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Thread: Solo Diving

  1. #1
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    Default Solo Diving

    Asking for your thoughts. Do think it is OK to solo dive using the rule of thirds and carrying a Pony with a capacity of at least 1/3rd of your gas supply. In this case if you had a catastrophe failure at your deepest penetration you would still have enough gas to get out.
    I'm not talking about exploration diving here just trying to get experience towards Full Cave. If you feel thats acceptable were can you make the dives? I know the state parks prohibit Solo diving. If you think Solo diving is not acceptable I would like to hear from you also.


  2. #2

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    I'm a big fan of solo dives while not in an overhead. I find it very relaxing, but it is also comforting for me to see another light either behind me or in front while I'm cave diving.


  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by B-Bob View Post
    trying to get experience towards Full Cave.
    I see two issues here. First, IMHO solo cave diving should only be done once you have significant full cave experience. Cave diving should already be "easy/comfortable" before thinking of doing it solo.

    Second, communication and team awareness is a very (if not the most) important part of full cave training, by diving alone you will actually get worse at this part. Because you are in a learning phase, diving solo is likely to create bad habits.

    If you really want to get more experience before full cave, my recommendation is to find people to dive with. The best experience you can get is to dive with different divers with different levels of training (above and below you). Diving with new people will show you good/bad/new/different techniques. You can find buddies on here. Ask you past instructor to put in touch with past students of his.

    The shoals are there still, the winds howl loud, the rain beats down, the waves burst strong. Some night, in the chill darkness, someone will make a mistake: The sea will show him no mercy. John T. Cunningham

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by B-Bob View Post
    Asking for your thoughts. Do think it is OK to solo dive using the rule of thirds and carrying a Pony with a capacity of at least 1/3rd of your gas supply. In this case if you had a catastrophe failure at your deepest penetration you would still have enough gas to get out.
    You assume that your gas consumption rate AFTER a primary gas failure will be the same as before the failure. It will not. Just the extra effort involved with swimming with your shorts full of crap will change your consumption rates.

    "Ain't nothin' an ol' man can do but bring me a message from a young one."
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    "They say you shouldn't say nothin' about the dead unless it's good. He's dead. Good! "

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    "Into the blue again; in the silent water
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  5. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by B-Bob View Post
    If you think Solo diving is not acceptable I would like to hear from you also.
    IMO out of all the risks involved in diving solo, gas management is the least priority. Very few people die cave diving because they didn't have adequate gas to get out, they die because they make mistakes which lead to needing more gas than should be adequate. Without a backup brain you've got no one to catch your mistakes, so throwing tons of gas at the issue is realistically the next best thing.

    -James Garrett
    http://www.jamesg.net
    Quote Originally Posted by Slüdge View Post
    ...AL...he's just about worthless for anything other than giving you extra gas.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jj1987 View Post
    IMO out of all the risks involved in diving solo, gas management is the least priority. Very few people die cave diving because they didn't have adequate gas to get out, they die because they make mistakes which lead to needing more gas than should be adequate. Without a backup brain you've got no one to catch your mistakes, so throwing tons of gas at the issue is realistically the next best thing.
    +1

    Totally agree.

    It also comes down to do you trust the people you dive with. I personally don't, save for a couple people. Will they be there in an emergency and know what to do to save your life (probably not for me since I dive a complicated-ass rebreather), or are they just putting you at higher risk because they are just a liability in the long run. Whether they are ill-trained or just lackadaisical toward safety. Do whatever you can to mitigate your own risks before anything else.

    Just my 2 cents.


  7. #7
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    All my cave diving is done with a team. But when I go to the Keys, I usually dive alone. The boat captins and divemasters at the shop I dive out of all know me from my many previous trips with them. When diving anything below 65 feet, for I can get to the surface comfortably without air from that depth, I use one of my 95's with an "H" valve and a north florida fill. My last trip down there in June, I conducted a buoyance clinic on the boat deck while we were traveling out to The Eagle. None of the other divers on the boat had ever seen a DIN valve, much less an H valve. When asked who the redundant regulator was for.....I just smiled and said "thats for me". All of them came away with a better understanding of why we cave divers gear up the way we do and why "less is better" i


  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by jj1987 View Post
    IMO out of all the risks involved in diving solo, gas management is the least priority. Very few people die cave diving because they didn't have adequate gas to get out, they die because they make mistakes which lead to needing more gas than should be adequate. Without a backup brain you've got no one to catch your mistakes, so throwing tons of gas at the issue is realistically the next best thing.
    Backup brain. I like it.

    And I totally agree.

    Carry more gas than thirds and keep it far back. For shorter dives an extra pony accomplishes this.

    Andrew Ainslie

    Almost extinct cave diver

  9. #9

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    Solo diving is a tool, and not the best one if your goal is experience for class. A buddy to critique you adds a lot of value when preparing for a class. In fact, I believe a few divers who have gotten a reputation for being terrible divers have turned to solo diving due to lack of buddies. Solo diving let's you get lazy, and also carries a high penalty for laziness, a double whammy of sorts.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ1987
    "But nothing gets accomplished in sidemount!"

  10. #10

    Default

    I solo dive, even when in a team. Although i do true solo dive occasionally. As a sidemount diver, I am my own gas backup. When I solo dive it is main line only and only in cave systems I am very familiar with. Not having a backup brain, I stick to familiar cave without complex navigation. I am full cave, with well over 100 cave dives in a variety of systems over two countries. I've had a few scary moments and feel confident in my ability to deal with problems, but I am only comfortable doing this solo in extremely familiar environments. I would never attempt to gain new experiences solo, or increase my knowledge solo.

    “We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.”~Elanore Roosevelt.


 

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