“As the old adage goes, Dive Alone, Die Alone. Discover the value and importance of a good dive buddy.”
One of the first things you learn when you do your entry level diving course, regardless of which training agency it might be, is that you always dive with a buddy. Accompanying this is the all too well known saying “Dive Alone, Die Alone”. Of course this saying portrays the ultimate extremity and outcome of what happens when you don’t dive with a buddy, however what one should consider is that your dive buddy is not just there to help you out of such an extreme case as being out of air but with the simple little things that make diving that much easier and more fun.
When I go diving, regardless of it being a huge group or just myself and my buddy, I believe there is nothing better than having that extra set of hands to help out. Your buddy may be able to help you in a variety of situations, the most common being to help zip up your wetsuit, or even get it on in the first place. From here it moves to helping you get your SCUBA gear on your back and getting to the water where one further relies on each other to help put ones fins on, do a pre-dive safety check and get in the water safely. Naturally this is a two way street and you should help your buddy with whatever they need as well. It doesn’t matter if you need more help than what your buddy does or even the other way round, it is all about helping each other where it is needed.
Considering the season change now, I have changed my exposure protection and added a chicken vest. For those unaware of what this is, it is basically an extra chest and back section attached to a hood made of neoprene. Much like a sleeveless hoody that one might wear. This makes my diving much more comfortable and fun as I am a lot warmer in the water, however if it were not for my buddy to help me take the chicken vest off afterwards I would be stuck in it! A lot of people are able to take off a chicken vest without much trouble but here I really struggle. So my buddy helps me pull it off and two seconds later it’s all sorted.
Matters like the above are prime examples why one should dive with a buddy. It’s all about the little things that make a change in your day of diving. Buddies are also not only there to help you get kitted up, but it is also someone that you can enjoy the dive with. Can you imagine that you go and do this magnificent coastal dive on your own, and you see manta rays, whale sharks, tiger sharks, dolphins, turtles and much more.
Now to me this sounds like an amazing dive, really it does, however, if you are on your own, who do you experience this with? There is nothing better than relaxing after a dive and exchanging stories from which side you saw the marine life and what interaction you had, showing each other the sights underwater. This all makes the diving that much more fun and exciting.
So to recap, the value of a good dive buddy is enormous! For you to have someone that is interested in what you are, willing to help you when you need it and for you to do the same for them and if it may occur that you for some reason need more serious help, that you know you can rely on them and they can rely on you, there is nothing better than having that buddy if for anything than just to enjoy an amazing dive with. I appeal to you to go out and make friends with and become buddies with one or more fellow divers for all the reasons I have listed, I promise you it is worth it!