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#81 MDB

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Posted 08 August 2007 - 10:20 AM

I have been diving since I was 14 (back when getting certified that young was relatively rare) and due to the fact that no one in my family dives, I have been put into a large number of different buddy situations. Some buddies have been very good and some very bad. Overall I would rather dive solo than with a buddy I don't know.

I am not sure why some people are so opposed to experienced divers going solo. Well I guess I understand from the point of view of the industry since it creates new customers and shifts some liability from them to the buddy.

Is solo diving more risky than buddy diving, maybe but for me it is worth the risk.

#82 ChristianG

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 05:45 AM

we're also all armed with tank bangers or shakers, so its easy to get anyone's attention when the manta goes flying by, or when you're in serious shit.

I don't really get that.

Once upon a time, on a liveaboard in PNG, one of our number (six of us, which is all that that particular liveaboard acccommodates) had with him one of those newfangled underwater whistles (a hurricane was it?) which he used to distraction.

He got caught in the wreck of the S'Jacob, minimum depth about 50 metres and signalled for help.

Of course none of the rest of us took the slightest bit of notice so he had to dump the camera, struggle out of tank/BCD, extricate and then dress himself again, actually a significant achievement in self sufficiency.

He cried Wolf once too often and I have ever since suspected these "banger" things.

Cheers,

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#83 ce4jesus

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 07:43 AM

"I don't really get that."

My wife and I started using some shakers about 3 months ago and wondered why we hadn't done this a lot earlier. Simply because we recognize the other is trying to get our attention. In short, we love ours and wouldn't be without them.
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#84 antacid

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 09:08 AM

"I don't really get that."

My wife and I started using some shakers about 3 months ago and wondered why we hadn't done this a lot earlier. Simply because we recognize the other is trying to get our attention. In short, we love ours and wouldn't be without them.



yup, i agree being able to make 'distinctive' sounds underwater helps you recognise each other, especially at busy dive sites with 40-50 divers in the water banging away at the smallest nudibranchs and sea cucumbers.

ChristianG, i think that diver did himself in by using it to distraction as you said. maybe PADI should come up with a 'tank banging/ dive whistle specialty' to address that problem. :)

i usually carry a spare steel carabiner so i can pass it to my buddy (whoever i'm stuck with) to use as a signaling device so he/she can get my attention. who knows, she might just spot something really interesting?
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#85 hoovermd

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 09:12 AM

...My wife and I started using some shakers about 3 months ago...


We are actually reluctant to share "our system" while on the boat.
Too many shakers and it might get confusing.
We have developed (as I'm sure you have) a simple code system.
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#86 ChristianG

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 09:26 AM

yup, i agree being able to make 'distinctive' sounds underwater helps you recognise each other, especially at busy dive sites with 40-50 divers in the water banging away at the smallest nudibranchs and sea cucumbers.

ChristianG, i think that diver did himself in by using it to distraction as you said. maybe PADI should come up with a 'tank banging/ dive whistle specialty' to address that problem. :)

i usually carry a spare steel carabiner so i can pass it to my buddy (whoever i'm stuck with) to use as a signaling device so he/she can get my attention. who knows, she might just spot something really interesting?

I really, REALLY, don't like your irony.

Good one.

Cheers,

Christian
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#87 ce4jesus

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 10:31 AM

"Too many shakers and it might get confusing." I found some really small ones that make a very distinctive sound. We've yet to run into divers with them but it would be a bit distracting if more people had them. I guess we could always develop a little rhythm to our shake...haha
Gary
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#88 John Bantin

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 11:08 AM

What's wrong with yelling the name of the person you want to attract? It has the advantage that others do not recognise the sound as a a name. It works for me!

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#89 NWDiver

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Posted 10 August 2007 - 06:08 AM

You should NOT be solo diving if you CAN'T remove and replace your BC in tight quarters, wetsuit or drysuit.

#90 Paul Kay

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Posted 10 August 2007 - 06:59 AM

It could also be argued that you shouldn't be solo diving if you dive in tight quarters where you might have to remove and replace your BC, wetsuit or drysuit or come to that neither!!! I'd be pretty worried about putting my camera somewhere that I might not be able to reach too.
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#91 fdog

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Posted 10 August 2007 - 09:09 AM

<snip>My wife and I started using some shakers about 3 months ago and wondered why we hadn't done this a lot earlier. Simply because we recognize the other is trying to get our attention. In short, we love ours and wouldn't be without them.

Yes, but that's because your wife knows what you're interested in, so you are always excited by what she's found.

The other side is a whole boatload of folks that believe what they have seen/found/etc is worth tearing you away from whatever you are working on. I hate the cacaphony of quacks/shakes/clanks/squawks.

All the best, James

#92 ChristianG

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Posted 11 August 2007 - 06:41 AM

What's wrong with yelling the name of the person you want to attract? It has the advantage that others do not recognise the sound as a a name. It works for me!

Yup,

Works for me as well. If the person is in visual distance, wait until they have breathed out. It's actually amazing how well this works. I'd rate it in (almost) the same category as listening for your buddy's exhaled breath - if you can't hear it that person is not anywhere close enough (and I'm in deep responsibility sh!t).

Cheers,

Christian
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#93 ChristianG

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Posted 11 August 2007 - 07:01 AM

It could also be argued that you shouldn't be solo diving if you dive in tight quarters where you might have to remove and replace your BC, wetsuit or drysuit or come to that neither!!! I'd be pretty worried about putting my camera somewhere that I might not be able to reach too.

Absolutely!

This guy, then about 70, is an ex Italian Navy diver. Carlo knows exactly what he's doing, except that he tends to get carried away by "the latest toys" which he also happens to sell.

Having said that, this WAS Papua New Guinea and neither a wetsuit nor a drysuit were a consideration. Nevertheless your comment is very valid. However, I, for one, don't dive with a BCD (of whatever ilk) in that circumstance anyway.

In that situation there were six divers (the maximum guests that that boat takes) and "buddying" was never a consideration amongst any of us. On several trips.

YMMV, cheers,

Christian
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#94 diverdon

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 04:42 AM

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


I have a Subal D200 Ikelite system depending on how it is set up for that dive it can be perhaps 10K. I would never use a lanyard. Its not hard to hold the system in either hand or between my knees. In my thousand or so dives I have never been close to panic. But if I were to get into a panic situation the camera is just another ditchable weight. If I were ever doing a CESA from 100 or more feet I may not bring up a camera! If it gets to the point where I am in doubt of my ability to reach the surface I may drop the camera.

If I am still capable of rational thought through out the process of the emergency it is my plan to hold my camera in my right hand and pull the right hand 4 lb weight from my BC as I begin the CESA. If it starts to look like I might not make it drop the weight. If it starts to get really scary release the camera. On the other hand most accounts I have heard from people who have done it are that its not that hard to do with out dropping wt and that the most likely out come is that by the time you get to the 20 foot point you I will be able to see that I will be able to make it easy and may even be able to slow the accent a little in the hope of avoiding deco illness.

Edited by diverdon, 21 September 2007 - 05:47 AM.

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#95 Steve Douglas

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 11:51 AM

When I started diving in 83 my buddies were all hunters shooting fish for dinner, popping abalones and catching lobster. The word of the day was always, same day, same boat, same ocean but get the heck away from my area. Stopped hunting sometime in the early 90's when the waters were running out of game but applied the same stalking skills to videography. That changed but the mantra hasn't. Nothing worse to be filming and have someone else's flash going off or kicking up silt. If a clip is ruined let it be my own fault and not someone elses. Granted, you can't always avoid others in the water but when I can, I do. A trained diver is a self reliant diver. Just my thoughts.
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#96 derway

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 03:52 PM

Even solo diving is SO much safer and more fun than driving on rush-hour freeways. What's the problem? If you gotta die some day, I'd rather die diving, than in a car crash!

The odds shift a small amount, for solo versus buddy diving. For me, the shift is small, since I've always been a water person, since 9 months old. I've never panicked in my life, even when others have. I'd rather be solo than with a panicking buddy.

So still, I am so much safer to go diving than driving on the freeway, where is the big deal about solo or buddy? I know I'm safe doing this.
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#97 Timmoranuk

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 02:57 AM

PMFJI but I've only recently subscribed to Wetpixel.

The only occasions when I feel a buddy is required is in reduced visibility when it may be possible to become entangled or other adverse or marginal conditions. Otherwise, recreational or technical depths are both open to solo diving. In fact, technical depths may be 'safer' solo that recreational depths as some or greater redundancy will usually be carried.

My other sporting passion was skydiving - a few thousand freefalls too. Each and every one was a 'solo' and I was totally responsible for my equipment and my performance. I don't see any difference when diving...

Latterly, I have taken to using the same fleet of liveaboards and inevitably I have got to know the dive guides and crews very well. When buddying up at the beginning of the safari, the guides usually say "and Tim will buddy with me". Most of the other punters think its because I'm a newbie diver. In fact, the only time I usually see my 'buddy' is on the dive deck... I think its really worth while to frequent the same fleet as I get cut all sort of slack.
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#98 lauri

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 03:19 AM

This might sound a bit impolite, but what the hell... This far I have thought that solo diving is generally a result of poor diving skills, poor social skills or lack of thought, or combination of all. This thread hasn't really changed my opinion. Not having a qualified buddy or team for the planned dive is a reason to change the plan, not to go solo.

Consistently failing to find buddies or failing to co-operate with them should prompt a look in the mirror. :)

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#99 Glasseye Snapper

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 08:29 AM

Hi Lauri,

We don't change our dive plan because solo diving is the plan, whether or not a qualified buddy is around. Staying close to and paying constant attention to your buddy just doesn't work when you are a serious UW photographer and asking a buddy to hang around for minutes while trying to set up a shot is also not a way to become popular. Not asking a buddy to come along is really the social thing to do.

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#100 tdpriest

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 12:38 PM

I've seen the odd professional at work, and they often look like solo divers to me...

I have to say that two photographers make lousy buddies, unless one is modelling for the other.

At Ras Mohammed in 2006 my buddy (he knows who he is) and I were swept around Shark Reef in opposite directions, to meet on the far side, on more than one occasion. We were using single cylinders at 11-20m depth. I swam onto the hangar deck of the USS Saratoga at 35m as a planned solo dive with manifolded twin-cylinders and independent regulators, a dive-plan having been discussed beforehand. Which was more dangerous?

2006_Ras_Mohammed_61.jpg Ras Mohammed

I don't think that a total reliance on buddy diving survives contact with the real world of underwater photography. I REALLY think that leaving your buddy unexpectedly is the very height of antisocial behaviour. And as for diving skills: cave diving and advanced technical diving courses teach self reliance, dive planning, equipment configuration... and solo diving.

Tim

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