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Traveling and finding more experienced buddies

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by R A Diver, Nov 29, 2008.

  1. R A Diver

    R A Diver Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Sugar Grove, North Carolina
    I'm a new diver just getting certified. I don't know any other divers other than the ones in my class, Most of whom were there with buddies. I've looked at the buddy finder and I'm the only one near my location.
    Several times a year I travel cross country on my motorcycle and want to dive while traveling, sending my gear ahead.
    How do I go about finding a buddy in such situations? As a new diver I need a person with more experience. My spouse would really appreciate that person being the same sex as myself!
    In March am going to Key West on the bike but want to take two days in Key Largo, but don't know anyone else there. Do I contact dive shops? Look on the buddy finder site? Maybe hiring a personal instructor for some sessions would work. Am also considering just going somewhere and taking a class?
    Any suggestions, advice, or guidance?
  2. Teamcasa

    Teamcasa Sr. Moderator ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Near Pasadena, CA
    Check in the local forums before your trips, many divers will be happy to setup dives.
  3. dwaters

    dwaters Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Ontario, SoCal
  4. don Francisco

    don Francisco Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Metro New York
    The problrm with instant buddies is that you're buying a pig in a poke. It's hard to determine the experience or attitude of a buddy in a short meeting or via the internet.

    Experience, even if they're honest about isn't always a relaiable indicator - I've dived with a few 500+ dive buddies with whom I'd never dive again. In some cases, for all practical purposes I didn't dive with them the first time.

    Until you gaian a bit more experience, try to dive on organized dives with a divemaster, so that you'll have a bit of a safety net in case your buddy lets you down. This also has the advantage that the dives will at least be planned somewhat better (theoretically at least).

    The other alternative, posibly the best, is to try to locate dive clubs at or near your destination, and see if you can join them on some of their dives. Often diving with clubs is the best way to build experience as a diver.

    Over time, you'll become more self-reliant as a diver and with experience comes the judgement that helps you to recognize potentially bad situations before you get wet.
  5. Cajuncru Diver

    Cajuncru Diver Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
  6. Cajuncru Diver

    Cajuncru Diver Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
    Forgot...go Appalachain State....four peet!
  7. rstofer

    rstofer Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Northern California
    I would think you could safely take any of the boat charter trips. The problem will be, as pointed out above, you will be assigned an insta-buddy of dubious qualifications.

    So, keep taking classes up through, at least, Rescue as one popular topic in the course is self-rescue. Having this experience makes you more self-reliant in case you wind up with an inattentive buddy, and you will.

    Besides, I have mixed feelings about this 'buddy' deal. I suppose you have to have one but the idea that I would allow my safety to rely on someone I just met is terrifying.

    Maybe that's why I always want to be the driver, never the passenger.

  8. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace

    I've had fabulous luck hooking up with people I've met on the internet. The generosity of other divers is amazing -- they've provided tanks, weights, and local information, and company in the water. You can often assess the desirability of someone as a dive buddy by reading a bunch of their posts. I'm sure there are some people who can pass themselves off as better than they are, but underlying thoughtfulness and modesty are pretty hard to fake.
  9. diver_pirate

    diver_pirate Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Maryland
    You are beginning one of the most enjoyable sports (IMO). Divers are eager to share there experiences but use care. Since you have relatively few dives for your trip down to the keys I would recommend two dive shops in Key Largo near Mile marker 99. Two top notch shops to contact are Rob at SEA DWELLERS and Joe at OCEAN DIVERS. They run multiple trips daily. They will pair you up with an instabuddy. There are plenty of six pack boats going out but I would advise staying away from them until you build your confidence and experience in diving.

    Your dives will be in clear warm water with good visibility and will likely be hard to get below 40 feet. As to instabuddies,talk to them and watch what's going on during your way to the dive site. If you don't get a good sense of competence ask the Dive Master on the boat for some help. You may go as a threesome or with a better diver or one with the same skill level. Self reliance in diving problem solving is essential. Things like following the dive plan coming back on board with the amount of air instructed to by the Dive master, checking your air every few minutes. Things your now learning.

    I do not know where Boone NC is but you have some spectacular diving in Morehead and Beaufort City. Its known as "The Graveyard of the Atlantic" because of all the wrecks. Contact both Discovery Dive and Olympus dive are good dive shops locally (get on there newsletter by email). Most of those dives are deeper than 60 feet. As others have stated get more training. Advance Open Water and Rescue diver will build skills and teach problem solving.

  10. pgcosta

    pgcosta Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Rio de Janeiro - Brazil (it *is* quite far away...
    With all due respect, I'm sure Jesus may take good care of everybody, but I wouldn't want him to *call me to go up* while in the middle of a dive:D:D:D ...just kidding, but coudn't resist, sorry!!!

    Even living in far away Brazil, I had the opportunity to experience this Board's hability to join people together, as I could be of help to a north american diver who happened to come to Brazil all by himself and did some really thrilling dives with us over here!!! He just posted on the south american forum and a lot of people were there for him. I was lucky that he could stay longer in my city (Rio de Janeiro), so we went for more than 10 dives (this during a "business as usual" week... no holidays!). We had a lot of fun!!!!

    Good luck on your certification and stay on the safe side of the sport!!!

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