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  1. #1
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    Solo diving course, any good?

    Hi,

    I am looking at doing a few courses, something new to make me a better and more knowldgable diver. Has anyone done the solo course? If so what do you think? Also, do dive organisations abroad recognise this course and if you can show the cert will they let you dive without a guide or buddy?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by greatwhite View Post
    Hi,

    I am looking at doing a few courses, something new to make me a better and more knowldgable diver. Has anyone done the solo course? If so what do you think?
    Depends on which course you do and who you do it with. The better ones will just involve spending a day or two with an instructor that knows what they're doing and thinking about scenarios you might end up in and running through basic drills (shutdowns / blind ascents / entanglement etc). Assuming you're familiar with twinsets and the other redundant kit, most of the learning will be about the mindset required.

    Quote Originally Posted by greatwhite View Post
    Also, do dive organisations abroad recognise this course and if you can show the cert will they let you dive without a guide or buddy?

    Thanks
    Plenty of boats in the UK owuld be happy for you to jump off their boat on your own... then again, they would let you do that without seeing any cards. Abroad? I can't see as many dive shops catering for the tourist trade letting you run wild. The course might discuss whether it's a good idea to go somewhere totally unknown and dive solo.

  3. #3
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    Firstly, Solo Diving is not a *course* it's a *workshop*. You should not "learn" anything new, you should bring all the skills and knowledge to be able to dive solo. If you don't have that, you're not ready. There's a reason why the entry requirements for Solo Diver is 100 dives minimum (whereas a DiveMaster needs 60 dives...)

    As a workshop, it's brilliant. It organises your thoughts and skills and highlights the areas you should be aware of.

    Personally I found my Solo Diver course to be the most fun and challenging day's diving "course" I've ever done. Blindfolded, tied up, fin taken off, being gas gunned... Sounds a bit dodgy, but was very useful. However, a friend of mine did his course with someone else and that was nowhere near as challenging.

    Diving solo is great. It gives you the time to do the things you want; to enjoy the dive without being hassled by others. It gives you a lot of flexibility too, especially if your buddy doesn't turn up. Loads of dive boats allow it, quite a few lakes too.

    But the (harsh) bottom line... Only you can tell if you've the skills and experience to be ready to dive solo. If you're not ready you will die.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wibs View Post
    Firstly, Solo Diving is not a *course* it's a *workshop*. You should not "learn" anything new, you should bring all the skills and knowledge to be able to dive solo. If you don't have that, you're not ready. There's a reason why the entry requirements for Solo Diver is 100 dives minimum (whereas a DiveMaster needs 60 dives...)

    As a workshop, it's brilliant. It organises your thoughts and skills and highlights the areas you should be aware of.

    Personally I found my Solo Diver course to be the most fun and challenging day's diving "course" I've ever done. Blindfolded, tied up, fin taken off, being gas gunned... Sounds a bit dodgy, but was very useful. However, a friend of mine did his course with someone else and that was nowhere near as challenging.

    Diving solo is great. It gives you the time to do the things you want; to enjoy the dive without being hassled by others. It gives you a lot of flexibility too, especially if your buddy doesn't turn up. Loads of dive boats allow it, quite a few lakes too.

    But the (harsh) bottom line... Only you can tell if you've the skills and experience to be ready to dive solo. If you're not ready you will die.
    Thanks. You made valid points. Could I ask where and who you did it with please?

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    Quote Originally Posted by NWdiver View Post
    Depends on which course you do and who you do it with. The better ones will just involve spending a day or two with an instructor that knows what they're doing and thinking about scenarios you might end up in and running through basic drills (shutdowns / blind ascents / entanglement etc). Assuming you're familiar with twinsets and the other redundant kit, most of the learning will be about the mindset required.



    Plenty of boats in the UK owuld be happy for you to jump off their boat on your own... then again, they would let you do that without seeing any cards. Abroad? I can't see as many dive shops catering for the tourist trade letting you run wild. The course might discuss whether it's a good idea to go somewhere totally unknown and dive solo.

    Thanks. Even if I was not diving solo, but ended up being separated I think this ***workshop*** could prove useful!

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    Mine was with Mark Powell. Very happy to recommend him for that. Was done at NDAC (who, ironically, are solo hostile!)

    I've needed to show the card in a couple of lakes in order to dive alone. Wraysbury requires a written dive plan which was one of the few new things learned on the course!

    The real pre-requisites for Solo Diver is to be able to dive competently with redundant gas supplies, so a twinset or sidemount really is required. The 'course' will need you to demonstrate your competence with planning, preparing, shutdowns and problem solving, etc. But the main point is it's all about your own skills; you must be honest with yourself that you really can deal with issues as they arise.

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    Established WTF Member Spirit of Guernsey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wibs View Post
    Mine was with Mark Powell. Very happy to recommend him for that. Was done at NDAC (who, ironically, are solo hostile!)

    I've needed to show the card in a couple of lakes in order to dive alone. Wraysbury requires a written dive plan which was one of the few new things learned on the course!

    The real pre-requisites for Solo Diver is to be able to dive competently with redundant gas supplies, so a twinset or sidemount really is required. The 'course' will need you to demonstrate your competence with planning, preparing, shutdowns and problem solving, etc. But the main point is it's all about your own skills; you must be honest with yourself that you really can deal with issues as they arise.
    Same here, probably the best course that I have done.
    There are four varieties in society: the lovers, the ambitious, observers and fools. The fools are the happiest.
    Hippolyte Taine French critic and historian (1828-93)

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    A little stressing about solo diving to bang the point home to anyone reading this and contemplating solo dives...

    The dive boats are mostly pretty happy to welcome solo divers. However they absolutely do not and cannot check your experience and "credentials"; it's completely up to you to be really honest with yourself and ensure that the dives you do are *well* within your experience range.

    The penalty for not being honest with yourself is death.

  9. #9
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    Solo diving as said is great . I have been solo on 99.9% of dives in the last 14 years .
    BUT. & it is a very BIG BUT I have nearly died. I let somebody pass me fins, mask etc which meant I did things in a different order to normal & forgot to turn the Oxygen on ! One thing to another & I nearly collapsed when I stood up to jump in .
    Tends to focus the mind. Now I am very conscious of somebody passing me things generally asking them to bu&&er off.
    This happened only last year so experience does not prevent mistakes.
    Good luck
    I trust my rebreather implicitly I just don't trust the owner

    Onwards & downwards.

  10. #10
    Gobbie squaddie, average diver timmyg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wibs View Post
    competently with redundant gas supplies, so a twinset or sidemount really is required
    Incorrect. Although I hate to say it, is a pony not a redundant source? A twinset is not for everybody, and why do an ITT course to then do a Solo course?

    If I were lugging my kit over Chesel Beach for example for a solo dive, or shore diving off Plymouth I couldn't think of anything more perfect than my 15l and an ali 40.

    And from standards:
    One of the following must be used to provide an additional independent
    regulator attached to an air source: pony cylinder, twin cylinders with
    isolation, H-valve, independent doubles, or SpareAir™
    2019, Pt 3, Pg 101

    TPG
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