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View Full Version : I did my first solo dive the other day!



picxie
02-28-2009, 19:53
It was a great dive too! I always thought I'd never solo dive but I feel much more comfortable in the water now than a few years ago, so I thought I'd give it ago. Especially as today is the first day of Autumn and I've done hardly any diving this summer, due to having no dive buddy. I have access to a boat (Dad is happy to take me out) and Friday was suitable weather so we went out. It was one of the best dives I've had out on that particular reef, I'm so glad I went out!

Great vis, warm water (for NZ!), calm sea ... I couldn't have asked for better. Loads of fish around and it was great to have a dive and see all the crayfish without other divers coming along and attacking them (I'm not a fan of cray hunting). I was a bit nervous going out at first. The boat wasn't quite anchored on the reef so there was a bit of a swim before I found it (really just a few minutes, but when you're not 100% sure where it is, it can feel longer!). The only downside was on the return to the anchor line - once I lost sight of the reef it was a bit disorientating and I couldn't find the line. I knew I was in roughly the right spot so decided to ascend ... and at around 6m I found the line which was great. I'm usually fine to surface without a line, but with no one else in the water and nothing around to see, it was a bit weird.

It was very eerie to be in the ocean by yourself but the fish seemed so much more inquisitive - I had a huge school of kingfish come over to check me out and that was cool as these huge fish just circled around me for a few minutes. Kinda creepy at first as when I first saw them they were just these great big dark shapes coming in from the murky sea off the reef! I love to just watch the sealife and it was great to be able to do that - usually when I go out there the vis is crap, and the person you get buddied up with is out there to go crayhunting.

So not only was it a great first solo dive, but it was also a really great dive in general!

DivingAnarchy.info
02-28-2009, 20:16
I like that. Do you have double first stages etc. How do you have your gear set up?

picxie
02-28-2009, 21:29
I just used a normal setup. I wasn't going very deep - about 12m. When I first started thinking about giving it a go, I thought about getting a spare air supply but decided against it. I'm still umming and ahhing about getting one for future though.

fire diver
02-28-2009, 23:05
OMG! You're going to die! Sorry, just had to throw out the standard line about solo-ing. Congrats a on a great first solo dive!

ranunciado
03-01-2009, 03:59
Congratulations. Its fun to do solo dives. I remember my first solo dive was a shore dive in which I saw a school of jack fish, barracuda and 1 medium size turtle.

Grin
03-01-2009, 07:57
I solo all the time. It's so nice not having to keep track of your buddy. Actually it removes the huge multitask of watching your buddy.
If there is no current where your anchoring, dragging a bouy is easy and the boat can just follow your float so no worry about finding the anchor. Or you can attach a reel line the the anchor and that will get you back to it easiy every time. Even if you just run the line from the anchor to the edge of the reef or something. Personally I hate diving aanchored boat. If you have a boat operator, let him do all the work wiht the boat. he can follw a bouy, or you can send up a bouy at the end of your dive. This allows serious freedom on your dive. Current is the major factor in that kind of diving. Lots of current requires you to drag a bouy so the boat can just follow you throughout your dive. Dragging abouy with lots of current is a pain, but a neccessary one if you want the boat to definatly be there when you surface.
Solo diving is the best!

ektess1
03-01-2009, 18:54
I prefer solo diving. That being said if you were nevous to start with, you should not be diving solo. Calculating, cool, calm, and collected, with a good plan, that is the only way to solo dive.
I am happy that things turned out right for you.
Better planning, less stress, equals better dives. It is the only way to solo.

picxie
03-02-2009, 00:06
I prefer solo diving. That being said if you were nevous to start with, you should not be diving solo. Calculating, cool, calm, and collected, with a good plan, that is the only way to solo dive.
I am happy that things turned out right for you.
Better planning, less stress, equals better dives. It is the only way to solo.

Surely I can't be the only one who was a bit nervous on their first solo dive?! If I'd been overly anxious, I wouldn't have done it. And I don't think I could have planned it better ... it wasn't a spur of the moment decision. I wasn't stressed, just had a few butterflies on the way to the marina! Once the boat started out, there was just excitement to get in the water!

picxie
03-02-2009, 00:09
Or you can attach a reel line the the anchor and that will get you back to it easiy every time. Even if you just run the line from the anchor to the edge of the reef or something.

I really like that idea!

The current usually isn't too bad at that location. It's just that the vis isn't that great - I was at the right spot as it turns out, just didn't quite see the line straight away!

Grin
03-02-2009, 08:16
That works really good. But even better is if conditions allow as follows: If you have someone in the boat, and there isn't alot of current. You could do your entire dive free, then with a reel and large sausage, send the sausage up from the bottom and the boat will have 5-10 minutes(depending on how long you take to accend) to spot it, and be there when you pop up. That is how we do it 90% of the time. But, If the current is ripping we drag a fixed float the entire dive as you can cover alot of ground, making it hard for the boat driver to know where you are going to pop up(possibly covering a mile).
If the current is little, and your not covering more than 1/8-1/4 mile, and it's calm, shooting a bouy from the bottom is the way to go. Just make sure you boat driver is capable. Some people just don't have good vision. Some people can see miles, some can't see 100 ft.
Mix solo with anchorfree diving and now your really free.

Suther2136
03-09-2009, 20:48
Just damn dumb.

Heavy D
03-09-2009, 21:50
Just damn dumb.
What are you talking about? With proper training and equipment there is not any problem with it at all. In fact a lot of tech divers dive solo.

Grin
03-10-2009, 08:15
Just damn dumb.

Coming from someone who has done maybe 30 dives total! :smiley32:
Nothing wrong with needing a dive buddy and knowing it! :smiley20:

IrishSquid
03-10-2009, 20:46
Just damn dumb.

What is? Which post? Which part?
:smilie40:

navyhmc
03-12-2009, 18:43
Just damn dumb.

Coming from someone who has done maybe 30 dives total! :smiley32:
Nothing wrong with needing a dive buddy and knowing it! :smiley20:

That is tue. Conversely, there nothing wrong with not needing a buddy and knowing it either. Training, experience and equipment go a long way too. Coming from someone with over 2,000 dives and 35 years of diving.

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
03-12-2009, 18:50
Solo is fine. Just make sure you have redundancy if you're blow your CESA depth. My buddy blew an o-ring in his second stage the other day. He just reached up and turned off the valve and switched to his backup reg. Had that happened solo at 30 meters without 2 first stage regulators he'd be lucky to be alive. With 2 regulators it was a non-issue.

navyhmc
03-12-2009, 19:16
Solo is fine. Just make sure you have redundancy if you're blow your CESA depth. My buddy blew an o-ring in his second stage the other day. He just reached up and turned off the valve and switched to his backup reg. Had that happened solo at 30 meters without 2 first stage regulators he'd be lucky to be alive. With 2 regulators it was a non-issue.

You're absolutely correct Joe. That's why solo courses teach having a good back up redundant air supply. Personally, I have a 19 cu ft or 40 cu ft pony depending on my planned depth.