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No buddy?

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by Matt England, Jun 25, 2018.

  1. Matt England

    Matt England Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Edmonton, KY
    OW diver here. I'm going to be taking AOW in a couple more weeks, and traveling to Lauderdale-by-the-Sea for vacation with a non diving spouse the opening week of Florida's lobster season. LBTS is known for it's beach diving access. What do you do if you don't have a dive buddy? Find a random person? My only diving this far has been in a quarry, as I live in central ky, and got my OW last summer after our vacation unfortunately. Any info for an ocean newbie? Tia.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
  2. nolatom

    nolatom Captain

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New Orleans
    I've dived florida, but not the Mini-lobster season. Have heard and read it can be a crazy scene:
    Lobster mini-season comes with a big catch — safety concerns

    So I can only give general advice, not specific.
    You're a new diver. So yes, find a buddy and agree on what you're going to do, how and when to compare air-remaining, and when to "turn" the dive and head back to the beach.

    You're there to learn more about diving. Right? Lobsters are secondary to safety. So you might tell your buddy you are there to help, and stick close to buddy, don't get too engrossed in finding more "bugs"-- instead, work more on buoyancy, not over-breathing or overexerting. With a buddy, you'll each have that 500psi you save for each other.

    So focus on the diving experience rather than just the hunting, and you may not get as many lobstahs, but you'll learn more about diving and being relaxed in the water, and staying safe.
    Matt England and Jackie Treehorn like this.
  3. Rred

    Rred Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: In a safe place
    Contact Gold Coast Scuba, they're right there and always organizing local dives, so they may be able to buddy you up. And to put you in contact with whoever is organizing things for the town. Beach parking will probably best be done by taking an Uber: Not a lot of parking, and a mob scene for the miniseason. Again, the shop may be organizing runs for divers, from their location to the beach.

    DO make sure to read up on Florida lobstering and scuba rules, the FWC are sticklers for enforcement. Florida requires larger dive flags than most states (rental at Gold Coast?) and there usually are some medical casualties, so they don't play around.
  4. Tournesol2000

    Tournesol2000 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Toronto
    +1 in Gold Coast Scuba.
  5. Jackie Treehorn

    Jackie Treehorn Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Between Mikes and Weekapaug
    +1 on not worrying about the Lobsters and focus on getting skills down (buoyancy, weight checks, knowing your SAC, proper finning).

    The idea of bring a newly OW quarry diver doing their first ocean dive from a shore, with a random buddy while task loaded with lobster hunting and carrying around a dive flag (and i'm guessing a gopro too) are a lot of avenues for an error chain to occur.

    Have fun. Be safe.
  6. seeker242

    seeker242 DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Pompano Beach, FL

    This group dives very often and very easy to join them and find a buddy. :)

    The first week of lobster season and "mini-lobster season" are two different dates. Mini season is just 2 days, the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday in July. First week of lobster season is the week of August 6
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
  7. hammet

    hammet Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: United States
    Skip the beach diving.
    Hook up with a charter boat out of boyton beach or similar.
    Hire a 'guide' for $100 for the day to be your buddy and show you drift diving procedures.
    If you feel comfortable on day 2, they'll find you an instabuddy or group to stick with.

    ETA: skip the lobster hunting on your own. It's a lot of task loading for someone new to ocean diving. You're gonna fin the **** out of the reef trying to stay in front of the bugs in the current.
    If you do do the charter boat option, tell them before hand you want to use the hired guide option to show you lobster hunting too. It's not as easy as it looks, you'll be surprised when you see a lobster dart away from you at light speed, but the guide will probably at least get you a few to take home to cook for dinner if you don't snag any.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
  8. DiverDean59

    DiverDean59 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Virginia
    I agree with a previous poster. Mini-lobster season can be crazy. I also think you may want to just enjoy the dive and work on the skills that you learned in class. And you most want to find a buddy. Boat diving may be a better option even if there is a couple they may let you tag along. Let the people on the boat know your qualifications up front and the will work to pair you up with someone. I wish I was in the area, I'd offer to pair up. Have a great time.
    hammet and Matt England like this.
  9. Matt England

    Matt England Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Edmonton, KY
    Lots of great info, thanks guys! I am planning on doing at least 1-2 boat dives, so those who mentioned that, are right in line with what I was thinking too. And I'll be there the week that regular season opens, not for mini season. Yes, practicing my new diving skills will definitely be the #1 goal, lobstering secondary.
    My wife has done a discover scuba, and was quite anxious during it. She loves snorkeling though. I was hoping she could make the transition into scuba, but I may just have to snorkel a little with her. Maybe she'll eventually get there...
    Thanks again for the info! It doesn't sound like my thinking was too far off..
  10. cneal

    cneal Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Charlotte
    Hire a DM if you can't finsd a buddy you can trust. If you talk with hime after the dive is can become an informal training dauve.
    Matt England likes this.

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