When Not to Dive Solo
The first order of business for planning any sort of solo episode is to set
outside limits. We can do this by first listing the types of dives that are NOT
recommended for solo practitioners. These are: Staged decompression dives, Wreck Penetration
dives, and Cavern and Cave dives; any form of Technical Diving.
No deco dives. Staged decompression dives - sometimes referred to as soft
overhead dives because participants do not have
the option of going directly to the surface in the event of an emergency - are
outside the purview of this course to begin with, but also are not on the
recommended list for solo divers even for those trained and experienced in full
decompression diving excursions. Staged decompression dives simply require more
complex planning and execution than is practical for solo divers.
No penetration dives. Hard overhead diving - wreck penetration, cavern and
cave diving - is also beyond the scope of this course and requires a level of
planning and execution that makes it impractical for solo divers. The nature of
a wreck's interior - in all but the most sanitized artificial reef - and the
length and complexity of cave passages is such that entanglement, entrapment and
becoming lost are real risks. Contingency actions for these events are best
managed in the company of a well-organized and prepared team.
No pinnacle dives. A Pinnacle dive is the term
used to describe a dive that's a peak dive for its participants... perhaps the
deepest, most complex, longest, and toughest in their logbook. As a solo diver
you do not plan dives that are deeper, tougher, longer, or more complex than any
previous dives you have done. This helps keep your solo dives within the walls
of your comfort zone.
This leaves us with a host of possibilities. In the following chapters we
will look at how to plan our solo explorations of them.
- Solo dives should be within NDLs.
- Solo dives should be in open water not overhead environments.
- Solo dives should be conducted within limits of personal experience.
Buddy System Has Basic Flaws
Solo Diving and Risk Management
Solo Divers Make Better Buddies
When Not to Dive Solo
What You'll Learn in Chapter's 2-7