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Pony Tanks with instabuddy...Prudent or Paranoid?

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

  1. Jayfarmlaw

    Jayfarmlaw Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Tuttle, Ok
    Paranoia or personal responsibility...either way, it really doesn't matter as long as you make it home and not via a chamber, emergency room, or morgue.

    Safe travels,
  2. giffenk

    giffenk Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: toronto
    What could happen? Why would anything happen?

    My thought is that it makes sense to think things through and be a bit prudent, but not too OCD.

    P.S. planning to stick with the DM is a bad idea. This only works until some one else has an issue. Then you have no buddy. A DM is NEVER your buddy.
    Soloist likes this.
  3. Soloist

    Soloist Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Carolina
    We own an array of pony bottles, but we are always up against it on the 50 pound checked bag weight limit when flying. I prefer diving a 19CF, but it is a bit heavier, so keep that in mind. When diving, the additional weight is a non-issue, however, the extra length actually makes it easier to sling and less unwieldy. Your thoughts on the pony bottle make perfect sense to me.

    Edited: I removed the part where I was jumping up and down on my soap box.....
  4. AdivingBel

    AdivingBel Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Missouri
    First of all, do what you need to do to feel comfy after all it's your dive trip. If you like the security of a redundant air source then jump through whatever hoops you need to in order to have one.

    Personally, I dive Coz a good bit and it is pure "tidy bowl" diving (high viz, warm, and blue). I dive insta-buddies regularly. I also dive with a shop that does an excellent job sorting divers, so I'm nearly always diving with very experienced insta-buddies. It's also group, drift diving so if a buddy goes "rogue," I know I can third wheel with another buddy pair with very little effort. That said, in hundreds of dives, I've only had it happen a couple of times and that buddy wasn't on the boat the next day (the sign of a good op). Diving with a quality op, getting to know others on your boat (including DM & captain), chatting up your insta-buddy are all part of pre-splash planning. It takes less effort than it sounds and IMHO is part of the fun of Coz diving. I know lots of very experienced, quality divers on SB swear by ponies and more power to them. :thumb: I'll dive one on occasion when I feel it's necessary. In my case it's generally solo, shore diving, but for Coz I choose not to "tote the papoose." Hell, I don't even like wetsuits. It's part of the reason I get on the big plane and go to Coz. All IMHO, YMMV...dive and let dive. Enjoy Coz. :)
    Soloist likes this.
  5. Kharon

    Kharon Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Upstate NY
    I always dive with a pony. I have a set of rules that I follow obsessively. They've saved my butt a couple of times. The first, and most important is:
    1. You are always diving solo no matter how many divers are in the water, or how many buddies you have, or how much experience they have or what you discussed during the dive plan. Watch:
  6. AdivingBel

    AdivingBel Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Missouri
    We all make our own risk assessments in diving & life. Based on my experience and that of others, some much more experienced than myself who I choose to dive with, the things I do pre-dive make me safer. For the Coz environment, that's safe enough for me without a pony. When I dive solo, I carry one. If I'm being totally honest, I'm probably safer in an environment like Coz than diving solo. Both are worth the risk to me as I get a different sense of joy from each experience and admittedly some is from the freedom from the extra gear and some is from the freedom from the extra divers. :wink: Others on SB feel differently and it obviously works for them as they're still here posting. That is validation in and of itself. One of the absolutes in diving is there is always risk. All IMHO, YMMV. Safe diving. Dive and let dive. :)
    Soloist likes this.
  7. nolatom

    nolatom Captain

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New Orleans
    I can't decide for someone else. But though I do own a 30CF full of air, from my view, it's paranoid. My instabuddies, probably about 150 out of about 250 total dives, have been okay to good to very good*. Only a couple were "bad", and I those I used as a learning opportunity.*

    And I'm not going to follow a buddy if he/she is running away and is going to run me low or out of air doing it. But that's happened only once, as far as I recall.

    *Instabuddies got me started and helped me along when I was the newbie. So my statistics might be skewed, as I'm probably leaving out the ones where *I* was the bad instabuddy but didn't realize it ;-)
  8. uncfnp

    uncfnp Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Carolina
    Diving solo, a pony bottle beyond any depth you are comfortable with CESA is pretty much a no brainer. But with buddies the question gets murkier. Some choose to carry a pony even when diving with a reliable buddy. Lets face it, it just takes a moment to lose immediate contact with a buddy and others just like being self reliant.

    Diving a loose group adds another complicating factor. Loose group diving is just another facet of solo diving. It’s a judgement call. Is the diving shallow enough that you are comfortable with cesa? Are you comfortable with no assigned buddy? Can you manage stressful situations without panic until you can surface or find help?

    Instabuddies? I have almost no experience here. My only advice in this instance is plan for the worst and hope for the best.
    Kharon likes this.
  9. Fastmarc

    Fastmarc Just drifting along...

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Kingston, Jamaica
    The local shops will refuse to fill an empty pony bottle? Why?
  10. rsingler

    rsingler Scuba Instructor, Tinkerer in Brass Staff Member ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Napa, California
    They'll fill it, but first, some will want to charge you for a VIS inspection, because the tank was completely empty and "they don't know what moist air and corrosion it might have inside." If you put 200 psi in from a bigger tank, that usually obviates that nonsense.
    Rollin Bonz likes this.

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