Scuba Coach Trace

FREEDIVING, sport, technical, & cave diver training

Cave Training Sites:


Ginnie Springs, Peacock Springs, Manatee Springs, Madison Blue Springs, Little River, Morrison Springs, Vortex Spring, Twin Caves, Hole in the Wall, Jackson Blue Spring, etc. 


(Cave diving class in northern Florida. Photo by Justin Bates.)


Cave Diver Courses


NASTD cave diver training is divided into 3 levels. Cave Diver 1: Limited Range divers are trained to venture beyond the daylight zone of caverns into the perpetual darkness of underwater caves using 1/6 of their starting gas supplies for penetration. They must remain close to the main guideline and may not perform jumps or complex navigation. Cave Diver 2: Full Range Cave divers are allowed to make jumps off the main guideline and also perform complex circuits and traverses using 1/3 of their starting gas supplies for penetration. Even though caves are always dark they become different environments at night. Sunlight no longer welcomes you to the exit and a guideline to open water is critical. The wildlife drawn to the springs at night is thrilling above and below the water. Most cave instructors only teach during the day and keep "office hours" during training. Trace will introduce you to the peace and tranquility of the springs and caves at night. You will usually make 2 - 3 training dives a day (two daylight dives and one night dive) during class. After full cave training, you can expand your range with stage bottles and diver propulsion vehicles or learn underwater map-making to gain a greater appreciation of the cave environment. 

Cave Courses I Teach:


  • NASTD Cave Diving Instructor Trainer 
  • NASTD Cave Diving Instructor Trainer Evaluator

Watch this video if you are thinking about exploring inside a cave or shipwreck without training. You need CAVE TRAINING to Cave Dive. You need SHIPWRECK PENETRATION TRAINING to go inside a wreck.


Cave divers do not have direct access to the surface in the event of an emergency. In a worst-case scenario, a cave diving team may find themselves experiencing a catastrophic malfunction of the gas supply at maximum penetration. They may need to swim half a mile or more out of a cave while sharing gas and making complex navigational decisions. Without careful propulsion techniques, silt may be disturbed on the bottom, walls, and ceilings of caves reducing visibility to zero. Lights may fail leaving divers in the dark. Divers who wish to dive in caves need proper training. Proper training allows divers to mitigate the risks and truly enjoy the serenity and beauty of one of the most unique and romantic environments on earth ... or rather, under it. 


Passionate. That is the word most cave divers use to describe their love of cave diving. While others may think cave diving is just swimming by a bunch of "wet rocks" those who have taken the first few kicks into cave class discover an almost indescribable journey.


(Trace Malinowski entering the Devil's Eye system with three cave students. Photo by Justin Bates.)

cave diving courses