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padi self reliant diver

Discussion in 'Solo Divers' started by pratt, Apr 2, 2014.

  1. pratt

    pratt Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Maryland
    I am an advanced open water diver with over 100 dives. I dive solo at my local quarry and I have also been diving in Bonaire solo, without it being an issue. My question is, would the PADI course be of any real value to convincing dive operators in general to allow self relient diving?
  2. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    If you are asking if dive operators will allow you to dive solo if you have that certification and won't if you don't, then the answer is that it depends. Yes, there are operators who will recognize that card and allow you to dive solo if you have it. No, some operators will not let you dive solo under any circumstances. Finally, there are operators who really don't care one way or the other.

    You have to ask in advance.
  3. Wookie

    Wookie Secret Field Agent ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    And if you're asking if you'll learn something by taking the class, the answer is that depends on what you already know. If you know how to shoot a bag correctly every time, the appropriate time for an SMB, DSMB, or lift bag, line reel use, how to appropriately size a pony bottle, then no, probably not. If you have questions about those things and more, then the course may be worth your time, depending on your instructor.
    Karibelle, Searcaigh and gizmo1972 like this.
  4. Stoo

    Stoo NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Freelton & Tobermory, Ontario, Canada
    Different operators will have different policies. I obtained a TDI/SDI Solo card prior to a trip on the T+C Explorer. They are quite clear in that their policy allows solo diving as long as the diver in question is properly equipped. They have 13cf ponys available to rent for this purpose. Solo dives are subject to the DMs review and as I recall, they aren't big on solo night dives for some reason. The did ask that I tell them how long I was going to be, and I was careful to stick to the time I told them, so they weren't wondering what happened to me!

    On the other hand, I've been to resorts that flat-out don't allow it. I was at a place a few years ago in Bonaire or someplace that had a nice house reef. My wife had a busted leg at the time so wasn't diving. I used to grab a tank at night and go flap about for an hour before bed. Dive Shop Dude spoke to me about the evils of solo night dives after he found one empty tank at the door every morning.

    My solution was to take two tanks after that, and leave one draining slowly on the porch while I dove. Dive Shop Dude was quite happy to find two spent cylinders in the morning. Problem solved! :)
  5. maniago

    maniago PADI Pro

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Mid-Atlantic (MD)
    I'm Padi, but I'll not take the PADI course - taking the TDI/SDI "solo" course next month. Cost is the same, but the name makes the difference to me.

    Maybe its semantics, but I think PADI missed the mark on this no matter if the same stuff is taught or not. Just not going to argue with a dive op the meaning of solo if it doesn't say it on my card.

    I'm not a tech kool-aid drinker of any fashion, but I really trust and like the TDI instructor I'm doing it with....I might specifically be biased on this topic.
    awap, uncfnp, Kharon and 1 other person like this.
  6. Searcaigh

    Searcaigh Chromodoris gordonii Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Dubai, UAE
    I did the PADI course about 18 months ago. The instructor I chose was key to taking the course known him for over 15 years but never taken a course with him as I already had sufficient certs for my diving style, but he is somebody that I would trust my life with, so the choice was a no brainer.

    What the course did for me was prove that I didn't know it all, even though I have been solo diving for 18+ yrs. I picked up some new information that has improved the safety of my diving in general.

    My biggest problem in taking the course was having to dive without a camera in my hands :shocked2:
    oldschoolto likes this.
  7. DivemasterDennis

    DivemasterDennis DivemasterDennis ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lakewood, Colorado
    I'm not a fan of solo diving. I have done some, always with lots of surface or shore support, and on very conservative profiles. I much prefer the safety and society of a dive buddy. But if solo diving is your deal, I would suggest appropriate training is an excellent idea.
  8. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    Hi Pratt,

    Most of my training is PADI also. I chose to take the SDI Solo Diver course and had a very good one at Jupiter Dive Center in FL. The class was 1:1. We spent the morning going over the SDI manual and the self tests, that I had completed ahead of time. I took the Solo Diver course at about 760 dives and had a reasonalble amount of experience with my 19 cu ft slung pony and in deploying my SMB. In the afternoon, we did 2 boat dives. Ditching and donning gear on the bottom and at mid-water was something I had not done for some time. The task was much easier at midwater with my weight integrated BC. We did a maskless swim and a swim without mask strap. We also did a a one fin swim. There was nothing unexpected and nothing particularly challenging but the cert was not a giveaway. I'm glad I did the course and it has already allowed me to dive solo on a boat requiring certification. Others are absolutely correct, some operators do not allow solo diving regardless of certification and equipment.

    Your mileage may vary, best of luck,

  9. maniago

    maniago PADI Pro

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Mid-Atlantic (MD)
    For me, my main buddy is my wife, and sometimes she just gets tuckered out and wants to sit out a dive, or maybe the seas have picked up and she doesn't have the stamina for a surface slog or ladder/anchor chain fight.

    So I splash by myself, or if I triple up, I stay near, but not really close to the original buddies pair. Also, when spearing, it seems like buddies pretty much get far apart or don't even bother pairing up. If we're running wreck lines, then the viz is poop-ish so a solo gear&mind set gives me a level of comfort...
  10. mick allein III

    mick allein III Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Lansing, MI
    I generally don't buy into the take every class concept. I.e navigation. A lot of the skills you learn on your own or diving with more experienced buddies. That said, I decided to take the sdi solo course and got a lot out of it. I think solo diving is a big step and should not be taken lightly. Most quarries around my parts Midwest require it. Also, it's my understanding that if you are certified your insurance will cover you if something happens. Think about that. It might be worth a call to your insurance provider. Hopefully, a more knowledgeable diver will chime in on this. Stay safe.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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