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Discussion in 'Solo Divers' started by Blackfrogfeet, Feb 19, 2021.

  1. Cdncoldwater

    Cdncoldwater Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Atlantic Canada
    I was able to get both in New Brunswick and the cost was low for the "second" agency. Surprised there aren't more agencies in the Halifax area.
  2. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    You’ve got BSAC.
  3. MichaelMc

    MichaelMc Working toward Cenotes ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Berkeley, CA
    I dive with obvious gas redundancy. Thus any divers, and particularly students, can see I have redundancy. I'm not just randomly wandering off the reservation they are trained on. Currently mostly tiny sidemount, rarely tiny doubles (AL40 doubles are near identical in weight to AL80). I used a pony at first.

    When passers-by ask about my diving, I point out the redundancy and discuss my training. Nicely and highlighting some of the below. And my dive count. I talk about new divers, possible inattentiveness, and someone else nearby with air.

    For family, I describe my training (which they know) and the various impacts on my safety of bad, decent, or good buddies. So that just having a buddy is not necessarily improving my safety, given my experience level.

    Hard to be taboo if you are obviously equipped to standards by main agencies for the activity. Easier to be seen as taboo if that is not obviously the case.

    Now, I do not have a solo card. But I've been a TA helping teach students all the skills of the solo card in cold dark Cal waters and shadowing them around to keep them safe. The card is on my to-do list.

    ETA: Once, at a common beginner training site on a calm day when passing a threesome of tech divers gearing up at, presumably as a team, one seemed to make the signs of calling for a blessing while they watched me walk past. I'm fine with that and smiled.
    Wibble likes this.
  4. Edward3c

    Edward3c Instructor, Scuba

    I know a few dive operators round the world that would not let you dive with that attitude. Pairing divers up is part of their SOP, if you don’t like it find another operator.

    I’ve no objection to diving in a pair. As recognition of my abilities I’ve had boats launched taking just me and a guide on dives.
    VikingDives likes this.
  5. jlcnuke

    jlcnuke ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: acworth ga
    No, we weren't, but your ignorance of our training isn't likely to impact my life at all. I really liked this post of yours:

    I'm assuming you haven't taken the PADI Self-reliant course ever, as everything you're saying seems to be wrong. The "text" material does a good job of ALSO emphasizing being "self-reliant" while buddy diving, but the PRIMARY focus of the text AND the dives themselves are all:

    Having read the materials from both, having done the PADI course, and having watched my buddy do the SDI course, I'd describe the differences as others already have for you:
    The SDI course includes less rigorous skill and knowledge requirements, as well as fewer dives to demonstrate skills (likely because it asks you to demonstrate fewer skills).
    The PADI course covers everything from the SDI course plus a nod to being a self-reliant buddy when buddy diving, requires demonstrating more skills, and asks for better demonstration of knowledge for planning dives (including solo dives). The PADI specialty is so "solo diver" that the final dive of the course can be done with the instructor never even getting in the water - just the student in the water diving solo.

    Honestly, the UK isn't on my bucket-list dives destination list, AND I normally travel with a dive buddy when doing travel for diving, so I'll probably never need to wonder if someone over there will accept my self-reliant cert for solo diving, but if you're any indication it appears that the aversion to accepting the self-reliant cert for solo diving in the UK is simply due to ignorance and not based on a rational reasoning.
  6. Wibble

    Wibble Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: UK
    Thank you for the PADI official response.

    We'll have to agree to differ on our opinions.

    We have thousands of wrecks around the UK, some world class (such as Scapa flow's battleships).

    There's no need for the self-reliant *card*, but there is an extreme need for the self-reliant skills. The diving's always tidal, frequently in poor visibility, normally dark, in currents, in and around wrecks with lots of fishing nets, etc. Every diver needs to be self-sufficient, even if it's for the "look around for 1 minute and surface if you don't find your buddy".

    The only use for a Solo Diving card is in the lakes/quarries of which there's a very limited number where you can dive solo. As has been said, only the SDI Solo Diver is acceptable and the PADI Self-Reliant Diver is explicitly excluded.
  7. Wibble

    Wibble Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: UK
    What happens when they've paired you with an instabuddy who's not experienced in 'team' diving? For me getting a buddy means having explicit responsibility for someone else, with the absolute obligation to spend time monitoring what that person is doing. Little things, such as correct torch etiquette, not constantly swimming behind (where you can't see them), etc. Also, as I don't know the skills or experience of that person, I have to assume the worst and never expect any help from them. Big responsibility for few or no benefits in return.

    This seems way too much like a job than diving for pleasure.

    When diving in a team, there's lots of specific protocols and techniques used to maintain team awareness. For example using torches for signalling and positioning; knowing where to be in relation to other team members; clear signalling and hand signals, etc. Alas these skills are rarely known in recreational diving which makes it hard and frustrating, and more so when diving with people who can't fin without kicking up silt, or who's buoyancy and positioning is mediocre.

    Maybe that's why I spend most of my diving solo, or diving with other solo divers.
  8. Wibble

    Wibble Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: UK
    They're very pro the buddy system as an agency and don't have a solo course (that I know of).

    We also have the CDG (Cave Diving Group) who do all their diving as solo! Their sump diving rarely has any good visibility, so they start off diving completely independently. The scary quote: why have another person with you who would block your exit if they got stuck!
  9. Edward3c

    Edward3c Instructor, Scuba

    In the U.K., if your diving on an event run by a club you would be expected to dive in a buddy pair. However, book yourself onto a charter and the skipper will not care if you dive solo; the boat is just your taxi to/from the dive site. The boats have no responsibility for you in the water.
  10. wetb4igetinthewater

    wetb4igetinthewater Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle
    There's a student manual for the PADI Self-Reliant course now?

    I will say I'm always disappointed when SDI instructors don't take advantage of SDI's policy of supporting them adding sensible performance requirements and dives.

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