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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. HeliMech

    HeliMech Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Whitehorse, Yukon - land of very little diving
    Quick update - did some deeper dives yesterday. Paid attention to where my skills are at w/ a private instructor. It'll be a while before I do anything truly solo (and again - I was only considering this at one spot in a limited fashion).

    I'm going to leave solo anything for a few more dives...a dozen...more...

    I'll reevaluate where I'm at from dive to dive. When I feel it's right I'll grab a pony bottle and practice in max 6' deep water and go slowly from there.

    Also - I am definitely not the panic guy but I do get frustrated and p*ssed off when things don't go perfectly. I need to dial that back as it is a bit of a distraction and my breathing rate suffers when it happens. So on a personal note, I'll be working on that negative pscyhological aspect.

    This isn't just about not having dive buddies. It's about not trusting anyone else other than people I know and it not being desirable or practical to go through a big online dating-like process to find someone who is a good fit. In the meantime I miss out on how many dives? Also I'm a single Dad with a crazy job schedule. It's tough to line up plans even when it's not diving.

    I'm pretty much stuck in that situation anyway....sadly. All that being said; I know I have my head on straight. Instead of buying a pony bottle I spent $500.00 on a private deep Specialty cert. Dives 3 and 4 happen this Saturday. (please....better vis)

    07 Feb 16 Perdix DL.jpeg

    I have carried out countless risk assessments in my career. All your posts have helped me populate my mental forms and clarified my path forward.

    I will ask to audit the PADI Self-Reliant Diver course. No harm in learning if my LDS lets it happen.

    Thank you for all the good advice I have received. I'm truly impressed by the quality and thoughtfulness of the replies. I absolutely love diving and it was nice to have everyone step up to get me pointed in the right direction.


    PS - Tried my new Seacure mouthpiece- Holy crap! What a great product. Completely changes how you hold your reg. I have horrible TMJ and zero jaw pain after diving yesterday.
    rjack321, markmud, Blindsided and 3 others like this.
  2. EireDiver606

    EireDiver606 DIR Practitioner

    I’m considering solo diving also. I think everyone should act like they’re on a solo dive and take the same precautions as you would if you were solo.
    Jordan Trotter and markmud like this.
  3. JamesBon92007

    JamesBon92007 Great White

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Southern California...too far from the ocean
    That's part of the reason I started diving by myself (aside from the fact that my ex-wife stopped diving once we had kids)--it seemed like I ended up rescuing or at least assisting just about everyone I went diving with. Even the ex-UDT guy, who otherwise was excellent as expected, had a tendency to steady himself on a rock right next to a moray eel with it's mouth open. If you want to find morays he's the guy to dive with! The other big factor is that I started doing photography and never paid much attention to my dive buddy so they might just as well be down there by themselves because I sure wasn't going to be much help :wink: Consequently, the one time I was assigned an "instant buddy" the DM was yelling at me from 80 feet away telling me to get back with my buddy. I didn't know it was possible to yell at someone underwater, especially that far away.
  4. tursiops

    tursiops Marine Scientist and Master Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: U.S. East Coast
    There is no such thing as a course audit. That breaks standards. You are in the class, or not, and you cannot be in the class until you have your 100 dives. Your instructor broke standards and issued you an invalid card, and he ought to be reported.
  5. Michael Guerrero

    Michael Guerrero Solo Diver

    I didn't read all the posts, and I'm sure the vast majority have discouraged you from doing it. I figured I'd just share my path since it's unlikely other people will talk about these things.

    I dove my 5th and 6th dives solo in a lake, the dives immediately following my certification--and I had a terrible instructor for OW. I even filmed them. When I got uncomfortable, I turned back.

    I dove my first drysuit dive solo, without taking a class. I went into the shallows with my gear and purposely inverted and righted myself. 20 minutes later I was good to go.

    I dove my first set of doubles solo, didn't take a class. Bought some LP85s and an AL40 from a guy in California, and took them to the lake. 3 or 4 dives and they felt normal.

    I did my first deco dives solo, with a deco tank. I think I had 30 or 40 deco dives before I actually took the class--half with accelerated deco. I had tables, bottom timer, lots of books and papers on deco theory, and my Petrel for help.

    I serviced my own regulators (maintenance and O2 cleaning)...those simple compact XS scuba DIN ones that I still use today for deco bottles because they are so easy and cheap to clean. Thanks Pete Wolfinger and the Oxyhacker. Eventually took the class and was Rod Peterson's last student.

    I dove to extended range depths without taking a class, lots. Thanks Tom Mount, for the great book.

    I scootered in a cave without taking a cave DPV class. Thanks friend.

    I've dived hypoxic mixes with a normoxic cert. Thanks friend.

    The only classes I have taken that matched the diving I was doing were OW, cave, and Trimix.

    Know yourself, know your limitations, stay humble, work hard, read, research, ask questions. Much is open to you. Praise to those intrepid explorers that came before us.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
  6. Bierstadt

    Bierstadt Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Erie, PA
    My compliments to the OP for the courage to post this. Too bad you don't dive in my area; I'm looking for someone to do drills and basic training ad nauseam as well.
    Jordan Trotter likes this.
  7. dhaines429

    dhaines429 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Abbotsford, Canada
    Probably a good call to hold off on the solo idea. I solo dive now at almost 100 dives in but carry redundant air on all dives. Finding buddies isn't as hard as you think and it's definitely cheaper than private instructor. I learned a lot from just diving with experienced divers I met through the scuba club, the club has a few instructors as members and a wealth of knowledge to be shared. Hope the dives go well and if you want get in touch, I'm looking for someone to share cost up to Tuwanek on the Sunshine Coast sometime soon. Cheers
  8. Landstander

    Landstander Solo Diver

    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
  9. HeliMech

    HeliMech Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Whitehorse, Yukon - land of very little diving
    There are lots of opportunities to audit courses for people who are interested. Even a university course...

    Anyone can buy a book anyway. Not much harm in sitting in for a class.

    Not saying they'll allow it as it's usually discretionionary. If you know that PADI forbids it then it likely won't happen but it doesn't sound impossible to me.

    People who like to teach usually have an appreciation for those who like to learn. Opportunities arise.
    Dizzi Lizzi and Landstander like this.
  10. tursiops

    tursiops Marine Scientist and Master Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: U.S. East Coast
    If he is willing to be so cavalier with his credentials and students, how can you have any confidence that he didn't teach you something wrong and unsafe?
    rjack321 likes this.

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