Posted by Brad on March 11, 2001 at 17:43:12:
In Reply to: Solo Diving posted by Steve on March 11, 2001 at 08:36:29:
I remember a discussion that turned to solo diving some months ago on another board. The diver was with a friend during the incident that sparked the discussion. They were in a cave when the other guy turned off (the) light. The guy panicked. My point was that if he were alone, he probably would have had 2 lights. Every once in a while diving alone can be safer.
I freedive at the outlying islands and the Bishop Rock area. I always go alone and have never dived with anyone else. My biggest concern is always for the boat.[it'd be lonely out there without your boat!] I have to be very mindful of the swells (especially at Nic) and the anchoring has to be just perfect as i anchor in relatively shallow water. Last summer i was swimming at night on the Abalonia, the swells were too big to see the skiff every time i came up for air, i had to orient myself and wait until the sets synced up so i could get a glimpse of the light. That was a little disconcerting, but that is an example of an extreme situation.
Some years ago, i installed a 6" dia. window right in the cockpit floor of the skiff (flatbottom). That window makes it easy to set the anchor pretty much where i want it. I can get it to land on a small patch of sand among the rocks. Another major concern is current. There have been a number of times that i wouldn't leave the boat because of the current, especially at Nic.
From my experience, solo freediving is entirely safe if you use restraint and commom sense. Personally, i have a very strict set of rules that determine whether i leave the boat or not. I have a lot of fun, but i never take unnecessary risks. If i have to stay in the skiff, it sure helps to have a window to look thru!
Solo diving is safe, but you have to develope rituals and best practices and have the discipline to stick to them, even when you don't want to. It is really all about using your skills and exercizing discipline.
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