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Are you afraid to go on an SD trip?


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#1 ScubaPunk

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 03:23 PM

I know times are tuff right now financially, but I would like to leave money out of this conversation. Let's just say if money were no object, what is keeping you from jumping on an SD trip? For those members who have been on one or several SD trips, how did you feel on your first one? Do you have any experiences to share about your first trip that might help assure a new member?

I have heard from a couple members recently and many over time about how they are or were a little apprehensive about joining a group of people who they have never met to go on vacation with. I guess I didn't feel that way when I went on my first trip, I was just so excited about the diving, that I didn't think of much else. On the other hand, many people do kind of wonder about us.... here are some things that might run through their minds:

are we safe? are we wild crazy partiers? are we a bunch of eccentric dorks? are we all super incredible snobish divers who don't want to dive with newbies? are we ignorant divers who don't dive safe? are we accepting of new people into the group? will I feel left out? how will I find my ride at the airport? what kind of a roommate will I get? what if I'm not single? I'm sure you could add a million more.

My hope is that we might be able alleviate some fear for people who are sitting on the fence about going on a trip, and maybe answer some of the questions that they are affraid to ask.

My first trip with SD was to Bonaire and it set the bar pretty high. Bonaire is still probably my favorite place, but I haven't been to that many places. It was all about the diving for me. My roommate the first trip was WreckWench...nuff said! :wakawaka: Just kidding, she was a great roommate. We were in a condo with maybe 3 or 4 rooms at Buddy Dive so we had 6 or 8 women in the condo. Everyone was very friendly, the dive op was great, I learned to shore dive after getting beat up a couple of times on the rocks! Don't ask me how, but this group always manages to find each other at the airports, with or without the SD T-shirts! Aside from the diving, most will agree that the People are the best thing about SD. We are not a certain type of people, we are all very, very, very different! That's just one of the things I think make it so great.

So tell us your story, or ask those questions that everyone is curious about.

#2 Bubble2Bubble

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 04:14 PM

Sandy,
What a wonderful post/topic !
I am in a unique position to start from the very beggings of SD Trips.
So here are my answers to your questions...
1.are we safe? Yes, Its been safety first every dive trip
2.are we wild crazy partiers? Not really, alot of divers talk the talk but know that excessive drinking has no place in diving safety.
3.are we a bunch of eccentric dorks? define eccentric's dork's PLZ
4.are we all super incredible snobish divers who don't want to dive with newbies? I know for myself that I am looking forward every SD diving trip to help other divers that might be new to diving feel welcome and wanted and every SD diver I have meet feels the same way.
5.are we ignorant divers who don't dive safe? No Way Buddy, If that statement was true I would put a (walking away smiley here)
6.are we accepting of new people into the group? Yes.
7.will I feel left out? No.
8.how will I find my ride at the airport? Good Question.
9.what kind of a roommate will I get? By filling out the rooming survey.
10.what if I'm not single? Then your buddlyless and thats no biggy.
11.I'm sure you could add a million more. Yes.

Mike aka Bubski
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#3 scubaski

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 05:09 PM

I met SingleDivers.com and Kamala at a HH at Fantasy Island Singlesweek 2006 (?). The HH was in a room filled with divers. One lucky guy was streghted out on the bed with about 6 women around him sidesaddle. Looked like a fun group!!! :wakawaka: When planning my next trip I thought of the SD.com website and another SW to Grenada coincided with my vacation. My very 1st true SD.com trip. I'll either be diving or seeing about 5-6 divers from this Grenada trip this weekend, Ya Baby!! :P :wakawaka:

So for me the leap of faith moments were.

1- If I pay by check will the company still be solvent ?? After that 1st trip I don't have any hesitation paying by check. I like saving 3% on the trip and the fexibility of time payments. If your ulta cautious use your credit card.
2- Will my roommate and I get along. Well my 1st roomie snored loud and all night, I needed and used ear plugs. WW came up to me the next day knowing I was a newbie and I mention the snoring thing and a quick word to the roommate who just needed to sleep on his side and all was well.
3- Will I fit in??? Well I think you get what you put into it on the social sense. My trick is to provide some of the sweets ( TWIZZLERS were a hit in Bonaire) during the surface interval which allows me to introduce myself and try to get new faces and names down.
4- New divers are always welcome with more advanced divers always lending helping hands.
5- The # 1 question I get when promoting and explaining the SD.com site/trips is the SINGLE thing ie: is it a dating-swapping-diving- ClubMed-Hedonism- site, which I explain it is a single supplement avoidence site for divers that want to dive with other divers and make friends with some. :wakawaka:
MADRE FELIZ DIA MAMŃ

#4 Morish Idol

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 05:33 PM

hi all
well if money was no object then i think that i would have only one concern. from all the trips i have seen most seem to be a good time. but to me they seem a little expensive. i have seen some trips that were comparable to SD`s for less. now i havent had the chance to take a trip with SD even though i want to, see first line.lol. so for me it is the cost of the trip and then you have to search for a flight.
is there not a way to schedule a trip with the cost of the flight already in. and is there a reason the trips are a little more.
just a couple of thoughts i had. thanks

#5 Landlocked Dive Nut

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 05:37 PM

Great questions, and a great topic! Those who were around last year when I joined know my story, but I'm going to write this for members who don't know me, or who join in the future.

I joined SD in June 2008 when my marriage started falling apart and I lost the only dive buddy I had ever had - my husband. I had fallen in love with diving and did not want to give it up, and my local dive shop does not travel much and there is no local diving to speak of around Kansas City, so I went looking for an alternative and I found SingleDivers.com. Finding out that it was also for "married but buddyless" divers made me feel OK about joining, since I was technically still married but was no longer vacationing with him.

I liked the feel of the site, and the friendly welcomes I received when I posted my introduction. I delved into the old threads and read a lot, and learned about what SD was about and about some of the "main players" of SD. A very short time later, I signed up for the Roatan trip over Labor Day 2008, and started participating on the site, and in particular following the Roatan trip thread, where questions were asked by others and answered, so I learned.

When my husband moved out and I asked for coping help, the outpouring of kindness & concern from the SD members towards a complete stranger was overwhelming and awe-inspiring, and it cemented my connection with this club.

I'm an experienced traveler, so getting myself somewhere is never an issue for me. ScubaPunk is right, because most of us will meet up with another SD member at an airport somewhere along the route. It's nice to get to know some fellow divers before you even get to the island! When I arrived in Roatan, there was a wide variety of people to meet....some younger and some older; some very experienced divers and some brand new; some shy and some very outgoing; you get the picture! But a strange thing happens when divers get together.....the outgoing ones draw the shy ones into conversations, the experienced divers start talking to the newer divers about diving & giving pointers, and before we knew it, we found that we had things in common besides diving and we were laughing & having a good time. There were no cliques of people hanging out with just each other. If anybody had a problem with their roommate or assigned dive buddy, it was handled quietly and professionally, without the rest of the group knowing about it. Everybody seems comfortable with everyone else's marital status, even when couples come on the trip.

I have to admit that even though my first assigned dive buddy was in a DiveMaster program on Utila so I figured he had some good diving skills, I was still a bit nervous the first day about diving with someone new to me. By the end of that trip, I had been buddied up with several different people and I was fine with it. I have since improved my own diving skills and have gone on 3 SD trips, so I'm comfortable diving with any recreational diver who shows they're a safe and considerate dive buddy. If any of the divers would ever show unsafe diving practices, I'm confident that it would be addressed, also quietly and professionally. There is usually more than one DiveMaster on the trip, plus whatever DM the dive operation provides. That's a lot of DM's in the water with us!

The trip survey helps the trip coordinators match you up with similar roommates and dive buddies. It's not perfect, but thankfully most of us are there to dive and don't mind being flexible if a change is needed. Some drink more than others, but it's ALWAYS after the diving is done for the day, and I have yet to see someone with a bad hangover try to dive the next morning.....it just hasn't happened on the trips I've been on. In fact, WW has a pretty hard-and-fast rule.....when you pick up a drink with alcohol in it, your diving is done for the day!

The SD.com Angels & Charlies group is here to help new members sign up for a trip, so if anybody is intimidated by the trip sign-up process (and yes, it CAN be intimidating!) then all they have to do is send an email to Angels@singledivers.com or to Charlies@singledivers.com and one of us will be their trip-sign-up buddy. We will answer any question they have about the sign-up process, get them their Survey & Waiver to fill out, make sure they know how to get payment submitted, and if we can't answer all their questions about the trip itself, we know who can help with that. If you get me, I'll ask for your phone number and I'll call to help walk you through the process if you like.

As usual, I've used 1,000 words where 100 would probably have been enough......but hopefully I've answered some questions that some SD members who have not been on a trip yet may have.
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#6 ScubaPunk

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 05:41 PM

hi all
well if money was no object then i think that i would have only one concern. from all the trips i have seen most seem to be a good time. but to me they seem a little expensive. i have seen some trips that were comparable to SD`s for less. now i havent had the chance to take a trip with SD even though i want to, see first line.lol. so for me it is the cost of the trip and then you have to search for a flight.
is there not a way to schedule a trip with the cost of the flight already in. and is there a reason the trips are a little more.
just a couple of thoughts i had. thanks


Where in the world did you ever see a trip that was comparable to SD??!! :wakawaka: Sorry, couldn't help myself. SD trips are unique. There are many answers to your questions that would best be answered in another forum or in a PM to WW.

So aside from the money, is there anything about traveling with this group that makes you nervous?

#7 Jerrymxz

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 07:10 PM

Hi Sandy! This is a great topic and I thought I'd add my somewhat unique perspective to this thread.

I ran into Singledivers.com at Beneath the Sea in New Jersey in 2005 or 2006. I stopped and picked up a flyer at the booth for a friend who was going through a divorce.

I created an account to look for divers in my area and was a silent viewer for several years prior to my wifeís untimely death. Shortly after that I decided I needed to take a trip and get away for a while. While looking around I found the Bonaire trip on the SD web site. I talked to several divers I know to see what they knew of the SD trips. (I try to do my home work prior to investing in almost anything) I then contacted Kamala and made arrangements to meet her at Beneath the Sea this year. After talking to Kamala and Bill I decided to go on the Bonaire trip in June. I enrolled in a tech class being offered on this trip as I have been taking some advanced courses over the last few years and what better place to do it then a beautiful tropical island.

Being in the military for most of my adult life I can make the most of about any situation. Making new friends, meeting people in new situations is second nature to anyone in the military. And any chance at having a good time has never been much of problem :wakawaka:

The group of people I met on the Bonaire trip this past June were just super. I can't begin to describe all the great people I met on this my first (but certainly not my last) SD trip. ( see the gallery of pictures from this trip)

I had my doubts about a trip with a group of unknown people but after the Bonaire trip I can assure you if you are looking to have a great time and meet some friends you will have for life give it a try.

After taking stock of my vacation time the Halloween trip is looking better and better all the time. I hope to be able to make this trip and see you all there.

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If you are observant while diving in dark places listen to the account each has to tell, You cannot come away unaffected.   
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#8 ScubaTex

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 07:12 PM

Why should you take your first trip with SingleDivers.com???

There's only one reason.

Wreck Wench aka Wench aka Founder aka Kamala

Without without her and her dedicated volunteer staff of Angels, Charlies, Moderators, Trip Coordinators, Admin, and Tech Support personnel, none of this would be possible.

Kamala and her staff's devotion to SingleDivers.com is 24/7/365, no matter where in the world she is. While everyone is on the trip is having a good time, her surface intervals are all dedicated to SingleDivers.com . Personally, I 've seen her deal with resort manager/owners on how they might be able to better serve their guests, spend hours at the airport making sure members of the group had flights home when the airline cancel their flights, left the group when a member had a non-diving medical emergency (on the first day of a trip) and needed transport to a proper medical facility, and last, but not least, the hours she spends on her laptop during a trip, replying to posts, communicating with resorts concerning future trips. Also, check out all the dive shows she attends or has a booth at, spreading the word, meeting with resort and dive operator representatives, making arrangements for future trips.

My only complaint about Kamala on my first SingleDivers.com trip, she would only allow me to zip up her dry suit, never unzip it. (Oops, I just violated the "What happens on a SingleDivers.com trip stays on the trip" rule.) And she was seated right next to me on the dive deck!!!

I made 4 trips with SingleDivers.com last year, and none so far this year, hopefully Wench has something in the first part of the year. I miss you, Wench.


THANK YOU, KAMALA

Just my 500 psi -- I'm an AIR HOG

Bill

Time on earth is precious, time underwater even more so. Live life one day at a time. Dive your @$$ off!!!


#9 uwfan

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 10:15 PM

Bill, Bill, Bill... you know zipping up is a special privilege... I'm just saying! :wakawaka:

#10 Houston Squid

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 12:30 AM

Singledivers got me started in Group Trips. I think my first trip I had 25 dives or so and we headed out to the Flower Gardens. It was a great trip and I learned so much that trip - about diving, groups, live-aboard boats, breathing, swimming too fast - you name it.

Now, I think I am near 250 dives (just two years later) and I have 3 total trips with Kamala and crew. All have been awesome and even better, led to friendships outside of the trips.

This year I haven't been able to match up the itineraries offered, but I certainly monitor what's going on and look for what may fit my schedule.

As far as the group angle, I'm not the most social person. I don't care for costume parties, or happy hours, but I am crazy about diving. After meals, I'm usually off on my own somewhere. And the nice thing about Singlediver group trips is there is room for every personality type. You can pick and choose how much you want to socialize, or just show up for dive briefings, meals and when the pool opens.

I have been PERFECTLY matched every trip with my dive buddies and roommates.

The best thing I can say about SD is I'm a repeat customer and will be back on another trip soon.

Like Sandy, I never even gave thought to who might be on the trip. I just wanted to dive. But once I got to the locations, I couldn't have been happier with how everything turned out. Great locations, great people, and great diving.

Edited by Houston Squid, 03 August 2009 - 12:31 AM.


#11 uwfan

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 06:06 AM

I certainly wasnít sure about SingleDivers.com when I took my first trip last year.

I was skeptical about whether the site was real or a scam, but finally decided that if the Spree listed the group in their calendar for the same dates as the trip, I could trust the Spree. Of course I only knew of the Spree because when I first started diving in the mid 90ís, the dive shop listed their Flower Garden trips as a diving option, but that was enough for me to give it a go.

I also liked the feel of the website. Iím pretty conservative, and really hoped I wasnít joining in a group of heavy partiers where Iíd find myself in uncomfortable and awkward situations. The postings on the site seemed fun and yet respectful, a good balance that I hoped would be matched on the trip. In any case, I figured I could handle anything for a week.

What I found exceeded my expectations.

Once I got to Key West and got settled in the boat, while I was still sizing everyone up, it seemed like I made a good choice giving the group a try. When my seasickness meds didnít kick in and I started getting seasick, I learned how compassionate the group was. Kamala aka WreckWench helped me get over the seasickness and as I was starting to feel better, I overheard someone in the group mention that someone else was getting sick, and I saw the same kind of help being offered. I didnít expect that.

Nor did I expect the patience and helpfulness of more experienced divers. I was just getting back into diving when I took this trip, after 12 years of being out of the water. I was also used to the standard Caribbean diving Ė follow the dive master, stay with the group, give the crew your gear before you climb back on the boat. None of those fit the Spree, and I found others very helpful as I learned the ropes.

As for partiersÖsure there were some adult beverages being consumed, but nothing that made me uncomfortable, as has been said, the first alcoholic drink meant diving was over for the day, and everyone was maximizing their diving opportunities. My kind of people.

My three trips with SingleDivers.com since that first one have all been just as good. People who care about safe diving, care about each other, and have fun. Iím looking forward to my next trip, I hope soon!

#12 ScubaHawk

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 09:26 AM

So aside from the money, is there anything about traveling with this group that makes you nervous?



Well . . . .all the ladies on the trip hit me.

That aside.... Every SD trip has been a blast, once I can, I'll be going again.
Take an SD trip - See old friends you have never met before!
Every existing thing is born without reason, prolongs itself out of weakness, and dies by chance. - Jean-Paul Sartre
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#13 shadragon

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 11:19 AM

If money were no object I would be on a half dozen trips a year. :D

Decent value for the money, few issues and if there are any they are resolved quickly. I have never seen excessive alcohol abuse on an SD trip, but then again I am so tired from diving all day I am in bed by 10PM. :)

I look at SD as a global group of acquaintances and more than a few friends.
Remember, email is an inefficient communications forum. You may not read things the way it was intended. Give people the benefit of the doubt before firing back... Especially if it is ME...! ;)

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#14 Starfish Sandy

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 11:31 AM

My 1st experience with SD was a camp out/dive trip the summer of 04 - I was a little aprehensive - I was going alone - didn't know a soul. I arrived early and my first meetings were with Bubs and Kamala - and the rest is history. Every one was very nice and though I was kinda quiet and just watched a lot - I felt comfortable and welcome. I even showed up for another event in the "woods" :)

My next trip was Jan 05 when a group of us hit Coz. Had to be 28-30 of us - nervous? you bet - I knew Kamala and Kimmie - but that was about it. I met several on the trip that to this day I dive with and consider family. (and married one of em) :D I had a great roomie - though I froze her to death at times. As many have said - you can either hang with the group - or go read in your room - all up to you.

Many perks in my opioin of diving with SD on a trip - no single supplement - always can find a buddy - and a chance to make some lifelong friends.

One member mentioned the prices - the trips can be a little higher than if you did it yourself - but you have to remember - this is Kamala's business - what she pays the bills with and survives on. You pay a little more - but she handles all the crap - :birthday: Ever tried to book a trip with more than 2 people going and make them all HAPPY??? Forget it. :birthday: Most of us know........keep the Wench happy............and that goes for the resort managers, airlines, dive shops. TICKLE THE WENCH - TICKLE THE WENCH!!!
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#15 Capn Jack

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 12:38 PM

I have several problems with SD trips

1. They're over before I want them to end
2. I don't have enough time to go on all of them
3. WW still refuses to clone herself
4. All my new friends go back to their homes - and once again I'm a buddyless diver
5. My photography skills still suck canal water and I don't have enough bottom time to fix that so I don't have the Dan White collection of breath-taking photographic mementoes
6. After all these years I still can blow thru an AL80 faster than 3 other people combined (Heidi aka Pocahontas, WW aka the air-making machine and NurseShark)
7. The Spree moved to Florida
8. Dive_Girl is now a course director and will probably never want to dive with me again
9. SecretSea wants to go to the PI with me and I can't see that far ahead in my life
10. My diet says I can't drink....

Edited by Capn Jack, 03 August 2009 - 12:38 PM.

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