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Personal Limits to Solo Diving

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

  1. Bigbella

    Bigbella ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: San Francisco
    I don't pose any personal limitations on solo dives, whether depth or locale; and, since so many of my friends and colleagues are currently spread to the four winds, thanks to the covidiocy or odder schedules than mine, the bulk of my diving -- both for work and just for kicks -- has been solo for some years . . .
  2. Doc Harry

    Doc Harry Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Appalachia
    I limit my solo diving to no deco, no penetration, no deeper than 120 feet
    Pretty simple

    I get narc'd easily, so I don't go deep enough to get narc'd. Unless I'm listening to whale calls, and then I go to 120-130 feet, get narc'd, and lay on my back on the bottom to listen to whale calls.

    I was planning to incorporate deco into my soloing, but eventually I decided that the risks were too high for me, and deco diving did not offer me any more fun that I couldn't already get by staying within recreational limits.
  3. Wibble

    Wibble Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: UK
    Decompression is calming and soothing, almost meditative. You gradually build up to longer decompression times, but always have enough gas for the dive assuming one gas failure (i.e. if one deco tin, ensure you've enough backgas to get to the surface if that should fail, if you can't, then take two deco tins).

    You're definitely a candidate for a rebreather! Firstly the silence. But imagine being able to use helium on every dive as it's so cheap (you use very little "diluent" with a rebreather). Was even diving in a 10m/30ft lake with helium as I didn't have any air diluent!

    Wale calls. Sublime. Sometimes when diving in the English Channel you can hardly hear yourself think with the noise of the passing shipping.
  4. Pacediver

    Pacediver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Nova Scotia
    I limit my solo diving between 30 -40 ft generally around 25. I let people know where and when I’m at and if I change locations due to weather etc,I have no problem calling a dive off ,I personally enjoy scouting out locations and checking them out and dive very conservative I’m there to enjoy myself,if others show up great,
    Cdncoldwater likes this.
  5. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    30 foot max depth. All shore diving. I know I can do a CESA from there easily and practice it. I do on odd occasions break my rule and may wander briefly down as far as 60', but usually just down & up back to 30' or less if I do that. I text my wife when done for the day, and she knows where I am.
    If I do a boat dive which is deeper, that's with a buddy. If it's really deep (100'+, etc.), buddy plus pony.
    My reasoning is the deeper you are, the worse the situation should something go sideways.
    Pacediver and Cdncoldwater like this.
  6. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    I don’t know about charters, but one of the quarries - White Star in OH, I think - specifically says that technical/cave certs do not qualify you to solo dive.
  7. Lostdiver71

    Lostdiver71 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Jupiter, Florida, United States
    I have had issues diving solo a few times in Florida despite having Instructor and Technical certs but on most boats it is not a problem. My personal limit right now is no decompression dives while solo and I carry a pony bottle on every dive below 30 feet.
  8. OTF

    OTF Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: same ocean as you
    Good question. In thinking about it I'm realizing how often I break the rules I think I have for myself. But maybe that's the lesson, every dive is different and the entire unique situation that day must be carefully assessed before diving solo.

    Generally though:

    - I try very hard to avoid soloing at unfamiliar sites.
    - I keep solo dives shallower than 50' (usually shallower than 30').
    - Absolutely no deco or overhead solo.
    - I keep the dives short, and am willing to end them for conservative reasons that I wouldn't thumb a normal team dive.
    - Redundancy always (doubles or slung pony, multiple cutters, multiple lights even in day, etc.).
    - Analyize and minimize complicating factors. Eg. I may choose to do a solo dive in a familiar shallow area with good viz but very high current, but I wouldn't do a similar dive in a deeper or lower viz high current area.
    - Have someone topside, or at least be in touch with someone by phone before and after the dive.
    - I probably shouldn't solo at night, but it's the best diving there is.

    This will probably evolve as my experience grows. Not sure if it will get more or less conservative!
  9. lermontov

    lermontov Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: christchurch
    shore dives with lots of gear and dumping waves
    and any penetration dive that i have to pull or push myself through a tight opening

    BLACKCRUSADER Contributor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Taiwan
    I'm a recreational diver and that includes deco dives. My instructor always taught us to be able to rely on ourselves first to overcome any difficulties on a dive before getting assistance from another diver. I've had people on the forums here write that I think like a solo diver. I want to do the SDI course not because I plan on doing lots of solo dives but to learn from the course.

    I like diving with my regular dive partners and we give each other enough distance but maintain situational awareness. We do not dive being close together all the time. In a sense we are all solo divers even when we dive with other people. I dive at vacation places with divers who instabuddy and OW or AOW they have not done rescue course. Would I expect them to know what to do if I had an emergency? Not really but I would not expect them to either. Some of my regular dive partners are instructors and DM's who are also very experienced. On a few occasions where a solo diver was on our boat I have asked them if I could tag along on the dive and they were fine with that. Again they wanted to do what they wanted to do and I did not change that and we ended up enjoying the dives. I was left to my own devices.

    In this video I am at around 26m depth taking a video where I am shooting up to the surface and you can see my dive buddies fins around 11m above me as he was at around 15m depth. So I have a dive buddy just not so close to me. Sometimes at same depth but 5m or 10m distance from me. I'm comfortable diving like this with my regular dive buddies.

    Yawana-Dive likes this.

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