‘I’VE NOW DONE THREE COURSES WITH MARTYN, IN WALES AND IN FRANCE. THEY’VE PREPARED ME SUPERBLY FOR EXPLORATORY CAVING, IMPROVED ALL MY TECHNIQUES, PROVIDED ME WITH THE TOOLS TO BE SELF-SUFFICIENT IN A SUNKEN CAVE, AND GIVEN ME A FAR (FARR?!) GREATER APPRECIATION OF WHAT THIS REMARKABLE ACTIVITY IS ALL ABOUT!”
Steve Backshall – TV presenter and naturalist
“Amazing four days of great fun and valuable learning in gorgeous caves of the Lot. Very intense and challenging, but highly rewarding course, where Martyn equipped us with the knowledge and skills necessary for enjoying cave diving safely. Loads of memories made. Thanks for the laughs and the inspiration!”
Jelena Ivanovic – Full Cave Course in the Lot France
“I’ve been diving and dry caving in New Zealand for many years now. After a couple of prospecting and caving summers with Martyn in New Zealand I was keen extend my cave diving skills and learn techniques suited to local environment.
A course with Martyn in France ticked all the boxes of a great holiday combined with awesome caves, fantastic company and most important excellent instruction. Martyn’s course built on all the experiences he gained during many years of exploring and diving in different environments and configurations and Martyn took the extra time to discuss and share his knowledge and wisdom with the students beyond the standard course content. Can’t wait to go out exploring more of New Zealand’s underground now!”
Nicole – New Zealand
“I did the Cavern Course with Martyn to find out what it was all about. I enjoyed the course a great deal was introduced to some new skills and planning considerations and after a few months realised I wanted to find out more. So, I enrolled on Intro cave.
Martyn’s enthusiasm and careful analytical approach once again was so infectious whilst making me consider tirelessly the potential outcomes to my actions both above and below the water line in a Cave environment. Well now, I’m hooked! I look forward to starting the Full Cave Course with him and all being well will join him on this in France.”
“Over the last couple of years I have done the Cavern, Intro Cave and Full Cave courses with Martyn. At first my buddy and I didn’t really have any intention of doing all the courses. The Cavern Course seemed appealing just as something different, and an interesting way to learn new skills… However on completion we found it was all that and more. So it was from that first brilliant experience that we ended up returning to Martyn again and again.
There seem to be a lot of big egos within the diving community and Martyn is definately not amongst them, you would be hard pressed to find a more humble, relaxed, and approachable guy. I think that Martyn has a unique teaching style, so that you are being taught things constantly without really realising that you are learning. He lets you come to your own conclusions and then make your own decisions, gently nudging you in the right direction when you are way off the mark. He will quite often sit in the background while you and your fellow students argue the pros and cons of a particular action, quietly pondering your arguments. It is no wonder that we often refer to him as Yoda.
The courses themselves all follow a similar pattern, with a bit of background, history and geology thrown in with theory and the all important practical. Briefings are thorough and you won’t ever find yourself not knowing what is expected of you as you begin a dive. On Martyn’s courses you will find that you have very full days, but without feeling too rushed around. You’ll also see a fair bit of beautiful South Wales, (if you can keep up with him… both driving and lugging your kit over fields to obscure holes in the ground). A debriefing in the pub is a nice end to the day, and while totally informal, you probably learn as much there as when on the course proper. Martyn has a cheeky sense of humour too, but you’ll have to work on him a bit to get him to reveal it…
If you are contemplating any training of this type I wouldn’t only recommend being taught by Martyn, but I’d ask you why would you consider doing it with anyone else? The training is absolutely first class and the satisfaction gained from his courses is second to none.”
Blair Welch – New Zealand
“I chose to learn cavern diving in the UK because as the saying goes if you can dive in the UK you can dive anywhere. The last thing I wanted to do was learn in warm water and to have my course and knowledge based on that style of diving, which wouldn’t apply in cold UK waters.
My cavern course opened my eyes to a lot of flaws in my diving and how I believed I was taking precautions when wreck diving. On the second day an exercise was carried out in complete darkness. Trying to follow a 6mm line wearing 5mm gloves I realised that what I thought I knew beforehand about over head diving was of no real use.
The configuration of torches and knives is some thing I will be using in open water diving, as these simple placements of equipment make so much more sense from a convenience point of view as well as a safety one.
I believe its important to learn from some one who is well known and respected when it comes to cave diving as you are relying on them to keep you safe now and in the future, when you only have your experience to rely on.
The cavern diving course will help you build confidence and illustrate techniques you can use in your every day diving.
Since completing the course I have gained a new respect for cave diving… how it continues to evolve and change, learning from mistakes of others and a lot more besides.
After completing the cavern diving course and learning so much more than I thought was possible to gain from it, I am looking forward to seeing what new skills and technique I will learn from the introduction to cave diving course. I originally thought it was just a case of ticking the boxes and passing an exam but there is much more to it.”
Stuart Hughes Chester
“I took Martyn’s Intro to Cavern course with a mind to improving my overhead environment skills for wreck penetrations. As a trimix diver and PADI instructor I have taken many diving courses in the past, and can say without question that this straightforward, two day course has expanded my perspective on diving more than any other.
Martyn’s gentle introduction to the underground world builds confidence and awareness, teaches the importance of self-sufficiency and sensible equipment configuration, and has not only furnished me with the concepts and practices to be able to conduct overhead wreck penetrations safely but has also opened the door to the astonishing world of cave diving and underground exploration.
I had little interest in this prior to the course, but Martyn’s enthusiasm and experience is obviously infectious – I have been reading his beautifully written, highly informative books constantly since the course, and am excitedly looking forward to the Intro to Cave course that I start in two weeks time. I fully intend to follow that with full Cave – I’m hooked! I would unreservedly recommend Martyn’s teaching to anyone, whether they wanted to improve their all-round diving skills or take their first steps in exploring the astonishing world beneath our feet.”
“I had first heard of Martyn Farr, the “legendary cave diver”, over 20 years ago, when I was a keen caver. I had read of his and others’ exploits in cave diving in his book “The Darkness Beckons” and had always wanted to meet the man in person. Having learned to dive in 1994 and having, over the years, progressed to being a diving instructor, I finally enrolled on a Cavern Diving course with Farrworld, Martyn’s trading company, after seeing him deliver an inspirational speech at the 2010 Dive Show in Birmingham, after which I did actually get to meet the legend in person, and had him sign my copy of his book.
I completed the two day course, which involved both simulated and real cave scenarios. I subsequently progressed my cave diving training further, and just over a year later I completed the Intro Cave course also with Martyn. This course took place entirely in real cave conditions that were in no way simulated or staged: this was the real deal. The experience gained in both of the courses has given me an awareness and a presence of mind that surely only comes with training of the highest quality, from someone who has the respect and admiration of so many, such is Martyn’s reputation in cave diving circles. His endless patience and his calm, methodical approach to the subject imbues you with confidence in his supreme ability in this challenging field of diving. Humble in nature, somewhat self-effacing and with a genuine interest in the experiences of others, Martyn displays great deference to some cave divers that he has trained, some of whom have gone on to discover and explore some of the farthest reaches of passage that have ever been explored by man. He is, in my opinion, the very epitome of professionalism.
Martyn has a range of products for sale that he has developed himself, and he also offers selected products from other manufacturers that have stood the test of time and have a proven record of reliability, though there are no pushy sales techniques employed in offering these.
The hospitality shown to students in Martyn’s own home, by himself and his wife Helen, also an accomplished cave diver in her own right, coupled with his relaxed but businesslike approach to instruction, is a breath of fresh air in an industry that is often more interested in numbers than people.
I would wholeheartedly recommend Farrworld to anyone who is considering a cave or cavern diving course; you can be sure of world-class training and a service that is second to none.”
Ivan Woolley – Lochaline, Scotland
“After starting to get into dry caving in amazing caves in Tasmania (Australia) over the last couple of years, I decided it was finally time to get into cave diving – there is just so many undived sumps you can look at before you feel the need to dive them!
So I did what most people who want to learn cave diving do – I went to Florida to do my Full Cave course and to Mexico to learn sidemount techniques. But soon I realised – even though I had great instructors and the caves I dived were amazing – that this is not going to teach me to dive the sort of sumps I will find deep down in a Tasmanian cave…. so after some research I found that the only person who is both experienced at diving such sumps AND passing on those skills through great instruction is Martyn Farr.
Luckily I was able to squeeze in two days of instruction with Martyn on a work trip to the UK. During these two days Martyn did a great job at building on the skills I learnt in previous courses and complementing them with skills necessary to safely dive sumps under typical conditions found in the UK and Wales.
We spent a lot of time discussing the pros and cons of different techniques and gear configurations used for different styles of cave diving and practising these techniques at local dive sites. And at the end of the day we discussed the dives of the day with a good Welsh Ale at the local pub. From all the diving courses I have done so far this was by far the most I learnt in any diving course in two days!
If you intend to do any training in this type of diving I can fully recommend you to take a course with Martyn – the next time I’m in Europe I will definitely travel via Wales again to learn more…”
Andreas Klocker – Austria
“I attended the Overhead Environment Cavern Diving Course at Farrworld primarily to learn about Cavern Diving. I was very pleasantly surprised to find I learned a whole lot more than expected and gained knowledge and skills that will no doubt come in very useful in my normal diving, particularly in wreck diving and in more challenging environments. Martyn brings his wealth of experience to the course and his calm and structured delivery makes the course both interesting and fun. I will certainly be back to continue my learning into the full cave environment.”
Kevin Phillips – Sandbach