Growing up in the PADI system we all know that you’re not allowed to dive solo. The Open Water scuba course drives home the importance of having a buddy, someone to share the experience with and someone to rely on in an emergency. There’s even a question in the very first knowledge review about the benefits of diving with a buddy. In case you’re wondering the answers are practicality, safety and fun (or answer true). I have been looked at as though I’m a crazy person for even suggesting that I like to dive alone. I have even been told by dive shop owners and other dive professionals that I shouldn’t be doing it, and that as an experienced instructor I should know better!
What I know is that there is a PADI course for solo diving, it’s the PADI Self-Reliant Diver course. I know this because not only am I a certified self-reliant diver, I am also authorized to teach others how to do it too. If they didn’t want people to do it they wouldn’t have made this official brochure for the course.
Diving solo is not for every diver. For a start you need to be experienced. The minimum requirements for the course are one hundred dives, the same as you need to do your instructor course. If you’re planning on diving alone a lot and like having your own dive gear then it can also get expensive, you’re going to need 2 of nearly everything. You need to carry a second tank with a second regulator. Two dive computers, two surface marker buoys and even a second mask is recommended. It can get spendy! As self-reliant divers we carry a lot of stuff that we’re not planning to use. We carry it “just in case”.
For the right people, that cost of equipment and extra bulk is worth it.
Photographers really benefit from being able to dive solo. Maybe you want to spend 45 minutes in one spot waiting for that blenny hiding in the rocks to get used to your presence so that it shows itself. A group of fun divers aren’t going to wait for you to get the perfect shot. Being able to go where you want, when you want and for as long as you want is a huge plus for photographers.
Divemasters and instructors can also really enjoy diving solo. When we’re diving with customers and even when we’re just diving for fun, we have a duty of care to people less experienced and qualified than ourselves. So when we’re diving with a group we dive with our own level of risk plus everybody else’s. Diving alone allows us to get away from the crowds and truly enjoy being underwater.
Even if you do not want to dive alone, the self-reliant course can make you a much better diver and dive buddy. During the course we expand your ability to respond appropriately to underwater emergencies. We improve your gas management and how you rig your equipment. Over 2 days including a theory sessions and 3 dives you will work on all aspects of your diving with me, an experienced instructor who will try to make you into the best diver you can be, wether you’re diving alone or not.
Our goal is to be the preeminent dive shop of choice on Roatan for the discerning diver. Our focus is on small groups of friends and families, providing individual attention in a safe, relaxed, friendly and fun environment. We strive to provide world-class levels of quality, customer service, professionalism and experience in all aspects of our business. To provide truly professional boutique diving on Roatan.