CAVE DIVING COURSES in LOT (France) - Logistic
Courses will be held in France at Marcilhac Sur Célé in the region of the Lot, which is located 30km from the town of Cahors. The region that we will cross to reach the source is both suggestive and evocative with wild beauty. Tourism in the area has developed promoting small family groups who are looking for peace and quiet, campsites organized for groups of children and for those who wish to practice an assortment of outdoor sporting activities such as walking, cycling, horse riding, canoeing, kayaking and sailing on the tranquil rivers, dry caving excursions, climbing experiences, etc.. In the Lot and its surrounding environment some of the most important prehistoric caves sites known worldwide can be found: Pech Merle, Lascaux, etc; these contain some of the world’s most interesting and important cave paintings. In the surrounding area the huge chasm of Padirac cave (Gouffre de Padirac) can be visited. As regards to nature, within a short distance of our locality, there are extensive parks that will give you the possibility to observe European wild animals and, in some moments of the day, with the help of guardians, the feeding of wolves, bears, etc.. In other sites there are exciting raptor flight demonstrations such as golden eagles, condors, several types of hawks,etc..
Furthermore, for fans of astronomy and those who even just like looking at the starry sky, it’s possible during the night to observe the constellations in incredible detail due to the transparency of the atmosphere and the lack of light pollution so common in the big cities.
There are medieval settlements of great touristic importance such as Rocamadour, St.Cirq Lapopie, Cahors, etc. close to some of our sources.
We now come to the aspect of underwater speleology.
Some of the most important sources in Europe are to be found in the Lot area. They are well known for their size and their depth, as well as for their morphological beauty. The sources which we will visit during our training are particularly suitable for the implementation of the exercises: the visibility is almost always good, the water temperature ranges around 13 degrees centigrade and the depth is almost always around -10m thus allowing dives which require no decompression.
The course commences on Sunday morning: this begins with a short introduction to the course, a check of materials and an explanation of the day’s activities; after this we usually head towards the Ressel site for a first dive and to get acclimatized and make some adjustments to the equipment. In the following days, the different line laying techniques, lost line searching techniques and démêlage procedures will be taken into consideration, first from a theoretical point of view, and afterwards the drills will be practised on dry land and then, once the source is reached, will be practiced under water, inside the cave. The course will end the following Saturday after the dive with a final exam: a written test about cave diving theory. The total number of dives will be seven.
The course will take place from morning to evening.
The course is open to a maximum number of three people, in order not to exceed a 1:1 instructor to student ratio during any diving activity and to maintain an excellent level of quality. The positions which are available will be filled on a first come first serve basis.
The minimum requirement to participate on this course is an Advanced Open Water diver’s certificate endorsed by a recognized training agency.
The cost of the course includes: dives, the cave diving manual, necessary training materials and the possible TDI qualification card.
The region is rich in various types of lodgings: from exclusive hotels to campsites. I will personally stay at the Camping of Marcilhac Sur Célé where we can practice land drills, follow the theoretical lectures and fill our tanks. At the campsite there is also the possibility of renting a bungalow or a caravan. In the camp there is also the chance to have breakfast and dinner; at noon we are always out for the activities. Therefore for lunch we are free to prepare our own food.
In Lot you can buy well-known local products such as wine, cheese, paté, foie gras, nuts, honey, etc.. Ceramics, wood sculptures and many other fascinating items.
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