Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Dive Solo


  • Please log in to reply
100 replies to this topic

#41 ScubaSapiens

ScubaSapiens

    Triggerfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 42 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Oslo, Norway

Posted 01 August 2007 - 03:04 AM

My primary 2nd stage was dangling somewhere and I had no mask on while holding a double strobed camera rig. That and I hadn't had a breath in about 30 seconds. I hate when that happens.


Bummer. Would be easy to avoid by being properly kitted up to start with, though: I always use a lanyard attaching the camera to my BCD (one of those spirally things which can extend). That way I can just drop my camera in case of an emergency, and it will still be there when I recover. Mabye with a scratch or two, but it sure beats drowning. And no, the lanyard does not interfere with taking pictures at all.

Anyways, I once heard a saying that applies very well to solo diving: When in doubt, don't do it. This not only goes for the solo diving itself, but also for "should I go a little deeper?", "should I stay a little longer?" etc. Certainly a good rule for solo divers.

Chris
www.scubapixel.com
Nikon D300s, Nauticam, Inon Z-240

#42 markdhanlon

markdhanlon

    Moray Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 98 posts
  • Location:Landlocked Calgary, Canada

Posted 02 August 2007 - 12:45 PM

From the sounds of things, I am extremely lucky in who I married! Not only does she let me spend incredible amounts of money on my camera, but she's a great dive buddy. When I'm shooting macro, she's close by spotting for other critters to shoot, and when I'm shooting wide angle, she's always willing to pose (and to learn how to be a better model).
I also know that I can trust her completely and we both have the same level of skill (she even has more dives than I). I am able to hand her the camera whenever I need too and now she occaisionally asks for the camera to take her own photos.
I originally thought about diving solo, and at some point I might, but it would only be if my buddy couldn't come along.
Sincerely,
Mark Hanlon


Canon 350D, Ike Housing, dual DS-125, 10-17mm FE, 60mm macro.

#43 james

james

    The Engineer

  • Super Mod
  • 9969 posts
  • Location:Houston TX

Posted 02 August 2007 - 01:34 PM

Mark: you got that right! I count myself as extremely lucky too because my wife loves to dive and take photos too.

Cheers
James
Canon 1DsMkIII - Seacam Housing
Dual Ikelite Strobes
Photo site - www.reefpix.org

#44 Arnon_Ayal

Arnon_Ayal

    Sperm Whale

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1826 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 02 August 2007 - 01:56 PM

I'll join James & Mark, same with my wife.
The only time I dive solo is when she doesn’t dive from some reason.
Arnon Ayal www.arnonayal.com
Nikon D200, Ikelite housing, Dual SB105.

#45 wagsy

wagsy

    Blue Whale

  • Senior Moderator
  • 3845 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cairns, Queensland.
  • Interests:Sewing and Knitting......no diving of course :-)

Posted 02 August 2007 - 04:38 PM

The same here with Kelly (wife) but after sitting in one spot filming a Nudi for 45 mins, she usually disappears somewhere to do her own thing.
Amphibico Phenom & EVO PRO & Navigator 900
Share Your Underwater Videos www.hdvunderwater.com | www.flykam.com.au | www.reeftorainforest.com.au

#46 acroporas

acroporas

    Beach Bum

  • Critter Expert
  • 1776 posts
  • Location:Atlanta, Georgia

Posted 02 August 2007 - 05:28 PM

All you lucky people. So am I the only one here dumb enough to have married someone who does not dive? :P

Or was it smart, my dive outings cost half as as much. :ninja:
William

Canon 5D Ikelite Housing and strobes
15FE | 24/2.8 | 35/1.4 | 85/1.8 | 150/2.8 macro

#47 joeyfishes

joeyfishes

    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 164 posts

Posted 02 August 2007 - 07:37 PM

Of course, nothing feels better than having total freedom to go where you want to, have no responsibilty for anyone else, spend ages setting up the shot.... I love it.

The other side is the fact that you have to know the site, be confident and have sufficient redundancy



I always try to dive solo.As unless you are diving with another UW shutterbug Its a pain in the ass. When I can use my own tank I use an H valve setup with 2 first and second stages. So if one reg goes down I can shut off that side. I also keep a close watch on my air and bottom time and don't dive deep



JD

#48 james

james

    The Engineer

  • Super Mod
  • 9969 posts
  • Location:Houston TX

Posted 02 August 2007 - 07:44 PM

William - you nailed it! Now I get to do a $2,000 trip (x2) instead of one $4,000 trip - but that's life.

James
Canon 1DsMkIII - Seacam Housing
Dual Ikelite Strobes
Photo site - www.reefpix.org

#49 ce4jesus

ce4jesus

    Giant Squid

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1639 posts
  • Location:Aurora Colorado
  • Interests:Anything Ocean (How'd I end up in Colorado?)<br /><br />A Christian Marine Conservationist?

Posted 02 August 2007 - 07:46 PM

"Or was it smart, my dive outings cost half as as much."

I had a buddy once who got stuck in town after a business meeting ran long. His wife was so "depressed" with his prolonged absence she went out and bought $400 in clothes. He assures me he has no "time" to go diving!
I'll ditto the dive buddy/wife combo units mentioned above. However, my business travel takes me to some primo dive spots and due to school age kids, the wife and dive buddy get left behind. I certainly appreciate all the comments and ideas. I think my route will follow many on here. I'll take the necessary redundancies and dive shallow when alone. Although its no guarantee, its no bigger risk than getting behind a wheel and driving to work.
Gary
Olympus E-520, TLC arms, Inon Z-240s, 50mm, 14-42mm woody's diopter

#50 ATJ

ATJ

    Tiger Shark

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 638 posts
  • Location:Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
  • Interests:Diving, Photograph, Marine Biology

Posted 02 August 2007 - 09:05 PM

My wife does not dive either, although we have been on a couple of holidays to a coral cay and she will snorkel with me.

I am very fortunate that she is open to me going on regular dive holidays without her.

#51 frogfish

frogfish

    Tiger Shark

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 676 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Indonesia

Posted 02 August 2007 - 09:45 PM

... If you pre-arranged with your buddy that if you get separated that you would continue on as solo divers that’s great. Most arguments I have seen at dive sites are between buddies when their expectations are not one in the same. Nothing worse than losing a buddy, looking for the suggest period (based on your training agency), aborting the dive and surfacing to find them no where in sight. Even when everyone makes it back no problem this situation always seems to end in a heated exchange.

At least NWDiver isn't saying that after the separated divers relocate each other at the surface (assuming they actually do) that they should subsequently re-descend and resume the dive, a procedure still taught by some training agencies - including, if I'm not mistaken, McPADI ("Over Five Million Sold)". Bob Halstead is just one of the knowledgeable, experienced divers who has condemned this practice as unsafe (in an Undercurrents article some years ago). Except in situations where the depths involved are trivial, I find it hard to believe that anyone here would adhere to the practice of surfacing to relocate a lost buddy and then re-descending. Not a good idea.

Halstead may also be the foremost exponent of the argument that diving with a buddy actually increases the potential risks of diving. His diatribe (in a now famous "Aquacorps" article) "On your own: the buddy system refuted" is well worth reading, and has been extensively discussed on other online and other forums over the years.

I think Halstead makes the case against the buddy system - or at least the simplistic buddy diving practices taught by some training agencies - far better than I ever could. For what it's worth, if I'm diving with a beginner or inexperienced diver who requires constant monitoring, then I simply don't bring my camera with me. In that situation, we're not diving as buddies - I'm diving in the capacity of an (unpaid) instructor or dive guide. If I run into a problem on the dive myself, I know I will have to deal with the problem on my own while remaining responsible for the safety of the diver I'm accompanying. And I certainly won't be expecting help from the person I'm with.

If you are a "dependent" diver (McPADI's other motto: "Are you co-dependant? We will certify you!") and you don't have a friend willing to take care of you underwater for free (thus ensuring that service you receive will be worth at least what you are paying for it), then you should bite the bullet and hire a real, qualified instructor. No shame in that - I will always hire an instructor (or rely on a much more experienced colleague/friend) to help me on any dive that I have reason to believe may be beyond my experience or capability.

What's really insane - and may be the McPADI's ("The way the world learns to dive") most important contribution to unnecessary and avoidable dive fatalities - is the practice of pairing off divers according to experience and skills and forcing them to dive together as buddies, thus ensuring that the two least experienced divers in the water - the two persons who are simultaneously the most likely to require assistance during the dive and also the two who are least qualified to give it, will dive together. Great system.

Frogfish (Our buddy motto: "Same ocean, same day")
Robert Delfs

Nikon D2X in Subal housing.
Tabula Int'l Ltd.

#52 ATJ

ATJ

    Tiger Shark

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 638 posts
  • Location:Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
  • Interests:Diving, Photograph, Marine Biology

Posted 02 August 2007 - 10:20 PM

At least NWDiver isn't saying that after the separated divers relocate each other at the surface (assuming they actually do) that they should subsequently re-descend and resume the dive, a procedure still taught by some training agencies - including, if I'm not mistaken, McPADI ("Over Five Million Sold)". Bob Halstead is just one of the knowledgeable, experienced divers who has condemned this practice as unsafe (in an Undercurrents article some years ago). Except in situations where the depths involved are trivial, I find it hard to believe that anyone here would adhere to the practice of surfacing to relocate a lost buddy and then re-descending. Not a good idea.

Can you please explain the problem with re-descending? I read the Halstead article and it seems to be more directed against the surface relocation that the re-descending, and doesn't actually say what the problem with descending again actually is.

On a number of sites I dive, I have used the surface relocation and re-descening on a number of occasions without any issues at all - and only a slight inconvenience. These were shore dives in water less than 10 metres and returning to the entry point to meet up with the buddy would have been a significant inconvenience. Additionally, had something bad happened to my buddy, I would have essentially been leaving him for dead - especially if he had surfaced with a major problem.

#53 ChristianG

ChristianG

    Lionfish

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 55 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Terrigal, a bit north of Sydney, Australia

Posted 02 August 2007 - 10:59 PM

http://cholla.mmto.o...cuba/solo1.html

http://www.deeperblu...rticle.php/8/14

Cheers,

Christian
There is nothing more certain in life than taxes, decompression theory and death - CG

#54 ChristianG

ChristianG

    Lionfish

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 55 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Terrigal, a bit north of Sydney, Australia

Posted 03 August 2007 - 03:46 AM

At least NWDiver isn't saying that after the separated divers relocate each other at the surface (assuming they actually do) that they should subsequently re-descend and resume the dive, a procedure still taught by some training agencies - including, if I'm not mistaken, McPADI ("Over Five Million Sold)". Bob Halstead is just one of the knowledgeable, experienced divers who has condemned this practice as unsafe (in an Undercurrents article some years ago). Except in situations wherethe depths involved are trivial, I find it hard to believe that anyone here would adhere to the practice of surfacing to relocate a lost buddy and then re-descending. Not a good idea.

Halstead may also be the foremost exponent of the argument that diving with a buddy actually increases the potential risks of diving. His diatribe (in a now famous "Aquacorps" article) "On your own: the buddy system refuted" is well worth reading, and has been extensively discussed on other online and other forums over the years.

Thank you for that, I've been searching for years for that article which made me think about this subject a lot more, resulting in my own article on the subject. I should have realised it was likely to be on Jim "Cobber" Cobb's Trimix page, mine is as well.

It's interesting that it's not on Bob's website. But then, he's a McPADI Instructor nowadays. :P

If you are a "dependent" diver (McPADI's other motto: "Are you co-dependant? We will certify you!") and you don't have a friend willing to take care of you underwater for free (thus ensuring that service you receive will be worth at least what you are paying for it), then you should bite the bullet and hire a real, qualified instructor. No shame in that - I will always hire an instructor (or rely on a much more experienced colleague/friend) to help me on any dive that I have reason to believe may be beyond my experience or capability.

To be quite fair to the McPADIs of this world the search, surface, relocate and then redescend now has a caveat.

What's really insane - and may be the McPADI's ("The way the world learns to dive") most important contribution to unnecessary and avoidable dive fatalities - is the practice of pairing off divers according to experience and skills and forcing them to dive together as buddies, thus ensuring that the two least experienced divers in the water - the two persons who are simultaneously the most likely to require assistance during the dive and also the two who are least qualified to give it, will dive together. Great system.

This is still something that makes me positively spit whenever I see it. No way should, as an example, novice divers be buddied with each other. That is just ludicrous, absurd. If I saw that happen (and there was no other course of action) I would volunteer to dive with them and forego the camera (as would you, I'm sure).

Robert, nice to see that Bali is alive and well, hope that hound of yours is also still happily romping around. :wacko:

Allow me to make a couple of general observations not at all related to your post:

* The Spare Air (sometimes, commonly?, called the Spare Death in certain circles) does not a self sufficient diver make - even a "solo" diver make. What's more, I don't even care if you restrict yourself, severely, to 10 metres or less.

* Depth has nothing to do with self sufficiency. You can get into the deepest of sh!t at any depth. Think barotrauma as just one example. Task loadings when it hits the fan make people do very stupid things, the common one of which in our situation is the holding of one's breath. Not at all good idea at 10 metres.

* CESAs, as the McPADIs put it, are all well and good. Guess what? The real situation will always be different. I defy most divers to do a proper CESA when it actually counts.

* Someone asked why ascending and then redescending was not a good idea. I suggest that they carefully read their decompression procedures/dive tables. Oops, forgot about that one - the McPADIs don't do decompression - silly me. :ninja:

Cheers,

Christian
There is nothing more certain in life than taxes, decompression theory and death - CG

#55 ChristianG

ChristianG

    Lionfish

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 55 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Terrigal, a bit north of Sydney, Australia

Posted 03 August 2007 - 05:11 AM

On a number of sites I dive, I have used the surface relocation and re-descening on a number of occasions without any issues at all - and only a slight inconvenience. These were shore dives in water less than 10 metres and returning to the entry point to meet up with the buddy would have been a significant inconvenience. Additionally, had something bad happened to my buddy, I would have essentially been leaving him for dead - especially if he had surfaced with a major problem.

I know I shouldn't do this, I really shouldn't. It's late, I'm tired, but I'm also stewing about it.

There are a number of issues here:

1) Your comments would lead many to think that getting separated (and needing to get "reattached") is the norm rather than the exception?
2) "Leaving him for dead?" Excuse me? If you've already lost him you've already done that haven't you?
3) If, as it appears, that you regularly dive with this buddy, do you (a general "you") perhaps have a problem with your procedures? Should you really get separated as often as it seems that you do?

I'm sorry, this is singularly rude of me, but diving doesn't really take any prisoners, you survive, or you're dead. Mostly anyway.

Cheers,

Christian
There is nothing more certain in life than taxes, decompression theory and death - CG

#56 Paul Kay

Paul Kay

    Giant Squid

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1731 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North Wales, UK

Posted 03 August 2007 - 09:19 AM

As I've already said, the topic of Solo Diving always stirs up a lot of opinions. However....

Just to add my own caveat to the discussion: discussing solo diving is a perfectly reasonable thing to do and with 'experienced', 'competent' divers it is a very valid topic indeed which has been discussed many times by eloquent advocates with views both for and against, BUT (there is always a but).....

Advocating a procedure such as solo diving, which carries a potentially higher risk for those who are NOT sufficiently 'experienced' or 'competent', should always be done with caution. I have seen many divers accept solo diving as a perfectly reasonable practice and whilst most also take on board the need for greater gear redundancy, better knowledge of emergency bail-out procedures, etc, there are some who don't - usually because they believe that their experience level is higher than it actually is.

Unfortunately, one of the aspects of diving which I personally think is lacking in ALL dive training I've come across is experience underwater (logged hours basically) which is a great pity because in my experience, there is nothing to beat experience (I would like to see a minimum number of logged dive/hours logged between qualification 'steps' personally). Badges, tickets, courses are all very well but too often lack built in experience. I would suggest to anyone seriously considering solo diving to really look objectively at their diving experience, equipment suitability and service history (could I tell you some horror stories on this topic or what?), and mental attitude (someone mentioned the 'just another few meters down, few minutes more' attitude) before actually soloing. Dive within our own capabilities (especially when task loaded with a camera) and the undersea is a relatively safe place, outside them it can and sometimes is, lethal.
Paul Kay, Canon EOS5D/5DII, SEACAM/S45, 15, 24L, 60/2.8 (+Ext12II) & 100/2.8 Macros - UK/Ireland Seacam Sales underseacameras & marinewildlife & paulkayphotography & welshmarinefish

#57 ce4jesus

ce4jesus

    Giant Squid

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1639 posts
  • Location:Aurora Colorado
  • Interests:Anything Ocean (How'd I end up in Colorado?)<br /><br />A Christian Marine Conservationist?

Posted 03 August 2007 - 01:36 PM

"* The Spare Air (sometimes, commonly?, called the Spare Death in certain circles) does not a self sufficient diver make - even a "solo" diver make. What's more, I don't even care if you restrict yourself, severely, to 10 metres or less."

Since I just purchased one of these, your comments make me want to ask why. It seems to be a decent product for recreational depths.
Gary
Olympus E-520, TLC arms, Inon Z-240s, 50mm, 14-42mm woody's diopter

#58 ATJ

ATJ

    Tiger Shark

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 638 posts
  • Location:Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
  • Interests:Diving, Photograph, Marine Biology

Posted 03 August 2007 - 10:32 PM

I know I shouldn't do this, I really shouldn't. It's late, I'm tired, but I'm also stewing about it.

You are correct. You should not have done it.

There are a number of issues here:

And the biggest issue is making an poor assumption and then making conclusions based on that (wrong) assumption.

1) Your comments would lead many to think that getting separated (and needing to get "reattached") is the norm rather than the exception?

Are you serious? How could you possibly come to that conclusion based on what I have said? Saying "a number of occasions" implies more than once. Nothing more, nothing less. So not only do you jump to a conclusion about me, you are also assuming that others are going to make the same mistake you have. Sigh.

2) "Leaving him for dead?" Excuse me? If you've already lost him you've already done that haven't you?

Again, are you serious? Becoming separated from a buddy does not mean he is dead.

3) If, as it appears, that you regularly dive with this buddy, do you (a general "you") perhaps have a problem with your procedures? Should you really get separated as often as it seems that you do?

The only thing apparent here is you have made a completely unsubstantiated conclusion about something and someone you know nothing about.

I'm sorry, this is singularly rude of me, but diving doesn't really take any prisoners, you survive, or you're dead. Mostly anyway.

It was exceedingly rude and ignorant of you.

Cheers,

Whatever.

#59 diver pete

diver pete

    Starfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • Location:Christchurch, New Zealand

Posted 04 August 2007 - 02:34 AM

Most of my photo dives are solo. I prefer to take photo's in reasonably shallow water (less than 15m) and feel quite comfortable being able to deal with any emergency at that depth. I have worked as a guide, instructor and photographer underwater for many years and have dived solo throughout that time where the situation allowed. After all, any one teaching a group or guiding is practically solo anyway.
It is quite aparent that many of the people that make such a fuss over solo diving wouldn't bat an eyelid over their guide solo diving to tie the boat onto the dive site that they wanted to visit. People who work in the diving game solo dive every day, it is part of their job. The secret is to dive within your limitations and comfort level. As always!

#60 John Bantin

John Bantin

    Sperm Whale

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1857 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Teddington/Twickenham UK
  • Interests:former Technical Editor of
    Diver Magazine (UK) and www.divernet.com
    occasional contributor
    SportDiver (Aus)
    Undercurrent
    Author of Amazing Diving Stories (Wiley Nautical)

Posted 04 August 2007 - 03:12 AM

I always sign the liability disclaimer and the terms & conditions form (usually advocating a buddy system) offered to me at the start of any dive trip, but after a six hour session in the witness box I always now add the caveat that "I can in no way be held responsible for the well-being of any other person in the water."

What does that mean? I dive alone - although there may be other people in the water near me..

I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?