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How Did You Go Solo?

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

  1. DBPacific

    DBPacific ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: NorCal, USA
    Jeez, yeah no. I was stuck monitoring some divers I worked with this summer on a few dives and thought I'd have a heart attack the whole time. Just going back to my normal buddy was such a relief even though we still needed to check in and keep track of each other (generally).
  2. DBPacific

    DBPacific ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: NorCal, USA
    I don't think I could've resisted that water either, even after reading Diver Down. I've been abandoned/forced to act as relay between photographer buddies and the rest of the group before, and the first solo diver I met in person was a photographer. I was almost ready to throttle my photographer friends out of sheer frustration (or my other buddies when I want to get closer for a better look and picture of a coral formation or fish) so I can certainly imagine how solo diving can be immensely freeing for photography. Was there a big difference in your friend group and other solo divers in attitude or diving behavior after the Self Reliant class came out?
  3. Searcaigh

    Searcaigh Chromodoris gordonii Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Dubai, UAE
    My diving days in Saudi were back in the 90s, so post Self Reliant course had no impact.

    For me personally also no impact, I've always dived conservatively, and even from mid-2000s been carrying a pony bottle albeit a 13 cu ft one initially (now I use 30 cu ft one).

    The Instructor told me to use a larger pony as I'd not be able to surface from 30m with 13cu ft of air and do a 3 min safety stop ....... I proved him wrong :D

    However more is better so I now use a 30.
    DBPacific and chillyinCanada like this.
  4. divad

    divad ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    How did I go solo?

    I was born.
    happy-diver likes this.
  5. broncobowsher

    broncobowsher Solo Diver

    After a couple of insta-buddy where you feel that you would be better by yourself than with them, you start going by yourself. That is it actually feels better not being with someone else.

    Mindset of you are diving by yourself even if there is someone else there.
    FreeFlyFreak and DBPacific like this.
  6. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    After my 75th dive my first and only regular buddy moved. Being 50 miles from the shop, my only logical recourse was to go solo, at least when diving the 6 or so sites within 15 minutes of home. I usually limit my solo dives to 30' or less, though have broken that rule once in a while. I have dived solo a couple of times (after becoming a DM) as that was the protocol or my buddy got too cold.
    I have no solo cert. as I don't think the shop here teaches Self-Reliant. At least I never heard anyone talking about it when I was assisting with courses here. And there are no other shops to speak of around here.
    I wouldn't go really deep on purpose solo. I know little about the courses other than they emphasize redundancy. I would think that it is possibly info. you could pick up by reading about it, but that's just a guess. I don't need redundancy at 20-30' anyway as it's glorified snorkeling and I can do a CESA from 30' starting with lungs half empty. Entanglement is the biggest worry, though there is little around here to be concerned with. Simply swim over something and keep clear of really tall thick sea grass and globs of kelp. I bungee my mouthpiece around my head to hold it in should I ever go unconscious for any reason--at least I'd have a chance should I wake up, and not lose the MP and drown.
    Good to see the Solo forum has been moved out of the Tech. area.
    DBPacific and FreeFlyFreak like this.
  7. SoloMonkey

    SoloMonkey Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Hertfordshire United Kingdom
    I remember a rig like this from the late 80's in the UK. 2 Yoke valved single Luxfer 60's and a crossbar system into a single regulator in the middle.
    Again though because the knobs were on the sides and you had to turn the outlets inwards to connect onto the crossfeed bar the question came down to shoulder mobility, and how many discs in your back you fancied herniating, as those 207 bar tanks were bl00dy heavy!

    I got mine from a suitably beard clad drinking buddy of my dad's when he gave up diving. The cylinders only served for 2 years in the late 90's before being condemned by British Standard law on cylinder checking. Still happy days for learning.


    Paul B
    Bob DBF likes this.
  8. nippurmagnum

    nippurmagnum Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Washington DC metro
    They may be saying that for liability/PR reasons, especially given that you asked in writing about their policy, and that they don't know you.

    When I went (five years ago now) they were definitely accommodating of solo divers. For starters, the way their boat dives work, the first dive goes to a reef maybe 20 minutes away, and then comes back to the far end of the wall of house reef. At that point you are invited to jump in for a second dive, which ends at the cutaway that leads back to the resort. I'd say half the divers in my group did that second dive, and half did not. There was no discussion of who would buddy up for that second dive, and it was unguided. The same drill for the afternoon boat dive.

    And as for shore dives, they most definitely did not insist on buddies. They had a sign out/in sheet where you recorded what time you were leaving for a shore dive, and what time you were returning. They had a security guard at night checking that sheet and monitoring to see that you came back within an hour or so. If you took longer (which I did on a dive that went 75 minutes), the guard starts to get concerned (I know that because he told me so when I got out of the water, though he was in no way reprimanding me). So if they had a strict no solo diving policy, they would be actively monitoring that sign out/in sheet and preventing anyone from heading out on his own. For that matter, there is only one way to return to the resort from the walls, through a cutaway in their "front yard" and it would be immediately obvious to everyone that you were diving solo. I saw several other divers who dove solo (and were repeat customers), and none of us ever got any hassle -- quite the opposite. In fact, a couple of times I was getting suited up for a solo night dive just as another solo diver was doing the same -- and we both chatted amiably about the awesomeness of solo diving and then went our separate ways.

    They may have changed how they operate since I was there 5 years ago, but I tend to doubt it. They haven't updated their website at all in at least that long, and my impression is that they try to keep things the same for the many repeat customers they get.
    DBPacific and FreeFlyFreak like this.
  9. stretchthepenn

    stretchthepenn Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Atlanta, GA
    My first solo dive was off the Channel Islands, when I was a fairly new diver with something like 50 total dives. I forget the exact circumstances, but I found myself alone underwater at about 40' with no particular reason to surface. I didn't much like being alone, but the viz was good, so I kept the boat's bottom within eyesight and putzed around until I ran low on air. It was fine.

    In the years afterward, I found myself alone a few times due to this-and-that reason and got used to diving by myself. Well, kinda. I often felt weird not having another diver nearby, even if the dive site were tame. Going SM helped, though; the redundant air supply is comforting on a psychological level, and dive operators didn't blink an eye if I ventured off on my own instead of schooling around with n00bs.

    Fast-forward a couple of years. I started going to the local quarry on a regular basis and developed a dive buddy, but his and my schedules don't always mesh; I'm usually free on Fridays, but he's gotta be places that day, so I was missing out on a lot of Friday diving. Plus, just showing up and doing the "hey, wanna dive with me?" thing really isn't my bag, and even if it were, the quarry wasn't as popular as it is now, so there's no telling if I'd've been able to find an instabuddy. I needed an alternative.

    Thus, when my local shop offered the PADI self-reliant course, I took it. The actual training wasn't very strenuous--my experience switching gas for SM covered the class's hardest part--but the actual solo dive at the class's end ("awright, you're certified...go get wet, seeya topside") felt incredibly liberating.

    Now that I've been solo certified for a few years, I've logged...um...I dunno. My logbook's in the garage, so let's guesstimate 50 solo dives. 'Tain't a huge number, but I like the solo thang, I've got confidence, and the number is growing.
    DBPacific likes this.
  10. SoloMonkey

    SoloMonkey Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Hertfordshire United Kingdom
    Many thanks for that information. So I'll only find out by going there I guess!

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