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Travel friendly solo diving?

Discussion in 'Solo Divers' started by jodylynn007, Jul 14, 2015.

  1. jodylynn007

    jodylynn007 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: New Westminster, BC CANADA
    Hello everyone, I am a solo diver from the Pacific Northwest (Vancouver, BC Canada) and being single as well, I am also a solo traveler quite often. On two recent vacations in the past year I have gone different routes - the first being bringing my own pony bottle (a steel 23) and the second being borrowing a pony bottle (an AL 19) upon arrival. It was nice and comfortable having my own bottle, however luggage charges had to be taken into consideration. Renting or borrowing a bottle was a little harder as I didn't prefer the set-up of the bottle and therefore actually chose to dive more shallow solo without it rather than go through the time/effort to set it up (it was a back mount).

    There are pros and cons to both scenarios relating to redundant air of course and that doesn't even take into account destinations where solo diving is allowed or not allowed, with a certification card or without (I have a PADI self-reliant diver cert).

    Are there any locations you have been to lately, preferably on land as I'm not sure the liveaboard thing is for me quite yet (having only been on one), that you would recommend that are especially solo diver friendly, and the big question - is WHY do you recommend them? I do prefer small and fast boat diving on vacation, as I do get enough of shore diving and hard work at home on a regular basis but I am open to whatever you have to say. I do know that solo is best from shore, doing what you want, when you want.

    I look forward to your replies.
  2. wetb4igetinthewater

    wetb4igetinthewater Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle

  3. randy88k5

    randy88k5 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Lynchburg, VA and New Orleans, LA
    There are a few rock quarries around here that recognize solo diving. I'm sure it's worth the flight from CA. J/k

    I don't know of any vacations spots that specifically allow it. But I bet if you have a destination in mind, an email will tell you if they will honor your S/R cert. Some just don't like to advertise the fact that they do.
  4. drrich2

    drrich2 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
    Did a solo diving trip to Buddy Dive Resort in Bonaire, did 25 solo dives (& 3 non-solo) that week, & rented a pony bottle with reg. from them. Granted, their idea of a 30 cf pony ended up being a 40 cf half-filled, but that job got done. The tech. shop at Captain Don's could've rented me a pony bottle from a range of sizes. I've got a SDI Solo cert. Dive Friends Bonaire has this page that says:

    So evidently they're cool with it.

  5. Nemrod

    Nemrod Solo Diver

    Solo is not officially allowed in the Caymans, seems there may be some regulation? But, I solo right from the hotel on the house reef.

    Cozumel, you basically have a guide unless diving behind the resort from the beach. The guides are generally pretty good and rather than a buddy you just team with them and pretty much do as you wish. They are pretty good at being low key.

    The Keys, hit or miss, a few ops are warming up to the fact that they are Padi Dive Centers and the Self Reliant course is a solo diver course so therefore they should have to honor it, right? You would think? The southeast coast of Florida, again, hit or miss.

    I can carry a 19 cf pony and regulator in my luggage and do not go over the limit but I have paid a lot of attention to my (light weight) gear choices and what I bring additionally. My suitcase with one regulator, camera tray and assorted cloths and tools was 45 pounds. My roller dive bag with all of my remaining equipment including the pony bottle and reg was 45 pounds. My camera case is my carry on (about 30 pounds) and my computer backpack is stuffed with everything else including a GoPro. I tend to bring too many cloths and even bring a few towels so I could probably knock another twenty pounds off, maybe more if I went bare bones.

    If you have luggage that is over limit, you can incur a $100 charge each way, is that right? If so, just purchase a 19 cf on site and give it away, lol, cost of doing business!

    Bonaire should be no problem since it is mostly shore diving.

    I have a diver wife but she is not quite as avid as I am so sometimes I do travel/dive alone, so I feel your pain.

  6. RJP

    RJP Scuba Media & Publications

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New Jersey
    All Truk Lagoon ops I've used seem OK with it. (OK... so there's only two ops there.)

    Truk liveaboards too.
  7. diversteve

    diversteve always tired Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
  8. scuba127

    scuba127 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Urbandale Iowa
    Is someone taking over the tec operation at CPT Don's then? Thanks in advance.
  9. Kharon

    Kharon Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Upstate NY
    Dive Friends had no problem with me doing my checkout dive solo. Didn't even ask for my card. I had my 13cf pony - don't know if that made a difference or not. I've never had a problem solo diving on Bonaire - from shore or from Dive Friends boats. Most boat dives are around Kline Bonaire though there are sites on the main island too. All the boat rides are very short.

    Cayman does have an obsessive policy of absolutely no solo diving even with a card. I was even told if I got caught I would be blackballed across all GC shops by email. I was also told that some boat operators will allow solo. When I dove the Kittywake the DM had no problem with me soloing because I didn't want to do the penetration.
  10. wrybosome

    wrybosome Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: Philadelphia
    Dive Hatteras in NC. I was with a group, but we all did our own dives and surfaced at different times. The captain had no problem with it, in fact I don't recall any discussion of it. Also the boat is a pleasure to dive from, well set up and designed for small groups.

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