Swish Suits

Eco. Technical. Apparel for women in the water

high performance wetsuits

Sharkwater Creator and Evironmental Champion Rob Stewart Sports his Swish!

General, Eco Tips and Environmentswishreboot@solomongiles.comComment

Creator of the revoluionary must see documentary, Sharkwater, Rob Stewart is more than a cute documentarian, he is in essence a revolution starter. His brilliant videography takes us on a global crusade to end shark finning. We at Swish LOVED this Sharkwater. We loved it so much that Victoria flew down to Mexico to give him a custom made Swish free diving suit in 2010 while he was filming whale sharks off the coast of Cozumel.

Swish Suits                       Swish Suits

Fabulous, all fabulous! Rob's film helped spark world wide pressure and movements to ban shark finning all over the globe. Rob traveled so much speaking about ocean conservation that until this last year he had not been diving in over four years! But he recently got back into his Swish Suit long enough to film his newest documentary Revolution co directed by Gus Van Sant.

 

Swish Suits

Rob is an ecological warrior and also a family friend for years of ours, but what excites us most here at Swish is the growing popularity of being eco we see in the Revolution movement. We often get asked why our suits are so expensive. Besides being the only women's wetsuits that are eco and made in North America, our suits are so expensive because we choose to invest in the future. And because we refuse to make crap. Because we choose mother nature over profit. Because, ultimately, we choose you. Swish Suits

I spent about 5 years traveling the world teaching scuba diving and documenting reef ecology after university from 2008-2013. It literally hurt my soul to watch ecologists get on the news talking about the devastation of giant oil spills wearing wetsuits made from petrol. We are so uninformed about what we put on or in our bodies. So I searched around Asia for two years until I found Yamamoto neoprene which produces neoprene from limestone instead of petrol. I then designed suits in over three different continents before I brought it to the USA. We are currently the only wetsuits made exclusively for women in the USA using this revolutionary material. Our suits are also the sexiest out there on the market and Yamamoto neoprene is known to be the best performance neoprene globally. We pride ourselves as being Eco, Sexy, and High Performance. Despite pressure we will not yield and make anything else lower cost/less eco despite a possibly larger market share. We will never.

We need more revolution, more caring, more responsibility to pay to clean up our environment. And this must happen now or we might not have an environment to save. The UN is predicting by 2048 there will not be anymore coral reefs left. Watch Rob Stewart's documentary, buy an eco wetsuit, stop eating meat, donate to Sea Shepard . Be willing to pay for eco products and stand for our Mother Earth!

Swish Suits

Dolphin Wakeboarding?

Active Lifestyleswishreboot@solomongiles.comComment

A new sport? We all wish! We met the lovely and free-spirited Rachel Callhan and her Pro-Leezure crew in the Bahmas in 2012. The Pro-Leezure Crew, which consisted of Rachel and her boyfriend Grom Gormley also a pro kiter and their friend and captain Gary Rhodes . The crew was sailing where the wind may lead them for however long they felt like it trading kite lessons for food or any supplies they might need. We were fortunate enough to have been on the receiving end of one of those lessons.  We soon knew we needed to sponsor her wish Swish!

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Rachel is now also a National Team rider for Best Kiteboarding.

Swish Suits
Swish Suits

We keep up with all her competition winnings but perhaps the most amazing thing we have ever seen from Rachel is her magical YouTube video gone viral with 8 million views of her wake boarding with dolphins! What a cool chick, Rachel.

Want more Swish: @SwishSuits, Swish Suits FB, and @Swish_Suits

Biker Chick and Yogi Pat Bailey Rocks Her Swish and Her Own Style!

Active Lifestyleswishreboot@solomongiles.comComment

It is no secret I have been sneakily adding yoga pics and videos into the Swish brand for a couple years now after becoming an instructor myself in 2011. I found that yoga not only helped me control my breathing underwater, especially adding to my apnea experience but also just my general lifestyle and vibe in a way nothing else has ever before for me. Yoga changed my life, not in the same way as diving did but I feel that yoga was the finesse, the cherry on my sundae of life experience. It drove home and made sense of all the special things I felt underwater. So for the month of July, we wanted to share a very special yogi and athlete with you all, Miss Pat Bailey. We at Swish have been watching her on IG for a year now, but she has grown so #instafamous with a following over 62K that she is now a recommended account to follow by the makers of instagram itself as @patbailey! She was kind enough to send us here at Swish killer photos of her rocking out her Swish ONE Line Jacket in Sporty Yellow.

Swish Suits

 

Pat started Yoga with PB and is a Bhakti Vinyasa Flow RYT September 2014 with a Moksa Flow Studio Coming in 2014 #moksaflow. She is also one badass biker!

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More on PB just general being amazing.

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We cannot promise that buying our Swish ONE Line Items in Yellow with make you as cool as Pat, but we can promise you might get that little edge you need. So get them 30% Off while you can for July only here.

Swish On for now and much love!

Interested in Swish Yoga? You can check out some of our Swish Yoga vids in YouTube

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Death Swim, Swish Chicago Headquarters, and Wild Man Jesse Levin!

Active Lifestyleswishreboot@solomongiles.comComment

It is officially 7:30 am, cloudy as always in the great north city that is Chicago, and I am awake. Not only awake but already working. Why? Gasp! Would a Swish girl be awake working at such an hour? Ok, maybe awake to surf or yoga but work? What is happening to me here at home? "Chelsea Berg" "Swish Suits"

Never fear friends! I am not afraid of turning into an overachiever. I think I will always be more partial to a laid back vibe than trying too hard at anything. Typical Swish beach bummage dies hard and all that. I am awake now (but will be taking a siesta shortly despite best efforts in an hour or so for sure) as I want to record my morning. What could you call it....experience? More like minor cardiac arrest, a state that I never thought about experiencing rocking through my body. The descriptive words are due to escape me, hence the 7:30 accounting.

So, I swam in Chicago's great Lake Michigan this morning at 5:30 am with the wild man, Jesse Levin. I know Jesse as he is the Senior Cultural Chameleon for Brooklyn Boulders. A rock climbing gym from obviously Brooklyn, NY that is opening in Chicago's West Loop that promises to "offer progressive climbing and fitness experiences while providing an unconventional platform to bring the arts, music, and entrepreneurial communities together." Anyone else excited? So BKB Chicago is still being built and Jesse has been sent here as a Chicago neophyte to break the trail for BKB Chicago. I am still not sure despite spending a tortuous and lovely (perhaps a Jesse specialty?) morning with this community master if his 5:30 am habit of swimming in Lake Michigan in temperatures that only this weekend he claims have gotten warm at a breezy tropical like temp of 17 degrees Celsius (or 63 degrees F for you true Americans), can be called normality for him or spawn from new city boredom. He mentioned over much needed coffee at pretty much the only place open at 6 am after our "swim" that he is pro-gun due to all his time spent running disaster relief programs in Haiti, so I think we can all come to the conclusion that swimming in a freezing lake is perhaps more on the normalcy scale than not for my new friend.

"Jesse Levin" "Swish Suits" "Brooklyn Boulders Chicago"

I got back to Chicago from Miami last week and had texted Jesse to see if he wanted to grab lunch to which he responded, "sure but how about a swim?" I had seen Jesse's "swims" on FB posts and dubbed them in my mind more as "polar soul sucking vortex half drownings." Crazy bastard I would laugh. Oh god, did he mean to ask me to join in one of those? Uff, my hands immediately started to sweat and I loudly announced to my father and sister in the throws of morning coffee Jesse's crazy idea for tropical me. My father told me to "not die" which I thought was ludicrous until I googled findings and indeed two swimmers had just died a couple Wednesdays earlier of hypothermia that takes only minutes to set in in water of this temperature. Now I was not just dreading this, I was actually a little afraid. To put this in perspective though, for those of you that know me, I have accumulated an easy 3,000 submerged hours in the water teaching and otherwise. But all in tropical waters. The coldest water I have experienced was during my brief stint in Egypt working on liveaboards with water about 22 degrees Celsius (71.6 F) and the Cenotes in Mexico get about 24 degrees (75.2 F). 17 C (62 F) was going to be a whole other journey...But I own a wetsuit company so how can one say no? So I said yes and then let it plague me my weekend forward.

The night before our jaunt I had not heard from Jesse and maybe saw glimmers of hope I might be freed of this death swim when I broke down and texted him at 10 pm. Shoot, we were on. I got a text within a few minutes telling me an insulated swimming cap is a good idea. Apparently Jesse swims in nothing else but a cap and swim trucks. Are you starting to get a picture of this man? Needless to say, I had some splotchy sleep and even my dog was not excited to wake up at 5 am. At 5 am this morning Chicago was already a nice balmy grey 54 degrees F so I was already cold coming from Miami and all. I hop into Jesse's car and the vibe is great, I am feeling better. We arrive after a winding trip as I am not sure where we are trying to get to and Jesse is unsure where we are going period. I put on my Swish Wetsuit (www.swishsuits.com) and I see the gorgeous downtown Chicago skyline, the cloudy morning rising over the Drake Hotel. I start feeling jazz music and cognac curse through my veins (I mean I am deep down from here after all). I start to actually get a little excited about this and then......

"wetsuit" "womens-wetsuit" "swish suits" "chelsea berg"

"I refuse to put my face in, I refuse to put my face in, I refuse to put my face in." I just could not feel my arms, like I know they were supposed to be moving but I couldn't see them move and believe me my face was above water water so I could see them. Then they pretty much stopped moving all on their own. Pinching, what is pinching me? I am getting pinched, put your face in the water Chelsea dammit, move your arms, pinching ouch pinching, I cannot breath, like wow I cannot breath. Is this the beginnings of hypothermia, it is, I know it is. The breathing, why is air not going into my lungs, because at this point I could actually feel my lungs. Every breath entering my lungs felt like getting your tongue frozen to ice. And brain freeze, I had the worst brain freeze of my life, but not in my brain (as I could not bring myself to put my head in the water) but in my heart. I had heart freeze. My heart so far from my Swish tropical waters had just given up. I felt it shrink up to a hard little ball and start moving up to my throat in efforts to escape the cold I can only imagine. And then I was doggie paddling....oh how the mighty have fallen. I actually pride myself on my aquatic abilities and though never have I been much of a swimmer, I can and have knocked out a mile of swimming a few times in my life with moderate effort. But this, this was the beginning of death I am sure. Poor Jesse, I am sorry my friend. After probably 2 minutes maximum I had made it from one lake ladder to the next and I was toast. I shame faced paddled over and got out of the death water. I could tell Jesse was a little disappointed the great Swish CEO and mermaid extraordinare had made it maybe 3 feet as he had a lot more death swimming in him but he was oh so very nice about my failure.

And you know what the truly astonishing and slightly sick part of this all is? I will be back. Maybe it is the mermaid in me that never fails in the water, but something in my death swim struck a cord and I want more. How? I do not know and I am already dreading it. But I will be back Lake Michigan my friend.....I will be back. So you said Saturday Jesse? Any takers?

Swish Style Self Love!

Generalswishreboot@solomongiles.com1 Comment

Swish Eco Design! So I have furniture now, courtesy of my father. Typical of Swish (and my hippie beach bum type bent to life) everything is hand me down and thus eco. It suits me just fine, this eco-ness. I love that everything in my place is reused. I have always loved buying things second hand. I started to shop almost exclusively at Goodwill and thrift shops about the time I was allowed to drive the family truck around backwoods Chicago, much to my father's distain, but I loved it. I loved feeling like I was being resourceful, being unique, and I always hated the mall on some unexplainably deep level. The rows and rows of Abercrombie polos in bags with models on them that I once looked at thinking they were so old and cool, but now look to me like I might actually have been their baby sitter or worse, possible mother. On a lot of levels I love my furniture even though I actually had no choice as I somehow just seem to never have money. I am starting to feel like this may be a choice though. Are there people out there that might not be super motivated by money and am I one of them? And if so, how strange are we?

I am starting to think quite strange. My strangeness here in Miami is palpable in a way it never was in the land of the beach bums and misfit beach toys of Playa. I went to a spin class at the Four Seasons gym where I teach yoga these days and as I was working on putting my feet over my head after class, a Chelsita usual, a yoga student of mine and her friend came over. It took the friend about 5 seconds to say to me "So you are not from here." I honestly cannot pinpoint what it is that makes it so obvious that I am not from Miami, or likely from anywhere in particular that one can easily pinpoint. This statement has been following me everywhere, it is the very first thing people ask me. And, oddly, I have an accent, from where no one including myself seems to know. My only hope is that it is charming.

Typical Feet Up in my Swish!

I am sort of stuck somewhere between feeling proud of myself for making such unique and different life choices and feeling like a child very behind on their homework. I flow from proud to embarrassed every 5 min of so abstinently taking the path less travelled or more aptly in my life choices, the path less machete'd. When I have a look around here, pretty much everyone I meet that is in my age category is miles and miles ahead of me in so many ways. The new tinder friend I mentioned from my last blog recently invited me over to his place, the gorgeous new place he just bought courtesy of his big bank job complete with his specially frozen spherical ice cubes. Well, actually his guests apparently get a choice of spheres or large scale cubes......I guess the difference I feel between an individual like him and myself is actually measurable. I think that I am starting to be at an age where we can physically see the manifestation of one's life choices. You can see the physical evidence of what makes them tick and what they used their 20's to do/build. I have my handstands and Swish leggings and others have fancy ice and savings accounts. I suppose the mature way of looking at this is to see that perhaps just because my choices are a little less backed up and valued by society, does not mean that my difference is a bad one. But feeling so different has started to challenge an inner belief of mine and a tattoo I have long had on my wrist "It is not or, it is and." Meaning cannot my path less paved coincide with a savings account? I remember these feelings before when living in Chicago for a year in 2010, and hence my tattoo. Within society I have always felt the pressure to be and act certain ways, we all do. I think this is why I lived like a beach bum expat for so long. But like the tattoo on my wrist, the answer is always inside. While I am flailing around feeling so different and out of it here in Miami with every second person stopping to ask me where I am from, why cannot it not be both? Why cannot I not feel different and a part of it all at once? I think it is possible to love what makes us separate but still a part of the togetherness. And that feeling different does not mean that I have to run this time around. I have moments, quite a few these days during this transition, most especially when faced with new successful friends in the process of buying supped up jeeps from Heat Team Members, where I sooo wish I had not run away for so long. That I had stayed and choosen an easier path, planned, and would now be in a position to pay for whatever I need. But I am going to bank on my uniqueness, on my adventure, and on my very own vernacular. I choose to see my hippie adventures in this way because I have no choice. The years I spent mediating on my paddle board in the middle of the sea or hours spent at the bottom of the ocean in my Swish Suit (about 3,000 when I did the math) must be for something.

So, I have decided to break the pattern of self doubt. I have been TED watching and a particular one has stuck my fancy here on my used but fancy couch. Or maybe it was a talk about his TED talk, I am not sure and lost in all the links I have followed, but a Kamal Ravikant has been talking about mental looping that our brains do. We think that we think, but actually our thoughts are just loops of past experiences our brains just play over and over again. What this means for me then is that in my experience perhaps my mental loop just tells me over and over that difference is bad. But it is just a loop, and I am going to stop it. Maybe you can to and we can all embrace that which makes us unique and a part of it all :).

 

Love Yourself!

 

 

 

Going Green Swish Style is a Form of LOVE: How and why in the face of the trillion dollar fashion industry's wastefulness, we at Swish cultivate and express our personal eco-consciousness

Eco Tips and Environmentswishreboot@solomongiles.comComment

In an article by Beth Greer in July for the Huffington Post, it is stated that “poor working conditions, minimal environmental regulations, and child and slave labor are commonplace in the $1 trillion garment industry.” One of the largest problems, perhaps arguably the industry's problem period, is us consumers and our attitudes toward fashion and our apparel. We buy and buy to stay “in fashion” and on top of recent trends. In this way, here at Swish, we have sought to first change our own behaviour on a personal level.

 

Swish Ladies Take “Less is More” Pretty Seriously

Obviously being an apparel company, us Swish ladies are and have always been pretty into fashion. But being into fashion for us does not always translate to buying the newest Chanel (in fact I have only bought one designer bag in my life, an Louis Vuitton last year), it may be as simple as cutting up an old H&M shirt. One of our most basic concepts is to buy only items that we LOVE in effort to cut down on the amount we own and our closet turnover (using the bag example further, I have literally three bags: my large everyday amazing LV bag, a small dinner or night out over the shoulder Juicy Couture purse, and a super large oversized beach/all around adventure over the should bag recycled from old kiteboarding kites, this one is my favourite actually).

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(This bag was a gift from the Pro Kiter, Swish Team Member, and all around cool chica, Jessika Winkler, check her out!)

This “less is more” attitude was one of the founding concepts behind our ONE Line. The ONE Line is aptly named as such as you only need one article of the ONE Line to use in the gym, to grab coffee with your friend, or paddle board in the ocean! By making our ONE Line items multipurpose and high performance, you need fewer items in your closet, and we manufacturers need not make three items where one will suffice. A little more about why we love being eco.

We Love Water

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Sadly, it was reported in 2012 that “an estimated 17 to 20% of industrial water pollutioncomes from textile dyeing and treatment and an estimated 8,000 synthetic chemicals are used throughout the world to turn raw materials into textiles, many of which will be released into freshwater source,” The Guardian Sustainable Business. It is an interesting question for us here at Swish though, we are an aquatic company and we are using water to produce products for the water. To combat this, we have taken the following steps within our Swish machine:

 

1) All ONE Line and Swish Design Studio's (SDS) materials are located produced and sourced, we do not import anything we use in our Playa del Carmen factory.

 

2) All ONE Line and the SDS's products are locally made by Mexicans, our two factories here are family owned and operated and employ fair trade Mayan and Mexican labour.

 

3) All hangtags and any printing are made from recycled paper.

 

4) All wash care/size labels are made from fabric leftovers from other products.

 

5) The ONE Line principal of you need only ONE means less buying, fewer garments made, less waste produced.

 

6) Our wetsuits are Yamamoto neoprene which is made to order in Japan, meaning the all orders are custom and there is less waste in neoprene made that may sit there and need to be thrown out.

 

7) All our YKK zippers on our products are recycled YKKs.

8) Swish does not distribute printed materials of any kind and ALL business is done electronically.

9) Our internal business structure is global without our physical office presence, meaning less waste and overhead. We communicate via Skype and everything is electronic. We have our office headquarters and our business Swish investor Carolyn in Chicago, a fulfillment centre in Rockford, IL, our wetsuit factory is in Vancouver, CA, our SDS's two factories and offices are in Playa del Carmen, MX, our IT and web designer is based in Germany, and my other Swish Business parter, our South Pacific director and Swish Life Blogger Victoria lives in Thailand

Yamamoto Neoprene: Does being made from Limestone make our wetsuits eco?

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There is some debate out there about companies calling themselves eco and green, when perhaps they are not fully. We here at Swish think this is deprecating and that all companies making any efforts at all to be more gentle in their environmental impact should be celebrated and rewarded! This leads me to the current debate around Yamamoto neoprene and its being a more Eco-consious choice of neoprene. Most of you out there reading this probably already know that we here at Swish use only Yamamoto neoprene, neoprene that is famous for being made from limestone instead of typical neoprene which is made from petrol. Aside from the irrefutable fact that any product not contributing to the oil industry is inherently more eco, limestone mining still uses oil dependent machines and limestone is still a non-renewable source. As Patagonia and Seventh Wave wetsuits put it, ultimately perhaps just using Yamamoto neoprene does not guarantee you are making a fully green wetsuit, but, we here at Swish sure as h$*$% see it as the only green alternative! A little more about Yamamoto neoprene revels that it is a more conscious choice of wetsuit material than its petrol brother:

  1. The limestone in Yamamoto neoprene is mined and heated at high temps, however, Yamamoto states that its production process uses one-tenth of the heat used in refining petroleum. Furthermore, this heat used is created by burning old used tires as well as hydroelectrically sourced from several locals dams. All heat waste is reused at a local eel nursery. Cool eh?
  2. Yamamoto neoprene is also warmer, for example our 3mm is warmer than any 4mm and is often still warmer than many 5mm suits out there. Because of the higher micro cell structure of limestone based neoprene, it means that less limestone and material is used to make the neoprene itself. Now what is not eco about that!
  3. Seventh Wave Wetsuits, make a great point in that since limestone based neoprene lasts 2-3 times longer than typical neoprene, it lowers wetsuit turnover rates and how many suits end up in landfills.
  4. Here is a little more about the material we use and love.

Eco is a Form of Love

To us Swish ladies, the whole concept of green and eco lies in our hearts. When you live the lifestyle that will demand the least you can from our earth, being eco is a mode of self expression! I am sitting here at a small family run cafe, I have with me one of my only three purses, my doggie, this macbook that I have had for 5 years, a glass used Voss water container I carry water around in, and my mode of transport which are my sandal-clad feet jeje! There are soooo many wonderful ways in which we can all do more with less, embrace it and get creative. Express your love and concern for our beautiful earth in your own unique way :).

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I bought a car this year, but since 2010 I used bike as my only means of transport, I used to bike from fabric market to our factory, to our silk screener a few times a day transporting all our ONE Line Items with me!

 

 

 

 

 

Swish Cave Diaries: Part 5, The finale

General, Active Lifestyleswishreboot@solomongiles.comComment

So we are down to the last two days of diving the Yucatan's greatest hits before I headed to Asia.  Writing about it now sitting by the beach in Koh Tao is a bit difficult as I miss the caves and my cave people there so much. But for you my dear swish reader. . . I will persevere. . . After taking a day break to clear our ears (ouch!) we headed to Grand Cenote just outside of Tulum. This cenote is also part of Sistema Sac Aktun.

The underworld Creative Commons License photo credit: rakugo

We had two great dives despite, or in fact because of,  the fact that neither Tristan nor I had ever been here.  We had so much fun looking at the maps and planning out where we were going to go and then being able to find our way easily under water in a place that we had never been.  It really showed me how much I had learned the past two weeks to have the mental acuity to execute this. The cenote is nice and shallow too, so we had some nice long penetrations to about an hour.

The next day was our last cave dive and the day before I was leaving my Mexico home and my Mexico banda.  It turned out to be one of the sweetest days ever.

The French Cave God and I packed our gear into the swamp thing jeep (not smelling so great at this point) and drove to Cenote Mayan Blue. Mayan Blue derives it's name from a distinctive indigo blue used by the Maya. When HID lights hit the white sections of the cave, it was the bluest blue I had ever seen.  It is quite stunning as well because there are dark sections (freshwater) which then open up into the bright blue sections of saltwater. Dives down into the salt water will normally result in decompression.

 

The day started out amazing immediately. Upon pulling into the cenote, another truck pulled up after us, a very familiar truck.  It was our instructor and one of our closest friends, Patrick who is part owner of ProTec Advanced Training Facility in both Playa del Carmen and Tulum.  He was there teaching an advanced sidemount course. It was nice to see Protec there as it was fitting that they were there for my first and my last cave dives in Mexico.

We did our first dive in the upstream sections of the A tunnel. The effects of the blue was indeed stunning! In our second dive we went in the B tunnel upstream and made a jump down into the saltwater through a room and into a really nice bedding plane. We had a slight deco obligation after which Patrick and his group did too and it was fun chilling out underwater together. ProTec made a little video for us as we were "the most fashionable cave team that they had seen in a long time." haha. Go Swish Suits.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpvo_4Lbr1A[/youtube]

It was a very bittersweet moment leaving after the last dive.  I miss the Cenotes, my friends, and those sweet sweet cavey times so much, but I know I will be back in December to cure this little addiction problem that might have cropped up!

Cave Diving Diaries: Part 4, With Feeling

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Day 7: Cenote Cristalino

I had not been to Cenote Cristalino since my cave course. This day was incredible as we were joined by a very special guest: Swish CEO and my sister, Chelsea Berg!

Cenote Cristalino is an alternate enterence to the Ponderosa cave passage. It is not too challenging of a dive and the main passage is often used for training dives. The outside of the cenote is extremely beautiful with mangroves and high rocky walls. You might recognize it from our Cenote jumping video!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Jpoo7BLWTc[/youtube]

I had never been cave diving with Chelsea, in fact I had never been cave diving with someone other than my instructor Patrick and Tristan. It was very nice for me to go diving with someone who was at my same certification level as it relieved a lot of pressure in my crazy head! I am normally so concentrated on the fact that I am not performing perfectly that I sometimes cannot chill out and cave diving becomes two hours of Victoria's mental punishment. Seeing someone else dive who is at my level really quieted my thoughts, and in turn made diving a lot easier for me. Crazy huh?

The day was great. It started with all of us putting our kit together as normal, although it was much more fun. Chelsea kept on giggling as she had forgotten how much gear there is with cave diving and had us all in stitches with her comments.

 

We had a fantastic little dive, which was nice and easy but still really fun as I was cave diving the first time with my sister!

I feel like cave diving together as a team is a huge bonding experience. You could go with someone who you do not like/ or know that well but in the hours that you are underwater  you are functioning as one team gliding together with faith in your capabilities as a team. If possible cave diving with my sister brought us EVEN closer (oh no! for those who already know us.)

 

 

Swish Cave Diving Diaries: Part 3, Stealth Missions

Eco Tips and Environmentswishreboot@solomongiles.comComment

So after dives at Tajma Ha, Minotauro, Xunaan-ha, Dos Palmas, and Dreamgate- the French Cave Diving God and I were starting to really function as a team.  This is helped by the fact that we were both trained by the same person and had the same kit configuration. We were starting to feel as though we were on a stealth mission through the Cenotes gilding along. Cheesy I know, but I still wanted my own theme song. Day 6: Cenote Zazil-Ha

Zazil ha was amazing! Zazil-ha is a closer Cenote than Carwash to get to the upstream section of Aktun-ha, meaning that we did not have to go through the cavern zone at carwash to reach the cave section. This allows a bit further penetration as one does not have to recalculate their thirds after going through the cavern.

We did two cave dives this day with the goal of seeing two famous rooms. During dive one we penetrated to Adriana's room and further beyond into the cell block. Dive number two we set out with the goal of going to the room of tears. This was by far one of my favorite dives of my caving spree.

To get to room of tears you take the upstream section then make a jump down through a slight restriction.  The jump is a bit dark and narrow but it makes coming up into the room that much more special. It is truly a sublime feeling to see such a highly decorated place. After the Room of Tears we entered into a large bedding plane which was fun and a great test of trim, buoyancy and propulsion due to a decorated ceiling and sediment bed below!

All in all another great day banging out the Cenotes caving diving greatest hits!

 

Swish Cave Diaries: Step 2, Turn it up!

General, Active Lifestyleswishreboot@solomongiles.comComment

OK! So I am on day seven of CAVE DIVING UNLIMITED! After a brief warm up in Cenote Tajma Ha, Minotauro, and Xunaan- Ha (xunaan ha for warm up? hmm. . . hehe.) We hit the big boys and started banging out the Riviera Maya's Greatest Hits. Day 4: Tristan, or as I am now calling him, The French Cave God, packed up our kit (all 60 kgs of it) into the jeep that was smelling oh so very much of cave swamp and headed to Cenote Dos Palmas. Dos Palmas is in Sistema Dos Ojos (right next door).

Cenote Diving Swamp Thing Jeep

The first dive we dropped in and went upstream. To our surprise there was a bit of current which made the dive interesting as I had never dealt with current before.

Current in a cave dive is interest for two reasons:

1) Air.  If you are penetrating with the current, you must make sure to use the same amount of air on the way out as you did on the way in, in order to ensure you stick to the rule of thirds (one-third in, one third out, and one-third for your partner).

2) Navigation. Although you should never rely soley on the current for navigation, you should note the flow on your way in and out.

The second dive we headed on the downstream line.  Dos Palmas was two nice no drama dives, with no restrictions and wide passages, but very beautiful and nice to have some space! Especially after training at Minotauro and Xunaan-Ha. Here I was really concentrating on respecting the proper cave posistion in relation to Tristan.

Day 5: On day five we only did one dive at Cenote Dreamgate!

Lowering tanks down to the Cenote.

Cenote Dreamgate is very beautiful with highly decorated passages. It is a bit more tricky of a dive because you encounter some very narrow passages that you must be careful as you go through as you do not want to kick the cave and destroy history! This Cenote is also the most famous for having Mayan pottery.

The main thing that Tristan and I were having fun doing was navigating ourselves around to differnt parts of the cenote to see what we wanted. It is quite fun to sit there with the map and plan your dive and then to see the markers that you have seen on the map! The french cave god was especially fond of seeing different Cenotes during a dive, that is to go from one cenote to another. It does make you feel rather adventuras and like you have a destination! Plus I just like the pretty light that streams down through the rocks after you have been in the dark cave for a while. It is a nice contrast!

All in all a great two days! Stay tuned for more cavey adventures!