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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. 2airishuman

    2airishuman Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Greater Minnesota
    2,394
    1,607
    113
    Well, he asked. My first solo dive was, let's see, my 7th dive after certification.

    I don't necessarily encourage other people to follow in my footsteps. It was the right thing for me to do at the time given the totality of the circumstances. I do not believe I took unacceptable risks. Ultimately, all solo divers have to make their own choices, and this is no different.

    I did not add a backup air source immediately, because I had a hard bottom at 25', and was within easy swimming distance to shore.
     
  2. JamesBon92007

    JamesBon92007 Great White

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Southern California...too far from the ocean
    3,027
    1,183
    113
    I did my first 19-20 years of diving with a buddy. There were times when I would have been safer alone. When my ex (diving buddy at the time) got pregnant I started diving alone for about the next 27 years or so. Now my girlfriend is diving so once again I have a dive buddy, but that does not mean I won't ever be going alone again. In that 27 years I never felt that I would somehow be safer with a dive buddy, but I had a couple of decades of experience before doing it so It's not an easy call.
     
    aquacat8 and northernone like this.
  3. johndiver999

    johndiver999 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Gainesville FL
    867
    752
    93
    Diving in cold water, in an area where there is a potential for strong tidal currents, limited visibility, from shore with nobody on shore looking out for you and on a ship wreck that can easily hold fishing line would seem like a really aggressive place to start solo diving. A simple calf cramp and maybe a freeflow could result in things getting tough quick.

    Doesn't sound like the most benign environment to teach yourself solo diving, but I really don't know the area.

    Areas with currents, no surface support, cold water and the potential for entanglements are probably not the best place to practice. Very different than diving in a lake or a quarry or some still water body where the shoreline is very close.
     
    EireDiver606 likes this.
  4. Stoo

    Stoo NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Freelton & Tobermory, Ontario, Canada
    3,014
    2,694
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    This has been discussed ad nauseum in this forum. I am not aware of any evidence where solo-diving has been cited as a major causative factor in fatalities.
     
    divad, shoredivr and Ghetto Diver like this.
  5. KWS

    KWS ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: SE TEXAS
    4,386
    1,028
    113
    I say yes. The reasons will be greatly arguable but it is why I say yes. Many New OW's dont really have any thing but min requirements to get the card. The adequacy depends greatly on where and who trained you. I have been with many divers that still loose their tank cause they did not put t on right. Seldom have I seen a buddy that can fix that under water. iF THEY CANT PREVENT PROBLEMS OR ASSIST THEIR BUDDY WITH PROBLEMS HOW CAN THEY TAKE CARE OF THEM SELVES. oops . I odnt recommend any one take solo for some time until they experience problems with them selves and with others. Unless you know the things that happen and under stand the fixes, how can one say hey are ready to do it solo. After a hundred dives it is another matter.
     
  6. GJC

    GJC Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Southern California, USA
    324
    223
    43
    NAUI does not have a solo specialty and I believe their stance is that each NAUI trained diver can decide for themselves if they are capable of diving solo based on their training, experience and dive conditions.

    If you are a good self learner, you can buy the solo manual or online course without having the number of dives to enter a course.

    I got my solo card mainly to show the card to rent tanks for solo shore diving and to dive solo off boats. Most places won't let you do that without a card.

    I think you could have the ability to safely dive solo at 25 dives.

    But,

    Key questions to ask yourself would be:

    How good a swimmer are you and how comfortable are you underwater if something bad happens (like a mask strap breaking or fishing line entanglement or both at the same time)?

    How good are you at air comsumption planning and monitoring? You can still be a really good diver with a high SAC, but you have to know how to stay within your limits.

    How well do you understand how all the parts and pieces of your equipment work? Which ones are likely to fail or get dropped and lost and what are you going to do when that happens?
     
    Jordan Trotter and kelemvor like this.
  7. AJ

    AJ Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Netherlands
    635
    344
    63
    Solo diving won't kill you by itself. When things start go wrong chances are you get in trouble more easily than an experienced diver. By going slow and shallow you can mitigate those risks.Ultimately it's up to you to decide how much risk you're willing to take.

    Having said that, I like to compare solo diving with solo flying. At some point during education you're going to fly solo. Nobody to help you, just your training. To me solo flying sounds much more dangerous than solo diving, but I'am not a pilot.
     
    Jordan Trotter likes this.
  8. cburgert

    cburgert Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
    157
    53
    28
    I' considering solo diving as well. The last 2 years my dive buddy constantly dropped out, I'm not even going to try and contact him anymore. Solo may be my only option, or dive with my LDS.
     
    Jordan Trotter likes this.
  9. wetb4igetinthewater

    wetb4igetinthewater Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle
    3,691
    1,947
    113
    Join Whytecliff Wednesdays. They have a FB group and are organized by experienced divers. You will not be kicked in the face. If you are interested in sidemount and the Razor system, I think at least six of them dive in that configuration. They are a good, fun group.
     
    West.Coast.Diver and northernone like this.
  10. BDSC

    BDSC Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Wake Forest, NC
    6,939
    3,243
    113
    I know how you feel.

    I took a dive trip to Grand Cayman Island when I had somewhere around 20 dives I guess it was. I went with my wife and she was not a diver. So I would go out and do the two morning dives on the boat and then the rest of the day I was back at the resort. I don't think the place is there any longer but I believe it was called Coconut Harbor. They had shore diving right there.

    On the second afternoon a decided to do a dive from shore and I had no dive buddy. I made the decision I would not go below 30 ft. as I had practiced doing the CESA from 35 ft in class. Since then, and that was back in 92 I think it was, I have done numerous solo dives. Mostly in Bonaire, some from a liveaboard, and a few in the local quarry. I always keep my dive 50 ft. or less and they are typically in warm water with no currents. Never an issue.

    I obviously don't know you, how comfortable you are in the water, and your ability to handle what could be a potentially stressful situation. Having said that, I don't see what you are proposing to do as being particularly risky. If it were me, I'd do the dive.
     
    Jordan Trotter likes this.

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