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Is limited solo diving completely insane for a new diver?

Discussion in 'Solo Divers' started by HeliMech, Feb 5, 2018.

  1. Rred

    Rred Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: In a safe place
    There's an old saying that if you have to ask, you already know the answer. Arguably, the answer here is no, you are not ready, and that's why you asking questioning yourself. Now that may be wrong. In familiar waters, daylight, good weather, your own gear, it might be a milk run for you. But did your courses include a harassment day? (Doubtful.) Then you really don't know how you'd react to your mask being knocked off, or a regulator diaphragm bursting, or another problem. That's part of what experience and buddies are recommended for. (And why harassment training may not be such a bad idea after all.)
    And then there's muscle memory. We were trained on the newfangled J valves and that's what I've always dove on my own gear. Folks say "But what if the rod was tripped or fouled?" and I say that's not happening, my left arm knows to wander back and check the rod every five or ten minutes, the same way I check my gauges and look around for my buddy. (Yeah, we're not always attached at the waist.(G)
    I'd say the dive business is still a bit over-paranoid about solo diving. After all, it is NORMAL and DONE BY EVERYONE when they get separated at night, or in murky water, or they just turn around for a minute and lose everyone. My buddy and I used to routinely dive solo, when no one sanctioned it, on dive treasure hunts. You know, why argue about prize markers when you could just split up, and then meet up again at exit time?(G)
    So, try to be patient. Maybe try to find a friend who can sit and read a book and keep an eye on your bubbles from the shore. Or at least, tell someone "If I don't call you by xx oclock, I'm in trouble at..."
    Scheduling dives, getting folks to show up on time, arguing over what weather should stop a boat, that all discourages everyone. Some skippers are bright enough to know that "If only one guy shows or books, we STILL GO OUT" simply because they know in the long run, it is good for business. Expensive, yes, but it builds a following.
    When you're ready, you'll know it. Then you get the PADI card nonsense, to keep them happy too.
  2. Ana

    Ana Solo Diver

    I agree with the philosophy of "if you have to ask, is not for you"
    However, I've come to the realization that many times people come here and ask a question as a way to start a thread, not exactly because they don't know or they are actually going to do what "the internet" tells them.

    Solo diving continues to be taboo I read the replies and can't help but laugh a little.
    "I do this and that but wouldn't tell anyone to do it"
    Is almost as if there's a concern that if one types: "hey go ahead and dive solo" someone will come to your place and take you away or put you on time out.

    I'd say go and decide yourself what's best for you, just keep in mind that if you decide wrong the negative consequences will be only for you and no one else's.
    Rollin Bonz and Bob DBF like this.
  3. Rred

    Rred Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: In a safe place
    I'm surprised that PADI et al haven't put up a wall of shame and blacklist, telling us all not to follow the examples of Mike Nelson and Jacque Cousteau, both known to have dove solo.(G)
  4. Sam Miller III

    Sam Miller III Scuba Legend Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: CALIFORNIA: Where recreational diving began!
    Ambition minus lack training and ability equals disaster

    ````````````` OR `````````````````

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A -T + A = D ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  5. Rollin Bonz

    Rollin Bonz Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Georgia, the state, not the country ;-)
    I would say you and your family and loved ones. Do not discount the effect the risks you take have on those around you. That goes for diving in general, but moreso for solo diving. Just my 2¢ after completing my self reliant certification this summer.
    rjack321 likes this.
  6. divad

    divad Solo Diver

    Is that why you never drive alone?
  7. Ana

    Ana Solo Diver

    I thought of that, and shower alone, but felt meh...
    To begin with, I was referring to consequences being limited to "a" diver alone as in not the guy posting on a thread, or an instructor, or a friend of his friend.
    Maybe a diver has a sick child waiting for him to come home to provide meds at a certain time, or maybe has no one in his life and his neighbors actually hate him. I consider thay part of the decision making for the go no-go.

    ... More to the point, "do as I say not as I do" seems to be the way many divers go about. I have this big experience and this many courses... You are obviously not good enough is the message i hear over and over.

    Even people that started diving decades ago and did it solo 90% of the times before knowing crap with zero experience, but suddenly a new diver today doesn't deserve the same opportunity to learn his/her own way.

    Like is sooo much better to go with another diver that may or may not know anything. ....I know , I don't understand.. I don't know what I don't know.
  8. Gareth J

    Gareth J Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: UK
    There is a huge difference between an experienced diver and a novice diver.

    There are two primary issues,
    1. Risk analysis
    2. Diving ability.

    1. Risk Analysis
    Even experienced divers miss indicators that the dive risk is going up, and that's with experience to draw on. Inexperienced divers are likely to miss warning signs that they should abort.

    2. Diving Ability
    i.e. Skill. Or muscle memory. With experience, comes skill and ability.
    An experienced diver, you would hope, has the skills to dig themselves out of the hole. An inexperienced diver certainly, won't have the skill base to draw on.

    PADI open water, is still a novice qualification, irrespective of marketing.

    If you look at the statistics, in the event of a problem, if you are solo, your risk of a fatal outcome increases significantly.

    There is actually a third. Mindset. There are many experienced divers who are not suited to solo diving. Being defensive, seeing the risk early and mitigating it. When it does go wrong, being able to manage the problem, and having the skill set to dig yourself out of the hole. That includes having skill levels at there optimum, i.e. recently practiced and perfect.

    I have dived solo. Even saying that, there have not been that many. Very few for a complete dive. A few where I have been in first to set a shot or prepare for the rest of the group to join me. The odd occasion, when i have been in a group and separated. A good few with a camera, where myself and my buddy have lost each other for parts of the dive.
    It is often said that an instructor with students is diving solo, because the students don't have the skills to help. There is a world of difference, being in the water with inexperienced dives, and being in the water alone!
    I have never been alone in the water alone without an independent bailout, which i am practiced in using. At least two DSMB's. All within depths I was very comfortable with.
    Also, I have no dependents. If I die, whilst I have a brother and a sister, I don't have a wife or children. That is a hugely significant factor.
    Rollin Bonz likes this.
  9. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    Our local quarry allows solo diving if you have a solo cert.

    Another diver posted on FB that someone had showed up on Sunday (last day open this year) expecting to dive solo. No solo cert, no redundant air supply, and renting equipment at the quarry.

    Darwin Award candidate wannabe!
  10. Ana

    Ana Solo Diver


    Maybe this person is from another location amd just found out there was an opportunity to dive in that quarry. Maybe he happened to be very experienced but like many solo divers doesn't care for solo cards.
    ...or maybe he learned to dive 3 days ago. Who knows... But how about dive your way and let others dive their way... Then again critizy away, none of my business.

    I feel very grateful to the random set of events in my life that resulted in my ability to dive my way, with the gear I consider necessary withthe only limitation being sea conditions.

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