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The Artist formerly known as 'John Duncan'
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<font color='#F52887'>does anyone have experience of SDI training and in particular the SOLO DIVER course? I was thinking of doing it, but not if it is teaching me stuff I already know. I dive with manifolded twins with backups for everything! is it worth it?

I use:
Manifolded twin 12's
Argon inflation (with a Airgun on a LP hose from my backgas, take it off the hose and the hose becomes a suit inflation hose when diving on air/nitrox)
any stages have spare whip too for the same reason
2 linecutters/knives
two torches
1 yellow, 1 red DSMB
Main reel
buddy reel backup
wreck reel (sometimes)
computer
D-timer and tables as backup
"Big eyes" mask in thigh pocket
 

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<font color='#000080'>You're diving a pretty similar rig to myself, and I go solo diving when I can, I like it. Personally, I didn't really do much training to do it, I won't dive solo on a single, but less than 25m I'll do it on a pony.

The othe thing I tend to do when diving solo is double up on deco gases. If I plan to use a pony of nitrox, I take 2, if I plan to use my stage, I take 2. Just gives me more options, and I don't find it any different having 2 stages on to one. Once the extra's there, it might as well be on both sides.

You should be careful with higher mixes inflating your suit, though. Personally you wouldn't get me putting more than 50% in if I could possibly avoid it, and I'd try and keep it lower than that.

The only other thing that I find a bit difficult is the what to do if you get caught in a net, and what to do if you're trapped/caught and can't get free? Doesn't happen to me much, and I personally go onto super-cautious mode near wrecks solo diving, but there are nets you just don't see! I'd go for the emergency blob, but if you're really badly netted, that might not be possible.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (JohnDuncan @ Mar. 12 2004,10:18)]does anyone have experience of SDI training and in particular the SOLO DIVER course?
<font color='#000080'>Hi

Always puzzled me this.

How can you do a solo diving course?

It would be a bit hard to assess don't you think?

It would be very easy to cheat I reckon. "Yes, of course I removed and replaced my mask and did a valve shutdown, honest"

Perhaps the instructor just dives in another part of the dive site or maybe its just a case of if you come back alive you've passed?  


Kindest Regards

Andy
 

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<font color='#32CD32'>I've not done much Solo diving, but it is an area I'm moving towards.

Yes of course you need kit redundancy and bail options and emergency signals. But from my point of view the greatest need is the mental preparation.

Once you're confident with your kit set-up and your skill set, you can then mentally move your mindset to the point where you feel comfortable with solo diving.

Juz
 

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Just not enough dive time.
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The emergency blob, who's going to come looking to see what it means. When you say solo diving do you mean diving off a boat/shore in a group, except you dont have a buddy?
Apart from kit, I would ensure someone knew my dive plan and what to do if I didnt get back by a certain time.
Rgds
Matt
 

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Arguably, if you're instructing then you're solo diving anyway

Tried a solo dive once, it was fine, but afterwards there's no-one to say to "Wow! what did you think of this/that ?" so for me it's a bit boring.
 

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Resident Sprog Plod
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<font color='#8D38C9'>If i remember you plan and do the dive on your own with the instructor waiting on the boat or shore. I think your very much expected to plan the dive and dive the plan. Even if only to find you later!

Would of thought its a hard course to teach in this country what with hse and all.

John, Ive done quite a few SDI and TDI courses but was told that if your doing any of the slightly harder tdi courses then the solo course is a waste of time. Its only going to be the same skills youve probably done already and if you have a tdi trimix card or eqviv your pretty much trained and qualified to solo dive.

Thats what I was told anyway.
 

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The Artist formerly known as 'John Duncan'
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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Steve W @ Mar. 12 2004,12:40)]Arguably, if you're instructing then you're solo diving anyway

Tried a solo dive once, it was fine, but afterwards there's no-one to say to "Wow! what did you think of this/that ?" so for me it's a bit boring.
<font color='#F52887'>Exactly, on both points. solo diving is good for photographers.
 

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<font color='#000080'>I think Andy Hayhurst will teach this course. Why not give him a bell? I'm sure he'd be happy to run through what was actually in the course.

Matt, all solo dives must be carried out with someone knowing exactly what you plan to do, and ensuring those things happen exactly when they do. For example, I tell the skipper on solo dives exactly what time to expect my SMB. If it's not there, there's potentially a problem. I also tell them exactly what time I should be at the surface, and if I overrun that time by more than 5 mins, call the coastguard. Then again, it's a similar situation for a buddy pair. When someone gives me their dive time, as soon as they overrun I'm thinking about who to call. Give it 5 minutes, maybe 10 in a heavy sea (as we might not have seen them) and then onto the coastguard. No point messing about.

If you're shore diving solo, it's with surface cover or not at all in my case. Self rescue on the shoreline, certainly around the UK, can be difficult, and someone on the side to at least co-ordinate any emergency services is essecntial. I personally don't like diving n a pair without surface cover. It's not safe enough for me. As it is, in the club, we always have someone around to sort that end of things, and it's very well run. Outside the club, you can't always guarantee that sort of cover, so I'm extra careful.
 

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Finless: You couldn't invent him...
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John,

I am at my most relaxed when doing a solo dive and given what happened once (as detailed in my "Can anyone be so stupid and still be alive" post where I would have died without a buddy) it perhaps may seem odd that I do find it so relaxing.

With regards to the SDI course and "is it worth it", I think the answer is "it depends on your experience and knowledge". The fact that you raise the question possibly means you have some doubts in your own mind. Is it possible to check the main aims of the course on line somewhere and then decide if there is anything you feel unsure about and would benefit from some instruction over.

One thing I would say is, that if you dive solo, make sure everything is still clipped where it should be when you first get in the water. Alao, practise mentally beforehand what your reaction will be to different scenarios. If it goes wrong and you don't sort it out then ......

As I nearly found to my cost NOT reacting quick enough can be enough to put you straight into panic mode.

HSD!

[EDIT]My tips are :-

Necklace your bailout reg.

I carry a knife bungeed to one forearm and shears to the other - minimum movemet to reach and easy to see.

What the otheres said.
 

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Small, yet perfectly formed...
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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Steve W @ Mar. 12 2004,12:40)]Arguably, if you're instructing then you're solo diving anyway

Tried a solo dive once, it was fine, but afterwards there's no-one to say to "Wow! what did you think of this/that ?" so for me it's a bit boring.
yeah i am with you on that one steve..I like diving with a buddy!
 

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The Artist formerly known as 'John Duncan'
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
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<font color='#F52887'>I do dive solo now and again and it is good not to have a buddy to concentrate on. I do not want to die so I think I am organised and have everythink safely organised on my rig, and dive long hose with my backup reg necklaced already. If I felt wary about a dive or it was an unfamiliar site or conditions were marginal then I would only dive with a buddy.
as they say accidents happen by accident not by plan, so you can never be 100% safe even with a buddy pair working well.
 

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Finless: You couldn't invent him...
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[b said:
Quote[/b] (JohnDuncan @ Mar. 12 2004,13:49)]I do dive solo now and again and it is good not to have a buddy to concentrate on. I do not want to die so I think I am organised and have everythink safely organised on my rig, and dive long hose with my backup reg necklaced already. If I felt wary about a dive or it was an unfamiliar site or conditions were marginal then I would only dive with a buddy.
as they say accidents happen by accident not by plan, so you can never be 100% safe even with a buddy pair working well.
Sounds like you already have things covered + a "head together" attitude.

I like to believe this is how I dive too. SDI course? Shall we say I am not that bothered.
 

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I have the Card

The course is very much orientated to attitude and equipment. For recreational solo dives (single tank no redundancy) you recieve a certification to a depth twice what you can free dive to. For the full redundancy stuff there is no certified depth...... just the certified depth of whatever other courses you have done.

What use is it?

1) Photography

2) Insurance! My insurance covers me to dive within my qualifications..... whatever they are. So now I'm insured when solo diving - which includes a lot of the time on holiday with a camera stuck to my mask.


I'm not commenting on the value of the course ......... but I think my reasons for doing it are, for me, very valid

Regards
 

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The Artist formerly known as 'John Duncan'
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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Skipper @ Mar. 12 2004,14:22)]What use is it?

1) Photography

2) Insurance! My insurance covers me to dive within my qualifications..... whatever they are. So now I'm insured when solo diving - which includes a lot of the time on holiday with a camera stuck to my mask.


I'm not commenting on the value of the course ......... but I think my reasons for doing it are, for me, very valid

Regards
<font color='#F52887'>good points, but does your insurance REALLY cover you to dive solo? I didnt think that any insurance would cover you for that.
 

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The Artist formerly known as 'John Duncan'
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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Finless @ Mar. 12 2004,14:12)]SDI course? Shall we say I am not that bothered.
<font color='#F52887'>I dont think that I am now that I think it over, I will be doing my Trimix later this year so that should cover me for solo diving really. After you get to the advanced Nitrox & deco level the agencies all tell you that effectively you are diving solo, so that is good enough for me.
 

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Grumbler-chief in Residence
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Can't help but to chip in.

I my opinion the only valid reason to do a solo diving course is one of insurance, as for the rest, redundancy etc. just apply common sense.

Andrew
 

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<font color='#810541'>Hi I also enjoy  shallow solo diving its very relaxing just being able to concentrate on what you are doing and not have to keep turning round to see what he/she is up to .I find it also makes one very aware of your surrounding`s underwater ,your kit configuration ,every aspect of the dive seems  sharper , also you  have no one to impress or let down its just you and your dive , one  also does not rely on their  buddy to do there thinking for them . Solo diving has its drawbacks as well as buddy diving  but its like any extreme sport it has dangers but everyone makes there own choice and knows the consequences should it all go very wrong . Its time that this subject was brought out of the colset into the open and discussed more freely without fear of being looked down apon. This in itself would make the hole area of solo diving safer as we could all learn alot from one another`s experiences . It would be good  one day to see a whole forum dedicated to this topic. Fiona.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (JohnDuncan @ Mar. 12 2004,14:31)]
[b said:
Quote[/b] (Skipper @ Mar. 12 2004,14:22)]What use is it?

1) Photography

2) Insurance! My insurance covers me to dive within my qualifications..... whatever they are. So now I'm insured when solo diving - which includes a lot of the time on holiday with a camera stuck to my mask.


I'm not commenting on the value of the course ......... but I think my reasons for doing it are, for me, very valid

Regards
good points, but does your insurance REALLY cover you to dive solo? I didnt think that any insurance would cover you for that.
Yes it does I have checked!

I am covered to dive within my qualifications

regards
 

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<font color='#FF0000'>It also means that when you are on a boat on your hols, you are certified to not have to dive with the buddy from hell, that the operator usually tries to palm off on you, if you are on your todd. But it also means that you are insured if you are solo diving, 99% of insurers are happy as long as you hold a recognised qualification.
The course learns you about getting yourself out the mire, and more importantly not getting in to it in the first place.
 
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