After six months of COVID restrictions and trying to get to Spain to do my first Cave Diving courses, the day finally came that Spain started unlocking provinces, and I was able to travel again freely to Valencia.
It has always been my long life goal to become a Cave Diver. Ever since I saw a documentary of some Caves in Mexico, I have always wanted to get qualified, but I had been focusing more on getting qualified to do Deep Technical Dives and on Underwater Photography. It wasn’t until summer of last year, that I decided I wanted to take my next step in Scuba Diving, this being cave diving.
Although it is true that the Diving Agency you use does not matter, it is the instructor that does, it is also true that some agencies are lesser known than others, and for this reason, as I do travel quite a lot and I have plans to cave dive around the world in the future, I decided I wanted a well-known cave diving agency for certification. My initial choice was TDI, but I found it hard to find a TDI Cave Diving Instructor nearby. My second choice was IANTD, of which I found an instructor in the province of Valencia, at a coastal town called Jávea. This is where I decided to start my cave diving training.
Near Jávea, is one of Spain’s most well-known caves; Cueva Del Moraig. My training would start with the Cavern Diver Course, then followed by the Intro to Cave Course.
My first day of the Cavern Diver Course started the following day of arrival in Jávea, after a long 7 hour drive from Gibraltar the day before. Because I had the morning off before starting the course, I did a bit of sightseeing and exploring that morning. In the afternoon I did all the land drills, outside the dive centre in a garden, using the trees as places to tie off the lines, reels and spools. We also went through a bit of theory after that. Then I setup my diving kit in cave diving configuration, ready for diving the next morning.
The following day, after arriving early to the dive centre, I was told that we were not diving because of bad weather conditions, so instead did more land drills and theory.
There was a break in the bad weather on the 3rd day of my cave diving courses, and we were able to go out on the boat to a small Cavern at Cabo Negro. Here I did most of my Cavern Diver skills. The visibility wasn’t great, but similar to that of what we get at home in Gibraltar. This was due to the swell the previous days, which had also brought some old water up from the deep, and the temperature was rather chilly.
On the 4th day, we finished my Cavern Diver Course, with shore dives to some small caves off a beach called La Granadella. The caves although small, were quite impressive. Both caves I did the training in had a layer of fresh water, separated by a halocline and salt water.
I had now completed my Cavern Diver course, and was moving on to start my Intro to Cave course the following day. Because of ongoing bad sea conditions coming and going, the instructor very kindly offered to take me to the “Cueva Del Agua” Cave in Murcia, about a 2.5 hour drive away, which is an inland cave, and the weather does not matter for diving in this cave. I was very excited, as I had seen some of my dive buddies photos and videos diving in the cave a few months earlier, and I also kept seeing posts on social media about this cave. The Cueva Del Agua is the most famous in Spain, it is a Cenote, with warm water all year around of 29’c.
We started my Intro to Cave course with two dives in the Cueva Del Agua. The first was a guided tour of the first 200 metres of the cave, including practising placing markers and some navigation in the cave. The second dive was in the “Cathedral Gallery” the first section of the cave, and this is where I practised all my Cave Diving Skills. On the second dive, on the descent, I had some issues equalising my ears, but eventually I managed to get under!
The next day, there was an improvement in sea conditions, and we managed to go to the Cueva Del Moraig. The cave is not a sea cave, but the easiest entry is via a boat and swimming under a small submerged arch at a depth of one metre, which then takes you to the entrance of the Cueva Del Moraig in a dry area of the cave. There is also a way to reach the cave by swimming from the beach nearby, but this is best done with a DPV, to save on gas consumption before actually entering the cave itself. And also due to COVID restrictions, access to the beach road was shut, so to get to the beach at present, it was a long tiring walk!
Here at the Cueva Del Moraig Cave, I completed my Intro to Cave Course. When we finished the dives, on leaving the cave via the submerged arch out to sea, I had some issues equalising my ears again! I do suffer quite a bit from sinus squeezes and ear equalising problems often! Unfortunately some tissues in my sinus cavities get inflamed at times and block the passage of air passing through! Nevertheless, a one metre descent to get out to sea did not really need equalising, so there was no problem there!
My final day at Jávea had arrived, and I planned to do a final dive in the Cueva Del Moraig, but just as we boarded the boat, the skipper got news of bad sea conditions again!... The dive was cancelled. Unfortunately I stayed with the thirst of diving the cave again.
I did take my DSLR and GoPro with me on the trip, but due to training, I was unable to use them, and as I was also unable to do a “pleasure” dive after the course, to photograph and video the cave. I will come back soon to do so. Hopefully the weather would have improved by then!
Below are links to some GoPro footage the Instructor took during my training: