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emcbride81
05-28-2008, 22:54
An interesting topic was brought up in the Solo Diver's forum, and I wanted to get some answers and experiences from the rest of the board.

Here is my question, and this is for both good and bad experiences with insta-buddies, how was the pre-dive communication and how do you feel it may have affected the dive? Were things discussed like number of dives, years of experience, time since last dive, experience in the environment, how close/far away you wanted to be, how to handle emergencies, etc?

The reason I ask is I have heard a lot of people slam on insta-buddies they have dived with, but I wonder if the pre-dive attitude set them up for failure to begin with. Now trust me, I am not discounting the fact that there are some pee-poor insta-buddies out there, but I could see how some of us could get ticked about the insta-buddy thing before we even meet the person we were diving with.

Oh, and please, this is not about Solo Diving, so kindly stay away from that topic. :smiley20:

navyhmc
05-28-2008, 23:16
I've had some decent experiences with insta buddies. One was a great diver, bit of a nut, but knew the area and showed me some great sights - right there by me and not 100 yds away.

There was a Norweigen gal I got paried with in BVI that was a lot of fun, newer diver but had good skills.

mike_s
05-28-2008, 23:26
I've had insta-buddies that panic'd at the surface and couldn't go down the line....

and I had to blow off a dive that I paid a $80 charter fee for because of him.

This guy had no business being on a dive boat or diving...

btw... he panic'd on the 2nd dive at the anchor line also. This time I let him make his own way back to the boat and I completed the dive with another "insta buddy" that was getting ready to go down the line.

so pre-dive communication is worthless if you can't get them to actually go on the dive at the anchor line.

Zyxistal
05-29-2008, 00:29
There was a Norweigen gal I got paried with in BVI that was a lot of fun, newer diver but had good skills.

Did you enjoy the 'sights' on that dive too?

Shark girl
05-29-2008, 01:15
I got my OW cert on a liveaboard. First dived with a group of instabuddies, all rather new but we stuck together and did ok. None of us were great but we stayed safe, kept together, returned to the boat in pairs as air dictated (deco wasn't an issue due to depth and still being air suckers!).

Then dived in a 3 with two far more experienced divers- great thing for my diving! They had great advice about buoyancy, managing my depth etc, kept me out of trouble and helped make me a better diver.

On the other hand there was the guy in NZ who wanted to go off- fast- in the opposite direction to everyone else and had no interest in checking if I was ok or even following... I was glad when the dm ticked him off as I had visions of getting lost in a kelp forest.

Geoff_T
05-29-2008, 01:55
I have also had both good and bad. Though I can understand how one or two bad experiances can sour one to the whole subject of insta buddies. I have found that percise comunication and getting to know the person before hand works better. Or can at least help weed out the major flakes.

rawalker
05-29-2008, 03:09
The worst instant buddy I've had was a Divemaster that didn't even notice I had a BC inflator come apart and I was forced to surface.

Shark girl
05-29-2008, 04:52
Re-read your question and realised I hadn't answered properly...

buddy group #1- talked through experience, knew we were all noobs, didn't stray too far from boat and spent as much time checking on each other as we did looking at fish :D

Buddy pair #2- they knew I was less experienced, dived happily within my limits, planned dives thoroughly beforehand.

Instabuddy #3- thrown together at the last minute when my original buddy had weight issues (we were in the water at the time, she couldn't descend due to floaty feet, DM decided to look after her and I got speedy instabuddy with his own itnerary....)

From my experience? Insta-buddy communication has a lot to do with buddy satisfaction- my only bad experience is with the guy I never said a word to...

navyhmc
05-29-2008, 05:19
There was a Norweigen gal I got paried with in BVI that was a lot of fun, newer diver but had good skills.

Did you enjoy the 'sights' on that dive too?

Let me tell you, there was some wonderful sights that made it difficult to look at the fishes!!!!:smiley20: I'm not going to even go into the surface interval either!:smiley9:

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
05-29-2008, 09:17
Here's a long-winded response.

I've had *very* good luck with insta-buddies, so far. All my bad luck has happened with people I know. At least in the off-season around here the divers tend to be very competent and experienced divers, so I'm more likely to be the insta-buddy from Hell than to be paired with one. That's one very good thing about diving here: the sunday sailors and once a year divers tend to head for the tropics.

I'm just now entering my first NC summer dive season, so I don't yet know what its like in the summer. I imagine the average experience level goes down, but they at least try to filter people with minimum numbers and types of dives, AOW cards, etc.

In my first in-season dive, I was on a six pack with two guys with over 1000 dives, 1 with 106, me with 64, and a couple with only 31 dives (most being tropical or quarries). The captain sent somone down with that couple because he was very concerned about their experience level. If there had been current, I don't think he would have let them dive. If this is a typical trip, I'm not worried about getting the insta-buddy from Hell.

The main issue with an insta-buddy who is an experienced and competent diver would be an incompatibe dive plan. If my insta-buddy want to find nemo, and I want to find ammo clips in the bowels of the wreck we have a big problem.

What do I discuss: epxerience level, last dive, dive plan, tank size, breathing gas, how we plan to share air if necessary, any non-standard hand signals, whether we will both ascend the line if one of us has to turn because he's out of time or low on gas. We agree where to meet after we splash. Usually we also agree that our duty to each other is done once we return to the anchor line unless one of us has an issue that indicates a buddy is required. This is really the only practical choice since we will probably be doing stops at different depths and for different amounts of time. I do a deep stop at half the max depth and every 10 feet thereafter, while most of my buddies just do the standard 15 ft stop. I also look over their equipment without being too obvious.

DUnder
05-29-2008, 10:29
I am a new diver but I can not complain about my instant-buddies. They have been better than me, I hope I was a good buddy to them.

*Merlin*
05-29-2008, 18:18
DUnder,
You the type I would like to get paired up with. The only time I ever had a stranger dive with me, he was added to my regular partner and me. The three of us had a blast. He was from the granola state, and returned to the boat with I swear more air than when we got in the water. I am an O2 hog and most dives I'm on are ended by my air or better lack there of. This guy was a phenomenal diver. But once back on board he made positive comments on our talents. A true gentleman of the sport.

comet24
05-29-2008, 18:59
Diving the Spiegel in the Keys a few years back. Strong currents both above and below. After five minutes on the wreck buddies low on air. Apparently he used it all up on the surface swimming to the down line.

Rainer
05-29-2008, 19:06
Diving the Spiegel in the Keys a few years back. Strong currents both above and below. After five minutes on the wreck buddies low on air. Apparently he used it all up on the surface swimming to the down line.

How long was he at the surface?

comet24
05-29-2008, 19:41
Diving the Spiegel in the Keys a few years back. Strong currents both above and below. After five minutes on the wreck buddies low on air. Apparently he used it all up on the surface swimming to the down line.

How long was he at the surface?

As long as it took to swim from the back of the boat to the front and then down the line. I very rarely dive with a snorke and didn't have one on this dive but had no trouble pulling myself along the line and breathing without aid of my reg. It was more pulling along the line as the current was running. I think he was a little nervous about the dive and sucking air.

My fault it wasn't the Spiegel it was the Daune. I can remember just getting past the pilot house when he showed my his gauge. More I think about more I remember the dive.

Rainer
05-29-2008, 19:54
Diving the Spiegel in the Keys a few years back. Strong currents both above and below. After five minutes on the wreck buddies low on air. Apparently he used it all up on the surface swimming to the down line.

How long was he at the surface?

As long as it took to swim from the back of the boat to the front and then down the line. I very rarely dive with a snorke and didn't have one on this dive but had no trouble pulling myself along the line and breathing without aid of my reg. It was more pulling along the line as the current was running. I think he was a little nervous about the dive and sucking air.

My fault it wasn't the Spiegel it was the Daune. I can remember just getting past the pilot house when he showed my his gauge. More I think about more I remember the dive.

So there's NO way he burned through most of his gas on the surface. He burned it on the wreck or the descent.

comet24
05-29-2008, 20:17
Diving the Spiegel in the Keys a few years back. Strong currents both above and below. After five minutes on the wreck buddies low on air. Apparently he used it all up on the surface swimming to the down line.

How long was he at the surface?

As long as it took to swim from the back of the boat to the front and then down the line. I very rarely dive with a snorke and didn't have one on this dive but had no trouble pulling myself along the line and breathing without aid of my reg. It was more pulling along the line as the current was running. I think he was a little nervous about the dive and sucking air.

My fault it wasn't the Spiegel it was the Daune. I can remember just getting past the pilot house when he showed my his gauge. More I think about more I remember the dive.

So there's NO way he burned through most of his gas on the surface. He burned it on the wreck or the descent.

I think it's a little of all three. I think the surface ate up a good bit for him. He did it with his reg in his mouth as the DM on the boat suggested. The swim/pull to the down line was 50 yard maybe. I could be off by 50% either way. It was not the best conditions but not all that bad either. I guess I should say that I have a some water rescue experience so little swim in 3' foot seas with a current is fun for me.