Cave Diving : Old Caves, New Species

The Dominican Republic trip we took in June turned out to be a lot more than just beating the bush, dry caving, finding virgin cave and laying line. Some of what we found in the caves actually turned out to be very interesting to Brooklyn College, CUNY as well. So much so that they brought us back down to the Dominican Republic earlier this month to recover some fossils. The fossils were removed from the cave with government permits and are being housed in the Museum of the Dominican Man in Santo Domingo; there they will study them and hopefully you will soon be able to read of these studies in some prestigious science journals. I am actually very happy with this new endeavor. For many Padre Nuestroyears archaeologists and paleontologists have worked in caves to better understand species that have long been extinct. We are now entering a period of time where cave divers and scientists can work together for the better of science. This has long been a goal of the ADM Exploration Foundation and we are happy to oblige our new friends in academia. The picture to the left was taken by Curt Bowen in a cave called Padre Nuestro in the Dominican Republic.  Keep your eye out for issue 32 of  Advanced Diver Magazine, in it is an editorial about our trip to the Dominican Republic as well as some of Curt's amazing photography.

There are some great things coming up in the diving community; DEMA for one. DEMA is back in Orlando this year and I am looking forward to looking at all the exciting things I can do to my new KISS Classic Rebreather (thank you Kim and Curt for making this a reality) I know many of my friends will quickly point out that I have never been a fan of rebreathers but I am looking at it as just another tool in the bag.  I intend on using this new tool during my next expedition with Advanced Diver Magazine in January.  We will be headed to some very remote parts of the the Yucatan and managing 30 or so SCUBA tanks for open circuit just won't cut it. Therefore, this trip will be rebreather only for the sake of logistics. Hence, my having to learn the rebreather -- learn it or don't go.

Here in Florida, we are looking forward to the NACD's 41st Annual World Seminar. This great event will be held in the Gainesville, Florida area starting November 21st. The 3rd Annual Rebreather Summit will be held in conjunction with the NACD Seminar at Camp Kulaqua on November 22nd. The NACD is always busy working for their members, I heard great things about the Survey Workshop Mike Poucher held last month for the NACD; I wish I could have attended. Mike is an amazing cave cartographer and has already forgotten more than I will ever know about cave survey.

My new cave atlas is coming along. When I launch it, I hope to have over a 1,000 systems in quite a few different countries. Stay tuned for that. I am hoping I have some spare time soon to work on this. Until then, please continue to post condition reports for the caves you are visiting. Many other readers have come to depend on the condition reports for planning their cave diving trips. I am happy to see quite a few people have decided to follow CaveConditions on Twitter. Personally, I enjoy getting text messages letting me know how others are enjoying the caves when I am not.

Thanks again for those of you that read my blog and use the site. I hope the new site will be even easier to use. Take a look at the Cave & Cavern List. I have added quite a few new systems in Florida as well as other countries. Drop me a note if you would like to see other features added to the site or you just have something you would like to say.  I also wanted to mention some GREAT news! If you are looking for a new dive light or need yours repaired, Joel & Corey are back! They have have opened up a new business called Light Monkey.  Check them out for more information.