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.

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