Reprinted from the July 2014 Issues of UnderCurrent Magazine. The full article showcased dive groups catering to the special interests of divers. SingleDivers.com was one of the featured groups! Here is the reprint about us.
"Many solo divers booking on a group trip
end up being leftovers, and they get the
insta-buddy or insta-roomie from hell . . .
In our group, solo divers are prime time."
Kamala Shadduck started SingleDivers. com on a bet. She regularly ran wreck and shark dives off Morehead City, NC, and her clients were male divers, who bet her she couldn't get "girls" to go diving. But she convinced 13 women and 13 men to go on a dive trip together to Cozumel in January 2004, and when she got calls afterwards from other divers asking whether she was planning more dives for "singles groups," she realized there was a bigger group of divers she could cater to.
But this is not a swingin' singles' diver group, it's a group for solo divers, regardless of marital status, to travel together. "Many solo divers booking on a group trip end up being leftovers, or the third or fifth wheel," says Shadduck. "They get the insta-buddy or insta-roomie from hell, or the worst, they get stuck rooming with a member of the opposite sex to avoid paying a single supplement. In our group, solo divers are prime time. Rooming is a breeze because there are 20 potential roommate options, not just one. For dive buddy options, someone is bound to be a good fit when you have a pool of many versus a pool of few."
Each dive trip offers three boat dives, and night dives and extra dives are set up in advance -- and they actually happen, Shadduck promises. "When those dives are left till the last minute, people often change their minds or lose interest, and then the minimum number of divers isn't met. By planning early, we make it part of the agenda, and it's almost always likely we'll have enough people to offer a large slate of activities and extra dives."
SingleDivers never cancels a trip, no matter how few people are on it. A same-gender roommate is guaranteed (a detailed rooming survey is done in advance) or else the single supplement is free. Everyone has a chance to mingle, via meet-and-greets, group meals, contests and social events. "You are never required to participate, but it's there to partake of," Shadduck says. "We are totally inclusive, and we never have cliques."
SingleDivers runs 18 trips a year, and Shadduck tries to mix it up by diving skills, price point and travelers' interests. Upcoming 2014 trips include diving North Carolina's Cooper River for prehistoric fossils July 31 to August 5, two trips to Roatan in October, and three trips to the Galapagos aboard the Humboldt Explorer in December (one is a New Year's Eve trip).
Shadduck says SingleDivers is great for divers who worry they won't have fun if they go it alone on a dive trip. "If you are not a social butterfly able to talk to anyone, then having the structure that a group like mine does can be the difference between a fantastic vacation and a so-so dive trip." ( www.singledivers.com )