Dysfunctional Buddy Systems

There is no factor in diving more difficult to deal with than the human factor. While most will agree that a buddy is important in diving, many will also agree that the human dive buddy is perhaps the most random element of diving.

FOLLOW ME, I AM RIGHT BEHIND YOU

Who’s the leader? Does it matter? The follower is sure to disappear, either bolting ahead or engrossing themselves deeply in a kelp thicket so as to become invisible. If you are going to be the leader, first get a good follower.

THE S.O.B.

Same Ocean Buddy (S.O.B.) is the guy that says they’ll buddy dive with you, but the last you saw of them was a blur of bubbles and fins. Back on the boat they were your best buddy because they were, after all, at least in the same ocean at the same time.

WHY WE WEAR A DIVE KNIFE

If a shark shows up, you stab your buddy to distract the shark, giving you time to exit the water safely.

HAND SIGNALS

Low on air: beat fist on chest. Out of air: Slashing across throat. I want to buddy breathe: Fingers touched to regulator. No, I don’t want to buddy breath: Middle finger extended upward.

Diving with a buddy is fun. You make new friends, cement relationships with old diving acquaintances, and double your pleasure. Just take the time to avoid dysfunctional underwater relationships.

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