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jwdizney
03-13-2008, 20:49
wife, daughter and I will be diving together this year for the first time and we want to utilize a buddy system for the three of us. any tips, techniques to share? also, we're planning a trip to Bahamas and wonder if dive operators will allow us to dive as a threesome, or will we be split up and have an "insta-buddy" added?

:smilie40:

CompuDude
03-13-2008, 22:43
Designate one person the dive leader, another the #2 position, the last the #3 position.

Diver #2 is responsible for passing messages from #1 to #3, and vice versa. Keeps everyone in the loop.

Put your weakest diver in the middle position, so two people can keep tabs on her. (assuming it's not you. :) )

Leave the camera behind for the first dive, so you can concentrate on keeping everything running smoothly and work out any hiccups without the extra distraction.

3-person teams require more active thinking about the buddies, but offer more safety with reasonable team awareness, since there are more people to help (more air to share, etc.) in the event of a problem.

cmburch
03-13-2008, 23:07
We never knew anything about how to run a 3 buddy team. Essentially 2 would be buddied-up where the third would be semi solo. Or everyone would almost be solo depending on how many of us were hunting. I'll have to try it out to see how it works. Anything has to be better than what we're doing now.

terrillja
03-13-2008, 23:16
wife, daughter and I will be diving together this year for the first time and we want to utilize a buddy system for the three of us. any tips, techniques to share? also, we're planning a trip to Bahamas and wonder if dive operators will allow us to dive as a threesome, or will we be split up and have an "insta-buddy" added?

:smilie40:

When I dove in Key Largo, we had one diver added to my dad and I, I led, my dad took up the tail, the other guy was in the middle. No problems at all, we did 2 dives at a threesome with silent world and 3 dives as a threesome with Conch Republic, neither one had an issue with a buddy team rather than a buddy pair. I'd agree with CD though, put the least experienced in the middle.

fireflock
03-14-2008, 00:48
Positioning matters. Putting everyone single file in a line means that the first diver can easily swim away from the others and not notice. Along the same lines, the last diver can fall behind and no one notices.

An alternative to is dive side by side, 3 wide, with the diver who is showing the way in the middle and only slightly in front of the other two. That way divers 2 and 3 can see everyone at once, and the lead diver can just look to the side to find the others (vs having to look directly behind).


Rich

CompuDude
03-14-2008, 02:47
3 wide (flock of geese V formation) works well when you have the type of terrain that supports it... but far too often, you don't.

Echelon and single file work well also, but there's always a need for care. HID lights help a lot, but there's a limited pool of divers that have those tools available to their budget.

Positioning is one of the trickier aspects, I agree.

cummings66
03-14-2008, 07:19
I think it depends on the terrain, my worst would be the single file without lights that can be seen from the back. The best would be a very slight V so everybody could see each other.

Different depths suck, avoid that at all costs.

jwdizney
03-14-2008, 10:59
Different depths suck, avoid that at all costs.

sounds like a good point, cummings. makes sense that different depths would add another dimension to keep track of.

all good tips, everybody! :smiley20:

thanks!

another thing for considering is how would you "buddy drill" for emergency situations, such as OOA? nearest buddy, or specific buddy assignment? or is this even of concern, considering there are two buddies to pick from in an emergency?
:smilie40:

Splitlip
03-14-2008, 11:13
Single file is very difficult. You very likely will be diving ledges where single file is most logical. Care must be taken and as Dude says no cameras and no distractions until you get a handle on your protocols.

I normally dive with 2 others. More often than not, it turns into 3 semi solo divers. Rear diver stops in a hole, other 2 drift. Middle diver sees rear diver stop. Does he go back or does he try and signal lead diver. No signal? What does middle diver do? Head to lead diver or try and keep both in sight.
(Not that big a deal for us. All experienced and viz is usually very good. Can always keep an eye on bubbles.)
You get the picture. Plan your dive and communicate. This is your familly.
When my daughter is in the mix, all others are on their own.

CaptainRon
03-14-2008, 12:06
I often dive with my 2 kids. I feel safer when all three of us are together. In the boy scouts, we had a policy when hiking away from the main group that we always went in groups of three. If someone had a problem, there would be someone to assist that person and another to go for help. I think the concept works well for scuba too.

When we were in Cozumel in January, the DM had no problem with us diving as a trio.

CompuDude
03-14-2008, 12:19
another thing for considering is how would you "buddy drill" for emergency situations, such as OOA? nearest buddy, or specific buddy assignment? or is this even of concern, considering there are two buddies to pick from in an emergency?
:smilie40:

It's no more concern than usual, which is one of the advantages of a trio... it could theoretically cut both ways if TWO people OOA. Assuming everyone is being responsible about tracking their gas usage, however, in the event of an accident resulting in OOA, you have two buddies to choose from.

There's no rules on who to choose from when OOA... get to the gas first, then once everyone is breathing, make a decision about which person is best to share with during the ascent.

ChrisA
03-14-2008, 12:55
Diving with three is always harder. Each person has to keep an eye on two other divers. However in near perfect viz when you can see more than 20 feet it is not much harder.

It is much easier to loose a budy in a larger group. If single file some times the lead diver can't see to the end and the last diver can't see the leader. If some one stops to look at something everyone in the group has to know to stop. You can tryy going side by side but that don't work in Kelp. It is not hard to do a 3 person budy team but you do have to think and have some minimal experiance with it. One thing you learn if you group dive fast is than you have to swim much slower and make frequent head counts


The usual scenario is that the remaining two start exchanging hand signals says "Where is #3?", "stop, wait one minute, look", Then finally "thumbs up, look". If the dive is at 80 feet you are not going back down after you surface, the dive is over.

I always say you should try new things near home, not when you are paying $200 per dive at some far way place. Go to the local dive site and do a few dives as a group of three. Make it an easy shalow dive so that if one person gets lost you can surface, regroup and continue the dive. Do this a few times in your local low viz water and it will be a peice of cake on good viz.

Diving is actually very easy, that is until something goes wrong. With three diver team I'd estimate you double the chance of buddy seporation. So you should prepare for this. Practice this near home . Each of you cary a big signal sausage

I do NOT suggest doing your first 3-person dive as a drift dive at 90 to 100 feet. When ever you try something new (3 diver teams, photography, a new BC,...) do it with a very, very simple dive plan. That's why I suggest doing this at home where you have total control of where you are going and there is nothing else to do.

Think about the case where the daughter is seporated on the 90 ft drift drive. She would have to do an acent to 15 feet. deploy a surface marker with a line on it then hold on the line for three minutes safty stop then surface. Practice shootingthe sauage up with a line on it before you do any deep open ocean dives where seporation is likely

crosseyed95
03-15-2008, 11:08
Designate one person the dive leader, another the #2 position, the last the #3 position.

CompuDude has it right with the "designate the dive leader". One diver must be "in charge" and know this. Group decisions don't work to well underwater.

Now, if I could just make my wife understand that I'm in charge!!

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
03-15-2008, 17:32
Agree, one person leads and flock of geese formation works well when dive terrain permits it. And go slow.

doczerothree
03-15-2008, 17:56
Sida by side least skilled or inexperienced diver inbetween terrain permitting. sounds like you guys will have a real great time. Tell us your stories when you return.

jwdizney
03-15-2008, 22:34
Thanks again everyone for great tips! :smiley32:

scubasamurai
03-16-2008, 13:42
never had a problem doing a threesome diver set up with any dive operator. since i am a single diver most of the time i am the third and works good doing the inline or side by side just have to be careful when the visability is down

have fun