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On Your Own: The Buddy System Rebutted By Bob Halstead

Discussion in 'Solo Divers' started by happy-diver, Jul 18, 2019.

  1. StefinSB

    StefinSB Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Santa Barbara, CA

    It is a mental mistake to assume that just because you dive with a partner you are not responsible for your own safety. I also happily give up whatever symmetry on my gear to be able to have a spare stage to donate. Personal choice that I consider more reasonable.
    NAUI Wowie likes this.
  2. Bob DBF

    Bob DBF Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: NorCal
    Although the equipment at the time was not quite as reliable as today's gear, it was still very good. I still do some dives with my original equipment. The buddy system in swimming and SCUBA was instituted because surviving in the water after an accident increases if you have help available. They could crunch numbers back in the old days. The rescue may not work out, but in the water you can't just lay down on the side of a trail and wait for help.

    The overriding reason, I believe, for the emphasis on the buddy system and was that the Y was focused on water safety and was one of the first SCUBA training agencies (1959).

  3. lermontov

    lermontov Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: christchurch
    Let's be realistic no business on the planet would receive legal advice to promote or encourage solo anything - and if they did their Public liability would be unsustainable. Call me cynical but id speculate that liability and costs are behind most/many training models that are reproduced in the public arena

    Solo and buddy both have their place they can coexist without trying to prove that other is better or not. For me solo diving has psychological dimensions that buddy diving doesnt - that fact that you are alone and that if you get into trouble theres none to help you unmasks any hidden bravado that a buddy dive can hide. That personal inward struggle to overcome is very liberating
    Some of my most enjoyable dives are with buddies -from me taking a beginner on a visually spectacular dive to doing a trimix wreck penetration with an equal.

    I dont want to be exclusive - I want to embrace all facets of diving because at the end of the day its about enjoying the experience whether its solo or not. I love talking with my buddy about the dive at tea time over a red wine and then planning the next days adventure - Dive lodges and LOB are a wonderful extension to the day, turning a 2 hour dive experience into a 10 hour one.

    But to get back the the original post the buddy system if operating correctly is like trainer wheels -at some point you should have enough skill and experience to take them off and go out and enjoy the ride without worrying if the other person is going to fall off. Theres a timeline .... most of the frustration seems to be brought about by one person who has not yet reached 'competent diver' while the other has.

    The training system already has the infrastructure in place to supposedly measure competency - it just doesnt correlate to real life situations because everyone is on the learning curve wether it be at the start middle or towards the top of the curve.
    Sam Miller III likes this.
  4. tursiops

    tursiops Marine Scientist and Master Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: U.S. East Coast
    I think the point is that some like to swim, some like to see things. Many things top see are small or cryptic, so slow is good. Some things to see are a long way away, so swim to get there. And some keep on swimming swimming because their buoyancy is not good enough to go slow.
  5. Protondecay123

    Protondecay123 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Arkansas
    I think both sides have decent arguments regarding specific scenarios/anecdotes. I would say that while a novice, it's nice to have a buddy to go over the predive checklist with you, make sure the oxygen is on etc. However as task mastery increases that utility obviously decreases. As you gain experience and are involved in different text book and non-text book experiences your insight begins to change. Being on dives where having to stage practically an intervention on a stranger to keep them from hurting themselves to having a buddy notice a small air leak underwater from my DIN connection to the tank that wasn't noticeable on surface has shown me the pros and cons. I have a couple of great diving buddies that generate tons of positives for the dive experience ( noticing a small sea horse, keeping me from heading the wrong way back to the boat, buying a beer at the bar after a great day of diving) and my diving experience seems to be enhanced by such fellowship as it may be. However, to each his own as long as it's within a reasonable safety framework.
  6. txgoose

    txgoose Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Houston
    It is a new rule. You aren’t allowed to dive solo and then have conversations with other divers to talk about your collective dive day. It violates “Solo NDL,” No Dialog Limit. Once you go into the water by yourself you are required to be anti-social until your dive computer says you can fly. This rule in enforced by self assured people that know how to paint other people into boxes that fit the enforcers biases. Now, if you want to have fun, mention a solo diver doing the dive on gear they maintained themselves. Might make some nearby folks heads explode.

    tx “the fin fits” goose
    2TH DIVR, Ana, Kharon and 1 other person like this.
  7. Storker

    Storker Divemaster

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: close to a Hell which occasionally freezes over

    What you're describing may well be your reality, but it most definitely isn't mine. Most people I've dived with are "buddy minded", no matter if the initials on their card is PADI, CMAS, BSAC, IANTD or GUE. Admittedly, their buddy skills may vary a bit, and statistically I'd rather bet on a GUE or IANTD certed diver having good buddy skills, but they generally have a buddy mindset.

    Maybe it's because the kind of diving we do here is independent buddy pairs (or teams), not following a guide mindlessly.
    Graeme Fraser and Edward3c like this.
  8. jadairiii

    jadairiii Solo Diver

    Dont think I would lump CMAS, BSAC, IANTD or GUE with PADI. But it has been a very long time since I took a CMAS/BSAC class. (a very looooong time)
  9. Storker

    Storker Divemaster

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: close to a Hell which occasionally freezes over
    I believe that you're comparing local CMAS or BSAC certs with tropical resort PADI certs. Try comparing the CMAS or BSAC certs with PADI certs from the same region. IME there's no noticeable difference, at least at 1*/OD/OW level.
  10. jadairiii

    jadairiii Solo Diver

    What I am comparing is what I see of the divers that come down, in mass, to South Florida/Keys from all over the world, get on cattle boats and dive. Why I rarely dive on cattle boats. Bad buddy skills, poor buoyancy, kicking the reef. You see it all.
    KWS likes this.

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