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Speaking Sidemount

Speaking Sidemount

Podcast Speaking Sidemount
Podcast Speaking Sidemount

Speaking Sidemount

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  • E079 Rannvá Jørmundsson - Becoming an Explorer
    Hi, here's episode #79 Rannvá Jørmundsson - "Becoming an Explorer" brought to you by our brilliant sponsor XDEEP and the patrons of Speaking Sidemount. Huge thanks to both for their support that makes everything you are about to listen to possible. One of the enduring themes of Speaking Sidemount is to shine a light on the applications of sidemount diving. I am a strong believer and practitioner in diving sidemount in nearly any application or environment but there's no doubt that if you dive overheads, and in particular caves, sooner or later you are going to find a space that is too small for backmount diving. Or you will need to lug gear far enough or over terrain where you'll want to break it down into smaller parts. This, of course, is where sidemount really shines and is the reason this podcast features many, many great cave divers. I'd also add, that cave diving demands the highest levels of sidemount skills… buoyancy control, trim, and balance - what I call relaxed static stability... meaning the ability to be still in a confined space, and effective propulsion techniques including frog kick and the back kick. No other type of diving is as demanding in these aspects. I draw a strong distinction between cave diving and cave exploration. Exploration requires and builds upon a strong foundation of cave diving skills and experience. But it requires much more. Aspects such as… searching for prospective caves, dealing with landowners, camping in remote locations, and complex access skills like single rope technique. Then there's the diving… preparation and planning, working in teams, reading a cave, line laying for survey, surveying the cave itself, passing unknown restrictions, and self-reliance or solo diving. Add to that the mindset and discipline required and it is quite a leap from your average cave dive. I've often thought about how you get started and what it takes to become an explorer. There is no doubt that leaning on the experience of other explorers is the best way to go. By way of example, you may remember my discussion with Tamara May back in episode 60 released a couple of years ago now where Tamara talked about Project Xunaan in Tulum Mexico where Robbie Schmittner, one of the world's leading cave explorers had pulled together a team of six female divers to continue his exploration in that area. Along the way, he would teach and mentor them on what, for most of them, was their first genuine exploration project. While COVID delayed this project, it also gave the team the opportunity to build on the initial plan including working with sponsors to support their efforts and filming the project. The result was a super interesting view into becoming an explorer and in this episode, I catch up with another of the Xunnan Ha team members…. Rannva Joermundsson. I had the pleasure of meeting Rannva at this year's OzTek conference in Melbourne Australia where Rannva along with her exploration partner Maria Bollerup gave two compelling presentations… the first on project Xunnan Ha and the second on their next project Expedition Buteng in Sulawesi Indonesia. In this episode, I ask Rannva to share how she got into diving and progressed to cave diving. We talk about how she combines her passion for diving with her career working for two of my absolute favourite dive brands, Fourth Element and Shearwater. And then Rannva tells us about the amazing project Xunnan Ha. We talk about the planning, how they worked on the project, and what she has taken away from the experience. Building on this we lean into her next project Expedition Buteng where Rannva is working with Robin Cuesta my new dive buddy and guest on Episode 71 "Caves of Sulawesi". Rannva discusses her partnership with Maria Bollerup on this project, the impressive team they have assembled, and the goals for the project including exploration, scientific, and community benefits. We close by talking about some of the project preparation including KISS Sidewinder training in Mexico… enjoy :)!! Steve
    10/31/2022
    55:15
  • E078 Bruce Clulow - Caves of the South Pacific
    This episode is brought to you by our brilliant sponsor XDEEP and by the patrons of Speaking Sidemount, huge thanks to both for their support. Speaking Sidemount has featured many of the top cave diving regions of the world… I'm thinking Mexico, Florida, UK, the Bahamas, and Sardinia. But it's been awesome to also dig deeper into regions not well known for caves… places like Sweden, Indonesia, Australia, and Canada. Now along these lines… I've known for a while that many of the Pacific Islands have cave systems and also of course I get asked a lot about the caves of New Zealand. So when I saw a post from Bruce Clulow, a  well-known and very active cave explorer here in New Zealand talking about his exploration in the Cook Islands, I thought this would be a great opportunity to learn more and share with you all about the caves in what is loosely my back yard. Bruce is a commercial airline pilot flying for my favourite airline… Air New Zealand. As you'll learn, this is just a  cover for a hugely passionate and capable cave explorer… who is part of the Group known as the Kaarst Monkeys… yep we'll get into that too… In this episode, Bruce talks about how he got into diving and cave exploration. He shares some really valuable insights into Human factors for diving leaning on his experience and application of this discipline from his aviation career. We talk about his cave exploration in the Cooks before he shares a fantastic story of bumping into Robert Thomas my guest in Episode # while on a tourist excursion to Wookey Hole in the UK. I ask Bruce to share about the Caves of New Zealand and what it takes to dive the caves here. We talk about cave rescue and recovery before he shares on his upcoming exploration projects. All this and much more in this episode of… Speaking Sidemount.
    10/2/2022
    49:52
  • E077 Alessandra Figari - "Follow Your Dreams"
    This episode is brought to you by  XDEEP and by the patrons of Speaking Sidemount, huge thanks to both for their support.   In this episode, Alessandra shares her inspiring story of the events that led to her moving to Mexico to pursue diving. How she started her cave diving journey under the tutelage of legendary cave explorer Bil Phillips. She relates how she built her experience diving with friends before doing her cave instructor training in Florida. We contrast cave diving in Florida and Mexico before talking about Alessandra's philosophies regarding teaching diving at her business, Cave Training Mexico. I ask her what makes her training unique and she shares stories from her courses and the friendships that she has developed with both her mentors and her students.   We finish by talking about the incredibly concerning Tren Maya project to run a train track straight over the top of some of the most phenomenal cave systems on our planet between Playa Del Carmen and Tulum on the Yucatan Peninsula. Alessandra shares a wealth of resources on this issue and her thoughts on what we can do to support the local opposition to this project. Look out for more on the Speaking Sidemount Facebook page.   Enjoy Steve
    8/30/2022
    1:02:14
  • E076 Looking Back - The Best of Speaking Sidemount
    Hey, welcome to Episode #76 Looking Back - The Best of Speaking Sidemount brought to by XDEEP with the support of the patrons of Speaking Sidemount. Huge thanks to both!!! This episode looks back over the first 75 episodes with me handpicking some of my very favourite segments. This was such a challenging task and what I find remarkable now that it's done, is just how much great material I have left out... maybe a part 2?? Let me know if you'd like to hear that. Listen in as I talk with Michur about what it takes to achieve his extraordinary skill level. Steve Bogaerts shares on the modern history of sidemount and how to build comfort in the water. Edd Sorenson talks about cave diving rescues and recoveries before we relive the fantastic story of the Thai Cave rescue with Richard "Harry" Harris and Chris Jewell. Jill Heinerth speaks on dealing with fear in cave diving and her beginnings in Sidemount. I reconnected with Audrey Cudel to talk about the key aspects of refining your sidemount setup, Nat Gibb shares about her passion for caves and what it takes to dive the caves of Mexico. Huge thanks to Gold Patron Justin Enzmann for suggesting this episode. It was awesome to catch up with Justin on the show and chat about his diving and we've even arranged to meet later this year when we are both in Mexico.
    8/2/2022
    1:26:51
  • E075 Tom Crisp 2 - "Explorer-Adventurer"
    This episode is brought to you by our amazing sponsor XDEEP and the patrons of Speaking Sidemount. Thanks so much to both for their support that makes this podcast possible. Tom Crisp hails from my home New Zealand and is undoubtedly one of our finest cave explorers and I'll use the term, adventurers. Tom has based himself in Alberta, Canada to allow him to discover and explore the caves of that region. You may recall Tom and I spoke way back in Episode #15 and in this, episode #75 we catch up on what we've been up to over the past three and a half years. Tom talks about why he has based himself in Canada, his work and training with the Alberta Parks and how this supports his exploration projects. Tom shares how he shapes his life to support his exploration, the sacrifices and the rewards that come from this "calling". We chat about the active exploration projects Tom is working on in Canada and the geology of these caves before we talk at length about what it takes to dive in 2-degree water and access caves in sub-zero surface conditions. We cover Tom's sump diving set-up, before a fascinating exchange on knowing when to pull back when you encounter a stressful situation on a dive and we finish with Tom sharing some of the cave exploration projects he had to leave behind and pass on to other explorers here in NZ. All this and much, much more in this episode of…. Speaking Sidemount!!
    7/1/2022
    53:20

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