For anyone who has taken an open water certification course we all know that it is not a good idea to go diving without a buddy. On dives our buddies are our lifelines and are there to help us when we find ourselves in a serious situation. So for anyone who may be considering diving solo first you must be very self sufficient, you don’t need help getting into any of your gear and don’t need to be reminded to check your air on the dive. Solo diving is not for beginners, I have done hundreds of dives and am very familiar with the dive sites that I dive at. With that begin said it is not uncommon in Monterey for divers especially photographers to dive alone.
For my dives I usually do my best to over prepare, i always carry 2 computers to ensure that i never exceed my NoDeco Limit, one of my computers is Air Integrated and I have a standard SPG as well. I do not bring a pony bottle because I vary rarely solo dive but if i had one I would bring it with me. I also use a Kayak to reach my dive site, this allows me to easily get passed the rough water on the shore and put my gear on directly above where I intend to dive. This means that if i get tired during the dive or at the end i have a place i can rest before heading in.
With this being said solo diving is a very different experience, you only have to worry about yourself, and your own air consumption. so you can dive as long as you want, you do lose a second pair of eyes for spotting different things but you also don’t know about anything that you might have missed. Other perks include not getting kicked or bumped by a buddy or the visibility being compromised by a buddy who bounces on the bottom and stirs up the sediment. Some times you are fortunate enough to find the beauty and serenity of the ocean without the extra distractions of other divers.
Check out my dives from my two solo dives at Carmel River State Beach and Breakwater.