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Pony Tanks with instabuddy...Prudent or Paranoid?

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by mcpowell, Sep 10, 2018.

  1. mcpowell

    mcpowell ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Georgia
    My wife and I are headed back to Cozumel in November. But this time, I’ll be the only one diving in our group. So I’ll have 5 days of instabuddies. I certainly don’t mind diving with an instabuddy that I’m comfortable with, but what if I’m not? I’ll hang out just behind the dive master, but I know he’s not my “buddy”. And what if my instabuddy takes off on his own? I don’t plan to leave the group, so instabuddy will be on their own and I’ll be 10-15 feet behind the dive master. My problem in this case is, if something were to happen and I need air, I wouldn’t have a designated buddy.

    So my thoughts were to see if I could rent a pony. Or am I just being paranoid?
  2. davehicks

    davehicks ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Seattle
    Good idea. Rent if you can, but don't hesitate to bring one along. A 19CF is a decent travel pony. Just remove the valve before you pack it. And make sure your operator can do a fill in house. (aside from the central island fill station)

    After Cozumel continue to use it on every dive you do going forward.
    rsingler likes this.
  3. Eric Sedletzky

    Eric Sedletzky Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
    I’d say prudent, why not?
    You never know who you’ll get stuck with these days.
  4. northernone

    northernone Great White Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Currently: Cozumel, from Canada
    If you're comfortable riding a pony, they don't hurt a dive very much. It's nice for peace of mind.
    kelemvor and Soloist like this.
  5. Barnaby'sDad

    Barnaby'sDad Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Virginia
    I would if I were in your shoes. I'm all about redundancy. I intend to get a ~19CF bottle for a backup after I finish my check dives.
  6. Soloist

    Soloist Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Carolina
    Consider buying a 13CF and fly down with it in your checked luggage. It will probably cost more to rent the thing actually. Your dive op should be able to get if filled for you.
  7. caruso

    caruso Banned

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Long Island, NY
    I carry a 19cf pony bottle with me on all dive trips and if my regular buddies aren't available I'd rather dive alone. Even if there happens to be a group of divers around me and we are being guided by a DM. In addition to the independent gas source I also have a solo diver certification and I make good use of it.

    At worst an instabuddy is a liability both in terms of your own safety and potential legal liability. At best it's someone you need to keep an eye on rather than being able to focus on the pretty fish.

    If you decide to get a pony bottle make it a 19cf not a 13cf. It will fit in your checked luggage just fine. Just remember to remove the valve.
    alvinsuper and mcpowell like this.
  8. Trace Malinowski

    Trace Malinowski Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Alexandria Bay, NY
    Ever watch the NFL Pro Bowl? You have the best quarterbacks and receivers in the NFL trying to connect on passes. They all know how to throw and catch footballs, but pro football is all about teamwork, timing, and communication. You see lots of miscues and misreads among players that aren't used to working together. Gas sharing in scuba diving takes training, timing, and communication to work well in the event a reg needs to be donated. Most divers never practice unless they are involved in training others. A pony is like borrowing from the world of professional gambling. You cheat death by dealing yourself an ace rather than relying on being dealt a good dive buddy.
    Schwob, Rollin Bonz and mcpowell like this.
  9. mcpowell

    mcpowell ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Georgia
    I guess a good bit of paranoia is prudent when diving.
    Trace Malinowski likes this.
  10. rsingler

    rsingler Scuba Instructor, Tinkerer in Brass Staff Member ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Napa, California
    Don't forget the quick fill whip to get enough psi into the tank after TSA, so you don't get denied by the LDS:
    Tank Equalizer for $2.50

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