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Read this sentence in a non-divers’ article about the Yucatan this morning.

My initial thought was, "Nope."

Partially because of the word "adrenophilic." It's not a word; it sounds like it should be and it's easy to understand what it's supposed to mean... but it's still not a word. Unless you are ee cummings or James Joyce pick a real word.

Then there is the mischaracterization of cave divers as crazed daredevils. Most technical instructors (or, at least among the ones you ought to have anything to do with) will actually do what they can to temper or even TURN AWAY adrenaline-junkies. That is not the sort of mindset that is desirable in a sport where whole teams can die due to poor decisions.

Cave diving - indeed ALL diving - done correctly can be appropriately characterized as "floating around like a lazy turd and looking at pretty stuff." Certainly at some levels there is some pretty aggressive training to ensure that everyone on each team can follow through with that mission, as it were, from start to end. However, as missions go, "float around for a while" is hardly extreme.

So I don't think of it as particularly adventurous.

Then I get to thinking about some other conversations I've had with folks over the years. About how diving has lost much of its wow-factor. About how certain agencies have spent a lot of time and energy and money to make sure that most people think of diving as something you fragile, little granny can do safely.

I don't think that anyone is suggesting your fragile, little granny should take up cave diving straight out of the gate. But nor do I think it's fair that most of the coolness, especially at the "recreational" levels has been beaten out of the sport. Perhaps to a point where there is good deal of disconnect for people who might want to do something a little edgier, but don't recognize that floating around on a reef for a while is the price of entry.

So on the other hand I think of visiting 30 foot reefs as wildly adventurous.

How is it that diving is really only thought of in the very narrow range of: - "Aren't you scared of sharks?" OR - "Oh, my brother-in-law has his PADI and has been to the Bahamas." OR - "Cave diving?!?! You must be a batshit crazy adrenophile!!"

No one thinks of tandem sky-diving as anything other than an exciting thrill for beginners. Nor does anyone suspect that people go immediately from tandem sky-diving to riding a squirrel suit. People seem to recognize that skydiving, or mountain biking, or skiing, or surfing, or any other "extreme" sport you can think of as a many-stepped process that can be thrilling along every step of the way.

Frankly, however, no one should ride a squirrel suit at all.

Because those people are batshit crazy adrenowhatevers.

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