A funny thing happened to me this past weekend.
By Alex Brylske
Photo by Joseph C. Dovala
I was on a dive charter that included mostly tourists from up north who were escaping the ravages of winter. As is common, some were couples while others were alone. The couples of course had their buddy assignment covered.
The diver in question was vehemently refusing to dive with a stranger, insisting that he be allowed to dive solo. (He also apparently produced a card verifying a “solo diver” certification.) The captain would hear none of it and broke off the confrontation with the ultimatum that “you either dive with a buddy or you’re not diving from this boat.” Begrudgingly, the diver agreed.
After the dive, the angry would-be solo diver was more than eager to talk, so I spoke to him about the incident. It turned out that, indeed, he had taken a course in solo diving and said that he rarely ever dived with a buddy. His rationale was, in my view, quite solid and involved two premises. First, he resented having to dive with someone who he believed was less qualified than he was. He saw it as, in his words, “a baby-sitting assignment for which I had to pay.” He went on to cite several examples from past experience where he had to assist less qualified buddies with problems, thus ruining his own dive.