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first time diving without my buddy

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by marijev, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. marijev

    marijev Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: China
    19
    9
    3
    hey all:
    I got certified in 2013, AOW 2014 and did a great liveaboard in Komodo for 2 weeks last year as well. All with the same partner, we went through the whole 'let's learn diving' thing together and although I have done some dives with dive guides alone bcs he was sick or did not feel like another dive, most of the dives we did together.
    Now the guy has left for another continent and I am planning my first diving holiday without him. How did other people experience the first time out there without the trusted buddy you have always dived with? Of course, you 100% rely on your own skills, but the buddy safety and the fact you know how you dive together, it is kind of weird not to have that around. Any advice how to handle this is welcome!
     
  2. RJP

    RJP Scuba Media & Publications

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New Jersey
    13,460
    6,053
    113
    Communication. Communication. Communication.

    Ensure you are on the same page before hitting the water, and things should go well.

    I have a "usual buddy" that I travel with extensively and we don't need to say a word about dive-plan, etc during an entire week dive trip... because we know EXACTLY what we're going to do, how the other is going to react to any given situation, etc.

    But I only do 50% of my travel diving with him. The other 50% of the time it's with people I've never met before stepping on the boat. When we've communicated well before the dive everything went fine. The few times I've had issues (nothing major, thankfully) it's always been in cases where we didn't do much communication and expectation setting before hand.
     
  3. bug catcher

    bug catcher Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Wisconsin
    46
    10
    0
    I was a new diver once and got paired up w/ someone I didn't know. Go over hand signals and buddy check. Try to get with a more experienced diver and stay close to him/her. Don't expect them to stay close to you if you want to check out something they don't care about. If you want and need a buddy then it will be up to you to maintain the safety closeness. Be sure you can navigate underwater and be alert to your surroundings at the bottom of the down line. Watch your air and if you get close to ending the dive tell the buddy and if he has a lot more air than you and wants that extra picture you might send up a safety sausage(be sure you know how much line you have related to depth) & (if you are not by the down line), and end the dive for yourself. I usually figure at least 1,000lb remaining air for 80 ft of depth and a 3 to 4 min safety stop leaving about 500 lb. air when surfacing on the boat. But that is me and how I breath so you may need more or less but not much less I would think. I have had more situations with a "buddy" so you need to know how to take care of yourself. Good luck!
     
  4. Steve_C

    Steve_C Great White Rest in Peace

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh, NC USA
    4,270
    2,915
    113
    First dive post cert was in a quarry with a stranger, almost zero viz, and not a good buddy. My first solo dive. Other than courses a lot of my diving for a while was with instabuddies. Now I frequently dive with some buddies I have acquired over the years, some I first dove with as instabuddies. However, even then it will vary from dive day to dive day who it is. I get fussier if the dive is deep, more challenging, or one I do not want to worry about somebody else on.

    Definition of zero viz: You are dropping horizontal, looking straight down, and the first time you see the bottom is 1 second before a face plant in the silt.
     
  5. dallaskincaid

    dallaskincaid Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Maryland
    181
    78
    28
    I have 3 people I dive with a fairly regular basis. I find that I need to adjust my diving style with each. As others have said, have a good conversation beforehand. Ask about their experience, plan the dive, and find out what their comfort level is for being a "good buddy." Maybe you don't feel comfortable going deeper than 60'. Communicate that before you are following a dive master down to 100' on a wall. Two of the people I dive with have the "Same ocean" style as far as distance. My girlfriend has, what seems to me, the "same bathtub" style. She lets me have it when I forget and start the "same ocean" technique.

    Just cover all the things you need to know to feel comfortable. It might be that this isn't a suitable buddy for either of you, and it might make sense to swap with someone else.
     
  6. JohnN

    JohnN ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Oar--eee---gun
    2,348
    1,166
    113
    Strongly consider diving with a pony bottle. Learn to be self-sufficient and you'll never have to worry about an insta-buddy swimming off to chase the pretty fishes.
     

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