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Just wanted to say that I've been lurking for several weeks now and you guys have taught me a lot!! I feel prepared now to "take the plunge", sign up for PADI OW, and..plan to head to Walker's Cay Bahamas in May for my check out dive with the sharks.
After last summer's media frenzy, I decided to look at the shark issue more carefully. I learned that the media is sending the wrong message about sharks, and now I love the animals!
I have always wanted to dive, but for some reason it never seemed like an attainable goal - it costs $$, I live in Atlanta...etc.
I'm SO glad I've been bitten by the SCUBA bug and look forward to joining you all underwater.
I also have a question. Probably a dumb one, but...if you join a dive trip without a buddy - is it usually easy to hook up with someone on the boat, in other words - are there usually other buddyless divers? Or, what if everyone but you is already teamed up with someone? How does that work generally?? I'm curious because I travel for work, and I enjoy travelling alone -so I was wondering what the "protocol" is in this situation?
Thanks and I look forward to bugging you all with more questions soon!!
Welcome to the board , from NJ!
Good luck on your OW classes and dives.
As a frequent travelling, "buddiless" diver, the other folks have the right idea. Usually, the DMs will pair people up, and if there is an odd person out, the DM will serve as a buddy.
Often, if you are at the same place (resort,etc.) for a week or so, you'll run into other people in the same situation- and pair up with them.
One word of caution- if you are not comfortable with the "assigned" buddy-let the DM know. This is especially important while you are at the earlier end of the experience level.
Need not worry about going on dive trips with buddies. Dive destinations are full with weird people (aka. DIVERS) most are friendly and will accept being budied up.
As Tom has said...if you are new...it's also a better idea to buddy with the DM.
BTW, just came back from a dive trip a a couple of hours ago. This morning, I did a shark feeding dive before departure, quite interesting and fun. But I don't think I'll do it again, I am not too much of a believer for feeding of marine life. Did it today just for experience sake.
I'm supposed to say "ya'll" 'cause I'm from the south right?
I love the questions "what part of Atl?" -- clearly you folks no that "I'm from Atlanta" means "I'm from anywhere within a 100 mile radius of the city of Atlanta".
So, I'm from Roswell, a suburb about 30 minutes north of the big city. Cheaper real estate out here! I'm very familiar with Chamblee though ckharlan as I used to work at a CDC facility there. That area has the most amazing food in Atlanta - Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Thai, etc. etc.
Thanks for the dive buddy feedback - that's kind of what I thought, so I feel a bit better. I have lots of friends who dive, but you know how it is coordinating schedules etc.
Saltywhale - just back from a dive trip? Lucky!! Feeding of marine wildlife is a controversial issue, and one that I've been close to trying to get the Florida fish and wildlife commission to reconsider banning shark feeding.
I'm curious, what are your reasons for disagreeing with feeding? I can understand that point of view, but for me in terms of shark conservation, I think getting the message out to the public that sharks are not maneaters is more important, and these dives demonstrate to divers that people aren't shark food - which is true even when there's *not* food being offered.
My other problem is that the FWCC didn't ban fishing, especially spearfishing which is known to attract sharks based on the sounds, yet what is offering bait to fish but feeding marine life?
buddies -- any good charter will ensure that a buddy is assigned to you. Watch out though some will try to do a "three-some", if you're not comfortable with the idea (and I'm not), make sure they know ahead of time so they can even up the numbers.