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SOLO, who does it
Starky - 8/07/2017 4:52 PM
Category: Health & Safety
Replies: 17

I’m a new diver in North Dakota (one dive past my AOW). I would love to dive with others but there just aren’t many around. None in fact that I have found in my area. This leaves me to dive solo. I usually dive from our pontoon boat with my wife on deck and don’t go below 40 feet. I dive in lakes and the vis isn’t that great to begin with and gets worse the deeper you go. I know that if anything ever happened to me that my wife would just be able to tell the sheriff’s deputy where she saw bubbles last. I’m a very careful diver (other than going solo) and dive well within my limits. My biggest fear is how would my wife feel if something did happen so that makes me even more cautious. Anyway, my question is, how common is solo diving? Are there more like me that want to dive but there is a lack of dive buddies. Despite any negative responses, I am going to continue my solo adventures but still would appreciate your thoughts.
divingbear - 8/07/2017 5:42 PM
I dive solo nearly all of the time, (actually we all do cause one can never rely on your buddy) but my buddy’s and have a same water buddy policy we enter together and then split up... Know your skills, self reliance (reduncies), and comfort levels. I prefer to forgo having to keep track of another diver in the water and enjoy the peace and quiet of my own bubbles. Get some solo training of your choice and be safe, and enjoy, (I know my views will not be accepted by most but they are mine).
ELLOCODIABLO - 8/07/2017 6:53 PM
I solo once in awhile. Get training. Run a redundant rig. Doubles or a stage.
Eric_R - 8/08/2017 5:16 AM
I don’t regular do it but have. I’m fortunate to have a very active diving community in my area that makes a buddy only a facebook post away. Diving is a great social sport and it’s awesome to be able to experience with another person. As others have stated training, redundancy and and situation awareness will bring you back to the surface.
LatitudeAdjustment - 8/08/2017 7:56 AM
I have a few hundred dives in NJ and NJ vis being what it is you are solo, it’s one of the reasons NJ dive boats require pony bottles. Being a photographer I am solo.

This has carried over into dives elsewhere and yes that pony bottle has traveled.

There are some exceptions like shore dives with rough entry and exits, deep dives where there may be penetration or entanglement. We had a well know diveboat Captain with thousands of dive die in fishing line while diving solo. Do you have a line cutter reachable with both hands?
Starky - 8/08/2017 8:51 AM
Thanks for the replies and I appreciate not being carpet bombed by "you should never dive alone". Absolutely I carry a cutter and can get to it with both hands. My wife has no desire to dive but loves snorkeling. I may see if I can get her to take the course just so she has the training on the gear I use. She wouldn’t do the open water dives but may enjoy the pool stuff. After that, who knows.
ELLOCODIABLO - 8/08/2017 9:57 AM
Carry multiple cutters! What may be reachable with 2 hands untangled may not work tangled. Have 4 cutters total on me but im also caving and may be in a restriction ect. 1 on helmet. L wrist rt wrist . Rt leg pouch
SpacemanCraig - 8/08/2017 6:09 PM
Yes, but certified to do so. If you plan on doing it just do the training and carry redundant gear. Might be a pain but in the awful situation any of your primary gear fails all that extra gear pays for itself on that one dive.
Curtis - 8/08/2017 10:31 PM
From divingbear: actually we all do cause one can never rely on your buddy

I’d say you must dive with the wrong buddies. I expect a certain level of reliability from my dive buddies, and return same.

But, if you’re going to, have redundant systems, make sure someone knows where you are, have a good life insurance policy just in case and please make sure your next of kin does not hold others responsible for YOUR choices.
ram04769 - 8/09/2017 12:32 AM
I have never gone solo diving as of yet and have been lucky enough to just recently find a local dive partner who has been diving for 44 years now since the age of 12. We did a couple of dives together last week and are planning a couple more next week. But like Latitude stated, with several of the dive sites having very limited to no viz, you pretty much are diving alone. Plan your dive, remember your training and don’t panic. Redundancy and the proper planning will help you out in most situations. Practice, ask questions and never stop learning.
DVROMAN12345 - 8/09/2017 1:16 AM
I have solo dove recently due to not having a Dive buddy IAm hoping this site helps me locate one. Been diving for more than twentynyears
Curtis - 8/11/2017 11:00 AM
"But, if you’re going to, have redundant systems, make sure someone knows where you are, have a good life insurance policy just in case and please make sure your next of kin does not hold others responsible for YOUR choices."

Just figured I’d add this is not just for solo, and not trying to say it’s any riskier than many other activities done solo. No lectures, just not MY choice. I don’t solo dive, do some cave & "light tech" (as a team activity), but hike and bike solo.......yep, an Eastern Diamondback strike with no cell coverage.......
thepieguy - 8/11/2017 11:03 AM
Thanks for giving us Carson Went! (I k 🇱🇺now, unrelated).
Starky - 8/11/2017 2:05 PM
An Eagle Fan. I’m a Patriot fan myself but my wife is a die hard Eagle fan. How about an 05 repeat?
Selfreliantdiver - 8/26/2017 4:35 PM
Be self-reliant and yes...everyone dives solo whether they know it or not. You should never rely on your buddy to save you. Most buddies (especially strangers) wonder off and never look at you. Always carry a redundant air supply with you.
captn_rob - 10/03/2017 2:40 PM
When I started my OW cert and got to the part about "never dive alone" I was like - "WTH?". I’ve always been a very self-reliant person. From growing up as a commercial lobsterman on the Maine coast to solo winter camping in the Montana wilderness. Diving is no different. Training, equipment, and mental attitude go a long way.

That said, I am MUCH more conservative when alone. Know my limits and stay WELL within them. Had a solo dive just the other day: Wanted to test some new equipment and experiment with different weights. Deepest I went was 20 ft but spent most of the dive between 10 and 15 ft. Easy CESA if I had any problems.

I talk to a lot of folks who say "But diving is a social activity." - bullcrap. Not for me. Socializing is fine for parties or get-togethers at your local dive shop but when I dive I like to be on my own. I will still look for buddies to dive with but if I can’t find one I’ll still go.