Generally, diving is a buddy sport but with other priorities at our disposal sometimes one might not be available for the other. Practically, it doesn’t mean we always need to bring one for that next dive trip, impasse is out of order. Secondly, traveling alone (even for women) has become common nowadays so it should never be a hindrance. For me, I do not allow this reason to stop me from doing what I love. Every dive trip is an opportunity to meet people, new discoveries, new learning and new sightings. Here are few tips to share whenever you went alone for that much needed travel to that small paradise you have been dying to dive, and even if your diving friends cancelled last minute, remain confident that you will definitely get a blast underwater!
- Plan ahead and choose an independent-friendly destination, where they can accommodate one diver and can arrange to join with others who are also booked for the day. Let them know you are alone. I went solo for my open water certification and met my dive instructor on the first day of lessons yet there was no hassle, I just fit in. Two years later, I went solo again confident enough for my advance open water course!
- Always choose an accredited dive shop where safety is their foremost concern, verify their existing system in case of emergency especially if on remote location.
- Always talk to the divemaster ahead and let the diveshop know your interests and plans on the trip – a wreck to explore, a sandbar off the coast, sharks or cetacians in the area, etc. Your level of skill is also important as they can always arrange and get a better chance of finding a complementary dive partner. Last March, my DM joined me with a 67 year old Japanese, I felt comfortable listening to his stories filled with wisdom. He followed suit getting up to the boat with his gears on just like me, he didn’t do it in the first dive!
- Confidence is of paramount importance underwater, hone self-rescue skills to help you stay safe no matter whom you are diving with. Know your limitations on the other hand.
- Do not prearrange too many activities before you go, one of the best parts of solo travel is having the freedom to do more interesting spur-of-the-moment activities with people you meet during the trip.
- Give your itinerary to a friend or family member back home and let them know you went alone.
Let your love for the depths never cease and let your passion lasts a lifetime!