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Personal Limits to Solo Diving

Discussion in 'Solo Divers' started by bradymsu, Jan 25, 2021.

  1. tbone1004

    tbone1004 Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

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    let me fix that for you, you always carry an EAN50 deco bottle and use it for all ascents around 30m
     
    shoredivr, VikingDives and Searcaigh like this.
  2. Searcaigh

    Searcaigh Chromodoris gordonii Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Thanks @tbone1004

    EAN50 is always in my pony (deco bottle),

    And before anyone comments, I don't see the point in having any other gas in it. If SHTF at 30m I wouldn't be breathing off it for long before I'd be at 21m as I wouldn't be hanging around at 30m anyway.
     
    Diving Dubai and RyanT like this.
  3. bradymsu

    bradymsu ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    You ask a great question. I believe that for many, if not most, divers the answer is yes. That is, there are many dives they would do with a buddy that they would not do solo. The buddy, in their mind, adds a necessary piece of redundancy that makes diving safer on more challenging dives. Challenging being relevant to that particular person. However, should they feel safer? For competent and responsible divers, their buddy may be their biggest risk factor.
     
    RayfromTX likes this.
  4. tbone1004

    tbone1004 Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

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    I consider all buddy dives to be solo dives, no different than teaching dives which are all solo. They are not to be relied on and are not part of the dive plan.
     
    ChuckP, Lostdiver71, Jimchris and 7 others like this.
  5. bradymsu

    bradymsu ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Narcosis is the big limiting factor for me as well. The inspiration for this question was going back through my old log books from 20 years ago (when I was in my 20s). I noticed I was doing solo dives in the 30m-42m range on air often involving mandatory decompression though no hard overhead environment. My air consumption on those dives was higher than it is today in a similar environment indicating anxiety on the dives. Not many details of the dives were recorded including their purpose. I suspect I might have been diving them simply for depth and to test narcosis.

    Today, even on doubles, my solo limit has been 20m. I suspect it's because my diving and diving mentality have become more conservative as I've gotten older. Yet, I've done recent dark cold Great Lakes dives with a buddy past 30m and am making plans to do a wreck dive to 45m this summer with a group which is well within my training and experience limits. I've seen other divers who sometimes solo dive also set personal solo limits that are much more conservative than their limits when diving with a buddy or group. Given the concept of self-reliance with any diving, are those conservative personal solo limits rational? Are they an artifact of "solo diving is dangerous" that we continue to carry with us while diving solo?
     
  6. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

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    I'll do any dive solo that I'd do with a buddy or team. Includes deco and penetration. I've done penetration and black water dives solo that I wouldn't do with a buddy because they would be a distraction/hazard.
     
  7. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

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    As part of the Solo Diver certification course, SDI recommends solo diving be within NDL, not in overhead environments, and be within limits of personal experience.

    I have been solo diving since well before my SDI cert in 2013. I occasionally do light deco, and do swim throughs, natural and wreck. I very rarely encounter an environment or circumstances that I have not seen many times before.

    Obviously, many divers, with additional training and experience, have very different limits regarding deco and penetration
     
  8. tbone1004

    tbone1004 Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

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    SDI is a recreational training agency, so they don't encourage any diving outside of NDL or in overhead environments... I'm not aware of any technical solo diving certification
     
    shoredivr, drrich2 and scubadada like this.
  9. Wookie

    Wookie Curmudgeon Apprentice ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Write a distinctive specialty. I had full approval of my insurance company to allow solo rebreather diving from the Spree. There was a handwritten statement on the release that had to be signed (that explained that the diver knew the dangers and chose to accept them), but my insurance company was right in line with it.

    They did not make a deco exception. So many dive operators follow the instructions of some idiot at a training agency.
     
    shoredivr and scubadada like this.
  10. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Thanks @tbone1004

    That's an interesting point I have wondered about. All the solo certs are recreational level. Is solo diving to training and experience limits simply generally accepted in technical diving?
     
    RayfromTX likes this.

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