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Bring Your Own Scuba Gear #53677
05/07/2015 04:00 PM
05/07/2015 04:00 PM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 5
New Orleans
bwl1400 Offline OP
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Hey everyone,

Long time reader, first time poster. Thanks to everyone for all of their insight. This site becomes somewhat of an addiction leading up to a trip.

This will be my 6th trip to the BVI, but first with friends rather than just family. My family has always been content with snorkeling only, but this trip includes a friend who is a seasoned diver and is insistent on bringing his own dive gear. He is the only one who is trained to dive and will be the only one diving the entire trip. We have chartered a Sunsail 444 and will have 10 people aboard, so space is already a concern. A few questions:

1) On the 444, how much storage is available in the stern to accommodate the gear (the size of oversized rolling luggage)?

2) Will this be miserable for the rest of the crew? I already told him that he won't be able to run off with the dinghy and leave 9 others stranded with no way to get to shore.

Has anyone experienced this before? I offered the option of DiveBVI's "Rendezvous Diving" where they pick you up at the specified anchorage, but haven't gotten much traction with it. With such a large crew I don't want any reason for anyone to have anything less than a spectacular time.

May 31st can't come fast enough!

BVI Sponsors
Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: bwl1400] #53678
05/07/2015 04:10 PM
05/07/2015 04:10 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 11
Orange County, CA
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ItsAllGood Offline
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Orange County, CA
I would think a rendezvous dive would be his only option if no others in your group are certified. You never dive alone.

Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: bwl1400] #53679
05/07/2015 04:11 PM
05/07/2015 04:11 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 5,812
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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No issue on room for the gear. He is going to be solo diving which is a bit of a issue but his choice. You can fit plenty of stops in where he can dive and the others can snorkle. The Indians, Rhone, Dogs, Cooper and Anglefish reef would all work well.
G

Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: bwl1400] #53680
05/07/2015 04:11 PM
05/07/2015 04:11 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,613
Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
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1) Plenty of storage - I wouldn't keep the gear in the bag, but I'd store it in the bow storage area. Rental tanks can be stored in a rack along the side or stern.

2) Not at all. For starters, he really shouldn't be diving alone. If I was the Captain, I wouldn't allow it. I'd insist on him not diving or doing rendezvous dives only. Only issue with the rendezvous is it takes time as its a two tank dive. Pickup is often around 9am and drop off at 1pm. One time we didn't get back until 3 due to a boat issue.

We always dive, so its never an issue with us, but I'm a diver so that helps. But when doing it from the boat (which again, I wouldn't advise since he'd be solo) its easy to do at a snorkel stop as many dive sites are great for snorkeling. While the rendezvous takes more time, that can be worked out as well as the pickup and drop off spots could be different or the rendezvous could be done from a spot where you might spend more time.

Ideally spend two nights at Leverick. Arrive on a Thursday and you can rent a car and go out to eat at Coco Maya or Chez Bamboo and then Friday explore the island which he goes off diving with Dive BVI (right there at Leverick) and then Friday night you've got the BBQ. This way no one is holding anyone else up.


Matt
Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: maytrix] #53681
05/07/2015 04:18 PM
05/07/2015 04:18 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 5,441
An island state of mind
tradewinds Offline
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You offer valid suggestions, but it sounds like he's already kinda being a pain in the [censored]. If you're the skipper, I'd lay down the law before you get there. All it takes is one person to ruin a trip.

Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: tradewinds] #53682
05/07/2015 05:03 PM
05/07/2015 05:03 PM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 320
TAMPA BAY, USA
lookinatfifty Offline
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Where there is no "rule" saying never dive alone (many experienced divers do so) doing so isn't advisable by NAUI through which I was certified two years ago and my instructors beat that into our heads. With only a little more than 20 hours of bottom time, I don't feel comfortable doing it solo. This sounds like something you guys will need to work out on your own.

Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: lookinatfifty] #53683
05/07/2015 05:23 PM
05/07/2015 05:23 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,613
Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
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I have a friend who is a very experienced dive master. Not only would he never dive alone, but he wouldn't even dive on a trip with us if everyone was diving and no one would be on the boat.

It's just a risk that isn't worth taking. Many things can go wrong and if they do and you are solo, you are much more at risk of having other issues because of it.

But you are right, there's no rule. I actually believe it isn't even regulated and a dive shop could give a tank and gear rental to anyone (i.e. there's no laws preventing it) but for obvious reasons they don't.


Matt
Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: maytrix] #53684
05/07/2015 05:34 PM
05/07/2015 05:34 PM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 409
Redmond, WA
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Diving solo is a risk factor like any other... diving deep, entering caves, etc. It comes down to understanding the risk, taking appropriate precautions to reduce the risk and accepting what remains.

The scuba orgs (PADI at least) have simply decided not to offer it.


M4000 "Lio Kai"
Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: MrEZgoin] #53685
05/07/2015 05:39 PM
05/07/2015 05:39 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 8,528
Ya never know...
HillsideView Offline
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Ya never know...
"Will this be miserable for the rest of the crew?"....probably. 10 people going, 1 has a special interest which requires time and of course,location. So everyone twiddles their thumbs while he is diving and then, of course, will be expected to lend a hand and also keep an eye out while he is diving. Depending on the other crew members, could work. If it were me, he can arrange rendezvous diving and we'll tell him where to meet up with us later. Just have a feeling this is not going to work out.


My foot fits right into my shoe and my shoe will fit right into your...
Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: HillsideView] #53686
05/07/2015 05:50 PM
05/07/2015 05:50 PM
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Posts: 1,805
BVI
Zanshin Offline
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I was just on a 444 and there's lots of room both on deck and in various storage areas for scuba gear. To contradict maytrix, I know many dive masters from various operations here in the Caribbean and not a single one of them has not done solo dives. I also dive solo - but never in a new location or one that might be classified as "difficult". Most of the sites in the BVI are easy dives with no great depth and no strong current, but you have to take the boat there for the one diver while the rest of the crew do something else... which will probably not work out.

Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: Zanshin] #53687
05/07/2015 06:00 PM
05/07/2015 06:00 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,613
Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
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Hillside - I don't condone solo diving, but he could easily dive spots where the crew snorkels. Indians is a great example of this. the Chimney is as well.

Zanshin, I'm not saying people don't do it. I just know most I dive with wouldn't. And I wouldn't allow it on my trip. All other reasons aside, if they do have an issue, that would certainly make it miserable for the rest of the crew. Certainly there are things you can do to minimize the risk when diving solo though... There's already enough risks though that personally, I wouldn't add in any others.


Matt
Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: Zanshin] #53688
05/07/2015 06:01 PM
05/07/2015 06:01 PM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 5
New Orleans
bwl1400 Offline OP
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Thanks everyone. He is a dive master and worked at a dive shop in Costa Rica for a year, so I am less concerned about solo dives (although I agree, still not a great idea).

On charter, I prefer to get up early and start moving so that we can have a relaxing afternoon at the next destination and not worry about a full anchorage. Seems like this may conflict with the way they operate rendezvous dives.

Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: bwl1400] #53689
05/07/2015 06:48 PM
05/07/2015 06:48 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,613
Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
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Typical rendezvous dive they pick up at 9 and get you back by 1. If you waited until he was picked up to move and then they dropped him off at your next stop that might work.

Otherwise if you are ok with him diving solo, that works fine too.


Matt
Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: maytrix] #53690
05/07/2015 07:20 PM
05/07/2015 07:20 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,129
Ontario, Canada
warren460 Offline
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Just reasonably limit his dive sites. Ie use sites suitable to dive and snorkel. The Indians and mountain point could work. Monkey point if the vis is good. We have dove at sandy spit and Norman island mooring field too.


Warren S/V Scuba Doo
Lagoon 50 (winner of best crewed yacht under 55 feet at the St. Thomas crewed yacht boat show) and Lagoon 450, (both part of the Charter Caribe fleet (all inclusive charters) -St Thomas USVI https://chartercaribe.com/charters/ ).
Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: warren460] #53691
05/07/2015 09:57 PM
05/07/2015 09:57 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 91
Maryland
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SteveInMD Offline
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I've done the trip with a solo diver along. It was no problem. He did some diving while others snorkeled and some rendevous. If the diver took 15 minutes longer than the group, no one cared at all. Some advice - not just for diving, but in general, especially with 10 onboard, everyone needs to make an effort to be tolerant of each other, flexible, and considerate.

I'm now a diver myself. I rarely ever dive alone, but he's an adult, right?

Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: SteveInMD] #53692
05/08/2015 01:15 AM
05/08/2015 01:15 AM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,429
Villa Euphoria Leverick Bay, P...
mdoyle9999 Offline
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For what it's worth, you're the captain. It's up to you to make the best decisions for the boat. It sounds like you know what the right answer is - so, be a captain.

Last edited by mdoyle9999; 05/08/2015 01:22 AM.
Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: mdoyle9999] #53693
05/08/2015 06:02 AM
05/08/2015 06:02 AM
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Posts: 252
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jboothe Offline
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You guys should really get with the times. Solo SCUBA diving is becoming more and more accepted. It can be just as safe as buddy diving and depending on who you are diving with...safer. As with everything, it may not be for all divers but I wouldn't think bad things just because it isn't for you.

PADI Self-Reliant Diver - http://www.padi.com/scuba-diving/padi-co...ve-specialties/

SDI Solo Diver course - https://www.tdisdi.com/sdi/get-certified/Solo-Diver-Course/

NAUI - http://www.nauisa.org/archives/solo.html

https://www.tdisdi.com/the-self-reliant-diver/

But to help address your concerns. I would get a plan together ahead of time and just designate the sites, days and times he wants to dive. Maybe 2 sites with 2 dives at each site (4 total dives) over the week? Realisticaly you're just talking about a few hours out of the whole week and if you plan accordingly you should be able to work that out.

Last edited by jboothe; 05/08/2015 06:16 AM.
Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: jboothe] #53694
05/08/2015 06:48 AM
05/08/2015 06:48 AM
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Posts: 5,812
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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As I mentioned in the earlier post there are numerous stops where he can dive while others can snorkle or enjoy a beach. You might as a compromise consider having him rent 3 or even 4 tanks to minimize stops for filling tanks. That can be more disruptive to a schedule then the actual diving. He should also insure he is geared up and ready to go when you reach a dive sight. We often have all our divers in the water 5 minutes after picking up a ball and our back underway 5 minutes after the last diver is out. Non divers often can't even finish lunch if done right.
G

Last edited by GeorgeC1; 05/08/2015 06:52 AM.
Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: bwl1400] #53695
05/08/2015 08:52 AM
05/08/2015 08:52 AM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,978
VI,GA,AZ
sail445 Offline
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Another alternative is for him to rent a Kayak so when at anchor he can use it to find a nice spot to dive.
Almost all the anchorages especially near the entrances you'll find some great diving.
He should bring his gear except for the weight belt and tanks which you can order ahead of time to be delivered to the boat.

Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: sail445] #53696
05/08/2015 09:15 AM
05/08/2015 09:15 AM
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Posts: 60
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mayjong1 Offline
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also-
don't forget if he is diving on his own, you/he will have to have tanks on the boat (think storage space) and get them re-filled as needed.
that being said, I would never dive alone...
you never need a buddy until you NEED a buddy....

Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: mayjong1] #53697
05/08/2015 10:10 AM
05/08/2015 10:10 AM
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Posts: 279
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windward2c Offline
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As stated, room is not a issue for gear. We stored three peoples gear the last trip no problem. Call Dive BVI, they will offer a one tank dive in the afternoons. Still a pain. Pickup like 2 and drop off back at 5. Conditions make timely variable. We were at Scrub but the sea was so mixed by the dogs we went to the Rhone - like 30 mins away. Point is if others are on boat they will be incovn by his schedule which in my book is not cool. best option as stated is let him dive where others snorkel.

Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: windward2c] #53698
05/08/2015 11:03 AM
05/08/2015 11:03 AM
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 164
SouthEastern Pennsylvania
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WayneC Offline
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SouthEastern Pennsylvania
I think I'd have to let it be known that this is a 10 person trip not a 1 person trip. Majority should rule and the Captain gets 2 votes.

Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: WayneC] #53699
05/08/2015 12:33 PM
05/08/2015 12:33 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,613
Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
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Opinion aside on whether diving solo is good or not, logistically speaking, diving from the boat wouldn't be an issue with time and wouldn't impact the others. One dive at a snorkel spot fits in fine with snorkeling.

A rendezvous would be more complicated, but certainly possible as well. As I said, best if you spend two nights at Leverick Bay.


Matt
Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: jboothe] #53700
05/08/2015 04:39 PM
05/08/2015 04:39 PM
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,355
New Jersey, USA
DanS Offline
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I can barely call myself a diver anymore, since it's been 9 years since my last dive (gotta get back into it). But I will offer the opinion that diving with a pick-up buddy that you know nothing about may not be any safer than diving alone.

On my dives, I've always tried to keep a close eye on my buddy, while also looking out for myself and basically assuming that I can't expect any help at depth. That's one reason I started carrying a Spare Air.

Dan <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Cheers.gif" alt="" />

Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: DanS] #53701
05/08/2015 09:17 PM
05/08/2015 09:17 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 119
Georgia
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cruzdoc Offline
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I'm with Maytrix on this one. No reason he cannot dive sites where you snorkel for the most part and everyone is happy then. There are a few places like Cooper where you can take the dinghy around Cistern Point and do some deeper dives if desired while the rest of the group hangs out on the boat or the beach club doing their own thing.

Rendezvous diving would be more difficult to control from a timing standpoint. Extra tanks would limit air fills and is pretty cheap for the week so that is a great idea. (4 would be plenty and probably just need one refill spot for the week.

As long as everyone on the boat is reasonable and laid back (a requirement on my boat), then no reason a good time cannot be had by all while accommodating everyone's wants and needs for the trip.

"The Guide to Diving and Snorkeling in the BVI" by Jeff Williams is a great resource for diver and captain to find reasonable locations along your expected itinerary so you can plan better. I used it to plan our upcoming trip where we have 4 out of 12 diving to help avoid a mutinous crew. Lol. Every place where we are doing a dive we have a snorkeling option as well.

Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: cruzdoc] #53702
05/09/2015 04:24 PM
05/09/2015 04:24 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 837
Louisville, KY
NoelHall Offline
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Easy enough to store a couple of tanks and gear, as well as finding compressors for fills. In my mind it would depend on the expectations of the one diver on board. If he simply wants to dive off the boat at locations where you happen to be anyway, I don't see any inconvenience. If he expects you to take him to a dive location while everyone else on board will have to sit and wait, that would not be acceptable. Nothing wrong with having a diver on board to retrieve items dropped in the water, as well as cutting line off the propeller if necessary. Solo diving would be a personal choice.


Noel Hall
"It is humbling indeed, to discover my own opinion is only correct less than 50% of the time."

www.noelhall.com
Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: NoelHall] #53703
05/09/2015 06:32 PM
05/09/2015 06:32 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,211
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
sail2wind Offline
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I know with Blue Water Divers and UBS, if you rent tanks from them, they will do a straight exchange, no waiting for tanks to be filled.

Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: sail2wind] #53704
05/10/2015 08:03 AM
05/10/2015 08:03 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,613
Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
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I think all the companies will do that. We used Sail Caribbean last time and just swapped out the tanks too.


Matt
Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: maytrix] #53705
05/10/2015 10:16 AM
05/10/2015 10:16 AM
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Posts: 397
Colorado
stormster Offline
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We took divers on a trip once. I told them I'd only do dives where I could drop them off and stay in the same spot to pick them up.

One thing that I had not taken into account was how long it can take divers to get ready. It's not just the dive time you need to account for, it's also the prep time.

Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: stormster] #53706
05/10/2015 10:59 AM
05/10/2015 10:59 AM
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GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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If you are on a cat all the prep should be done before you reach the dive site. It's a bit more difficult on a mono but with only one or two divers can be done. There are a limited number of dive balls and as a courtesy time on the balls should be limited.
The same thing applies post dive. I often see boats on a ball with other boats waiting take 20 or 30 minutes to break down there gear. I have even watched some have lunch. Post dive if a boat is waiting I get the ladders up and off the ball as soon as the last diver is aboard.
G

Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: stormster] #53707
05/10/2015 01:41 PM
05/10/2015 01:41 PM
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Posts: 2,978
VI,GA,AZ
sail445 Offline
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If the diver wants total independence of the crew the Kayak is the way to go.
Some of the Kayaks have a molded horizontal tank rack built in with straps to secure a tank. This will give him a chance to explore the different coves for diving.

Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: sail445] #53708
05/10/2015 01:55 PM
05/10/2015 01:55 PM
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Posts: 5,613
Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
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With one diver, prep and post time should be minimal. The only thing I'd remind him since he'll be using his own gear is not to go crazy rinsing off. He can go crazy the last day at the dock or any other time you are on the dock and have access to water.


Matt
Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: bwl1400] #53709
05/10/2015 03:40 PM
05/10/2015 03:40 PM
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Posts: 2,316
Ill, USA
Will_L Offline
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Didn't catch the whole thread, but unless the one diver expects to dive with great frequency while others twirl their thumbs, I don't think this will be a problem. Example, there is a nice big reef behind the anchorage at Marina Cay toward Great Camano. Your diver could explore it...some could snorkel it..others could spend time liming on Pussers beach. It's a great spot to teach youngsters to snorkel at the old dock in front of Pussers..always fish. Shallow water...

Cooper Island offers similar opportunity... Of course the Indians ... Anyway I don't believe there is much cause to worry about a conflict.

Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: bwl1400] #53710
05/10/2015 06:07 PM
05/10/2015 06:07 PM
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Posts: 914
Michigan
rhans Offline
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Stuff happens. Leaving the stern of the Rhone I had a second stage go to free flow. Originally I had plenty air for the safety stop on the way up, that changed and my dive buddy and I became best friends on the way. Just saying Thanks Jer.

Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: rhans] #53711
05/10/2015 06:33 PM
05/10/2015 06:33 PM
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Posts: 5,613
Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
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And that's just one of the added risks rhans.. there are ways to really limit the risk of solo diving though - have a spare air source with you..etc. Still, if you have a competent dive buddy, its always safer to dive with someone.


Matt
Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: maytrix] #53712
05/11/2015 10:30 AM
05/11/2015 10:30 AM
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Posts: 10,211
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
sail2wind Offline
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OK, 4 pages, should he bring his own dive gear. He didn't ask for a dive safety lesson.

Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: sail2wind] #53713
05/11/2015 10:45 AM
05/11/2015 10:45 AM
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Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
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Quote
sail2wind said:
OK, 4 pages, should he bring his own dive gear. He didn't ask for a dive safety lesson.


I'd agree with you if the person asking the question was the diver. But he's not - so divers sharing thoughts isn't a bad thing.


Matt
Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: maytrix] #53714
05/11/2015 12:11 PM
05/11/2015 12:11 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,211
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
sail2wind Offline
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sail2wind  Offline
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Posts: 10,211
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
OK, I agree, but should he bring his own gear?

Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: sail2wind] #53715
05/11/2015 12:31 PM
05/11/2015 12:31 PM
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 252
J
jboothe Offline
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jboothe  Offline
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J
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 252
So I'll try to be helpful. If it was me, I would just bring a mask, reg and BC. The snorkel gear that Sunsail puts on the boats was actually nice gear so instead of hauling fins back and forth I would just use theirs. The masks they supply are nice two but I would prefer to use my own for diving. I can fit my travel BC, reg, SMB and mask in medium size carry on back pack. Obviously you will rent the tanks and weights.

As far as time for diving, I would certainly think you could make some time or coordinate diving and snorkeling with no problem. If he is a diehard diver, it would be hard to spend a week there and not dive some.

Re: Bring Your Own Scuba Gear [Re: sail2wind] #53716
05/11/2015 01:11 PM
05/11/2015 01:11 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,613
Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
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maytrix  Offline
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Quote
sail2wind said:
OK, I agree, but should he bring his own gear?


Of course.. I think that was actually answered pretty quickly. smile


Matt
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