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How Did You Go Solo?

Discussion in 'Solo Divers' started by DBPacific, Jul 23, 2019.

  1. DBPacific

    DBPacific Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Oregon, USA
    293
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    I don't think I've seen tanks set up for doubles anywhere at work, but I do know people who dive doubles so they must have the proper valves somewhere. My uni pretty much only has Al 80s and steel 100s and 80s. None are what I'd call particularly small. The DSO has his own person tank which I think is a HP steel 100? I can ask him, and he also gives training year round whenever someone's interested.

    When you solo dive, do you make a dedicated shore contact or is that usually the shop where you get your fills?
     
  2. Bob DBF

    Bob DBF Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: NorCal
    6,548
    6,700
    113
    Not all doubles are equal.

    full.jpg

    These are not considered proper valves anymore, but, at the time, if you wanted to have a tank bigger than an old steel 72 this was the solution.



    Bob
     
    SoloMonkey and Dark Wolf like this.
  3. DBPacific

    DBPacific Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Oregon, USA
    293
    194
    43
    Yeah, I haven't even seen valves like that or for any other set of doubles. I'd be shocked if the uni didn't have them, but I can ask once I'm close to being dive-ready again
     
  4. MichaelMc

    MichaelMc Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Berkeley, CA
    1,427
    768
    113
    For scientific work, It sounds as if your DSO needs to tighten up the effective buddy procedures that are being used, at least on your project. By AAUS regs, scientific diving is to be conducted as buddy teams. Being ignored somewhere else in the 0' vis is not effective buddy procedures. And creating the 0' vis is being detrimental to safety to start. That is a safety issue. Not a 'you dive your way and I'll dive mine' difference of opinion. Every AAUS Dive Manual emphasizes that if the individual diver does not feel comfortable with the dive or dive plan, the diver needs to refuse to dive. That refusal is one of your principle duties as a scientific diver. And if your PI has issues with that, or your project mates do, your DSO needs to set the PI and their team straight, forcefully if necessary, and correct the situation. Forcefully as in cancel that project's dive authorization, and thus further data collection, if the issue is not resolved, forcefully.

    If you want to approach this obliquely, which can be a good start, you might talk to your DSO about redundancy and how you could have some. That the conditions are not as safe as it seems they should be without it. That will lead to why you feel that way and the buddy situation. On the rare change that it does not lead that way, keep at the 'you want redundancy, how can we get pony or tiny doubles'. That diving with some team members leaves you alone and in very low vis. Eventually you may need to emphasize that the way diving is happening is not how it is supposed to. @tbone1004

    My background on this is I assist in training our scientific divers, that involved frequent talks with our and another DSO.


    On solo and redundancy, for when not working, by tiny doubles I mean AL40 or LP50 size tiny. Either, in a back plate, is no more weight than an AL80 if you account for cold water lead you would carry anyway. And just a small difference in the weight to pick up the 'tank'. I would go with an AL plate to start until you find how much lead you still need. And maybe a single set of AL40s, despite their lower capacity, as they more mirror the AL80s. Plus the 40s are more useful in normal diving (deco, stage, pony, lift bag) than the LP50s are. The LP50s, size, and thus redundancy, wise, are nicer, I just have not worked out weighting and trim for them. They are also back heavy, which is not as easy to dive as the back lighter AL40s. To start, you could dive it as if it were a single, and then work at learning how to use it as redundancy. And either make sweet sidemount tanks if you ever go that way.

    For a scientific diver, I think they provide a nice extra layer, creating a team of self-reliant divers instead of a team of dependent ones. They are not however an excuse for not doing the science as an effective buddy team. It should be that they change issues to a 'What's up, can I help?' level instead of a 'Sh*t, my buddy needs air now.' level.

    If your 'supply' chain is a steam of identical filled AL80's, then tiny doubles for some divers mucks it up a bit vs a pony that is always filled, newer tested or practiced with..., and strapped to the back or slung. But from the boat deck or parking lot to in-water and back, I think tiny doubles are better.

    For helping teach, I think tiny doubles are a nice system. To your singles students they work just like a single tank and are as easy to get on or off, remove in the water etc.
     
  5. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    22,445
    5,313
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    In the 60s there was only one set of gear shared by several of us. Solo was the only option.
     
  6. divad

    divad Solo Diver

    7,785
    1,958
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    And you turned out okay...right?
     
  7. DBPacific

    DBPacific Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Oregon, USA
    293
    194
    43
    I honestly don't know how that girl is diving because she isn't AAUS certified. The rest of us are but because she went with the prof for a class dive trip he apparently okayed it and so did the DSO. I think she's an OWD with less than 30 dives before this. The DSO is by the book on everything else, I think she just passed the checkout dive and is listed as a AAUS diver in training despite not being enrolled. I've called off dives here before and they're chill with it, but I didn't know how bad she was as a buddy until I got paired up with her for a single dive. She 'knew how to frog kick cause she did it in Bonaire, but finds it uncomfortable in cold water (therefore she doesn't even try)' and 'knows the standard lost buddy procedure' but also didn't follow lost buddy procedure when because of her fin kicking silt she lost me and our third buddy. We both surfaced after a minute and were then just watching her bubbles for 5 minutes waiting for her to surface and debating the chance of finding her if we went back down. I try to give her pointers and help her improve without throwing the book and Diver Down at her, but she just has no interest in learning or correcting. That was the worst buddy experience I've had and kind of the push to get me to accept that I was thinking about doing crazy stuff like dive solo/make sure I'm completely self sufficient in the event of separation and emergency. Despite that my usual buddy and I aren't very close physically, we make sure to keep an eye on each other and we've been able to communicate and get help for problems from each other pretty easily. Usually things like entanglement in lobster trap line, lobsters pinching and breaking our pencils, and BCDs independently inflating. Him I trust but I don't like diving with her.

    I'll definitely check out those tanks, thank you for the breakdown. I might need to warn my SO that there'll be more dive gear in our room...
     
  8. MichaelMc

    MichaelMc Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Berkeley, CA
    1,427
    768
    113
    I do not think that as a diver in training she can do actual working dives. Just dives in a class toward 30' AAUS classification. Which implies some level of instructional staff at the dive site. If she has no interest in getting it right to AAUS level, she has no business in the water that way. And I believe our manual says she can not be working unless she is 30' certified.

    And your DSO may not be aware of how that checked out diver has turned out in actual practice. I would raise the situation to the DSO. They can not know what happens in all projects, unless issues are raised to them. You need to raise this to the DSO.

    ETA:
    https://anest.ufl.edu/files/2018/04...nces-AAUS-Standards-for-Scientific-Diving.pdf

    5.40:
    Scientific Diver-In-Training Permit This is a permit to dive, usable only while it is current and for the purpose intended. This permit signifies that a diver has completed and been certified as at least an entry level diver through an internationally recognized certifying agency or scientific diving program, and has the knowledge skills and experience necessary to continue training as a scientific diver under supervision, as approved by the DSO.

    Scientific Diver Certification This permit signifies a diver has completed all requirements in Section 5.0 and is authorized by the AAUS OM to engage in scientific diving without supervision, as approved by the DSO. ....

    ....

    5.90 Waiver of Requirements/Temporary Diver A temporary diver permit constitutes a waiver of the requirements of Section 5.0 and is issued only following a demonstration of the required proficiency in diving. It is valid only for a limited time, as determined by the Diving Safety Officer. This permit is not to be construed as a mechanism to circumvent existing standards set forth in this standard. Requirements of Section 5.0 may be waived by the Diving Safety Officer if the person in question has demonstrated proficiency in diving and can contribute measurably to a planned dive. A statement of the temporary diver’s qualifications shall be submitted to the Diving Safety Officer as a part of the dive plan. Temporary permits shall be restricted to the planned diving operation and shall comply with all other policies, regulations, and standards of this standard, including medical requirements.
     
  9. DBPacific

    DBPacific Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Oregon, USA
    293
    194
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    He knows some of it. When he checked us all out, we all found out that she doesn't know how to read or use a computer, use a table, and is an OWD. So I don't know, but I'll raise it to him
     
    MichaelMc likes this.
  10. tbone1004

    tbone1004 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
    15,737
    7,071
    113
    @MichaelMc I'm still trying to get caught up on this thread, been a crazy day at work. Was there anything in particular that you wanted me to weigh in with?
     

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