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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. Ana

    Ana Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Pompano Beach, FL
    By the way yesterday sea were around 1 foot (instead of the 2-3 predicted) the plan was to make 2 dives... I'd go first while my husband stays on the boat following my float/flag.; Then he'd go and I follow in the boat. Same plan we have for every Saturday with good seas. This time a couple of friends asked to join us and we dove in pairs. Was good but I'm not sure I'd like it that way every Saturday.
    Bob DBF likes this.
  2. FreeFlyFreak

    FreeFlyFreak Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: California

    I did my first solo dive as my 8th dive (4th dive after certification) due to my buddy not being able to do the second dive.

    I didn't have a pony @ the time, but I do now. It was a familiar site with no current, easy navigation. I had 2 cutting devices and didn't go below a depth that I was confident I could successfully make a CESA.

    I have never run out of gas, or even low, in a car, or aircraft, I don't expect I'll run low Scuba diving either. I am 53 years old and haven't had a car crash since I was 16.
    I do everything defensively, and carefully especially when risk is Increased.

    I too have an aviation background. 16k+ flight hours in many types of aircraft, almost 1000 skydives.
    The mind set is the same, have fun while minimizing the risk involved, trying to stay alive.

    I cant tell you if you are ready or not, only you can answer that question, but because you are asking, I would say maybe not yet. If you were truly ready you would have done it!
    I would recommend a minimum 19cuft pony that has been practiced with. If not, i would not go deeper than you can CESA.

    Enjoy, and be safe.
    dead dog likes this.
  3. Steve_C

    Steve_C Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh, NC USA
    I did a couple of dives there a few years back. Can see how it is usually benign. Will note that on dive 2, we had to drop into one of the sunken boats and let two very large lions mane jellies drift by on the current. Took a while for the tentacles to clear.

    Every place has its hazards. Solo diving does require a level of alertness perhaps a bit more so then having a guide or more experienced buddy does.
  4. hhmoore

    hhmoore Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: NY
    I still consider myself a new diver - certified just over 2 yrs ago - with about 55 dives logged. If I only dove when I had a buddy available, I would have about 1/3 the dives & and probably still be struggling with the basics. I had personal reasons for wanting to improve my skills asap, and I needed time in the water to accomplish that. I enjoy diving with a friend, and have scrapped dives when my buddy couldn't make it...but, I find diving solo incredibly relaxing.
    *I'm aware of the risks, limit my depth, and know I'm not Joe Diver. I have encountered difficulties, calmed myself if I became anxious, and dealt with them. I hope to get my solo certification before I have to curtail the practice rather than be a hypocrite.
    FreeFlyFreak likes this.
  5. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    I was lucky to find a regular buddy fairly soon after OW certification. After a couple of years he moved and my location made it very undesirable to travel to where I could find a new regular buddy. So I began solo diving after dive no. 75. The solo/self-reliant course is not taught here (to my knowledge). I don't usually take my pony bottle because I rarely exceed 30 feet, and practice CESA from there.
    I have gone deeper solo on very rare occasions and have used the pony at times.
    When I was assisting OW courses the odd student would ask about solo diving. I would wait until they finished and were certified before talking about it. It's a risk thing, of course. You have a heart attack uw and you're probably done for even with a (good) buddy, but almost for sure if solo. Then there are the risks discussed in diving with a poor buddy, which is what may happen if you are on a charter as a "single". You do what you have to do and what you are comfortable with.
  6. pauldw

    pauldw Solo Diver

    In my opinion as someone who certified inland long ago and then did his first ten post-OW dives along the Oregon coast solo, I think that NW divers need an above water buddy more than a below water buddy. It is very helpful to have someone to help carry gear down and up trails or places without trails, or to pass it down and up drop offs, or across surge channels. So is someone to help you get a wetsuit on and off, and help you get into the water and out of it. Brother, mom, spouse, daughter--that shore support is really nice, and makes you distinctly less tired, and safer. Especially since if you're in northern California (no, the Bay Area isn't northern California), Oregon, or the actual Washington coast, shore diving opportunities are going to be rare, and happening to have an available buddy when the water is diveable is probably unlikely. So get a good shore buddy if you're going solo. The nice thing for them is, because of the water temperature, they won't have to wait long for you to finish your dive. And have a good knife, for fishing line. Then dive in shallow and mostly calm water, ideally with decent vis. It's all macro diving. You'd lose a buddy anyway. By the time you found him, you could have gotten to the surface. That's my opinion, and with my opinion and $5 you could get a nice, warm Cinnabon.
    FreeFlyFreak likes this.

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