How I Became The Queen of Singles…
In 2004, Dallas-resident and scuba-enthusiast Kamala Shadduck launched SingleDivers.com. She’s adamant that SD.com is NOT a dating site for divers, but if you don’t have a dive buddy, this community is certainly a place to check out.
How I became the “Queen of Singles”….
It hadn’t started out that way…in fact it was an accident, becoming the ‘queen of singles’ that is. It was 1995 and I’d been diving for almost 3 years. I got a lot of diving in during that time as I had a great boss who let me dive before and after work assignments as I traveled extensively and was rarely home. In those three years when I traveled to exotic diving locales I also struggled with expensive supplements or rooming with a guy I didn’t know if I wanted to avoid them, traveling alone which got old or having my dive buddies plans change at the last minute leaving me to either cancel as well or travel by myself. Then when I got to the boat or resort I would end up with ‘the leftover’ dive buddy or the one no one wanted many of whom were insta-buddies from hell. I knew there had to be a better way. And there was…group travel where everybody was essentially in the same boat…they needed a buddy or a roomie.
I still hadn’t solved the problem entirely but I did have a good work around which for me was running charters to North Carolina’s Graveyard of the Atlantic. This enabled me to resolve most of the aforementioned problems and I did this for almost 10 years. During that time we did numerous dives to these watery gravesites and most of the divers drawn to this diving were either single or married but buddyless (the spouse did not dive) and they were guys!
A typical charter was 16 guys and 2 gals. A great charter was 14 guys and 4 gals. In fact my clients gave me a hard time asking why I couldn’t get gals on these wreck and shark diving adventures. I laughed and said it just wasn’t a ‘chick magnet’ destination but if we did a trip to say Cozumel…well that would be a different story. Somewhere in the middle of copious amounts of alcohol, too much testosterone (some of it mine LOL!) a bet was formed that I couldn’t get ‘lots of women’ on a dive trip. As the bet matured ‘lots’ was defined as ‘half’ and ‘half” was defined as ‘ten’ and so the quest was on. I emailed every female diver I’d ever met ANYWHERE and talked to women at local dive clubs, etc.
The guys were going to comprise the ‘half’ or ‘ten’ men we needed and I was to get the gals on the trip. Soon I had 13 gals and the guys could not come up with another three men so I recruited those too. The date was set for Jan 2004 and 26 divers from all over the US and Canada set out to make their mark on the little isla of Cozumel! In those days many groups used charter air from Dallas or other cities and we used the former. By the time the plane had landed another 3 women and 2 guys had joined our ‘group’. Several more joined us from the hotel and each day’s meals would garner another few people who were either single, solo, or buddyless. By the end of the week the numbers had swelled to well over 40 people and very few restaurants could seat us all. The trip was deemed a success…I had won the bet hands down and I returned to ‘business as usual’ when the fabulous week was over or so I thought.
However the next week or so changed my life forever. I received well over a hundred calls and emails from people who had met us in Cozumel or who were friends of people who had met us in Cozumel and had heard we ran ‘Single’s Trips’. They wanted to know our website and when our next trip was. I was in a panic as I called a dear friend of mine Walter Wilt. I told him the problem and he said “Darling, you don’t have a problem…you have a business!” I told him it was a problem as I already owned one ‘blood sucking take everything you owned scubadiving business’ so I did not need another one. He replied…”If you don’t…someone else will and you’ll always regret it.” He was right and so in March of 2004 SingleDivers.com was created and I made my next call to another dear friend of mine, a scuba marketing guru, Scott Jones. With Scott’s insight and ideas what started out as an ‘accident’ has become a world wide travel provider running 15-20 group trips a year for over 6000 single, solo, and married but buddyless divers from over 32 countries.
So did I ever get any more girls on my NC Trips? Yep…once we started running them under SingleDivers.com we averaged 40-50% women on most of them. And we’ve even had a number of trips where we have significantly more women than men. In fact my Red Sea trip May 29th to June 12th, 2010 has 14 women and only 2 men!
So how did I get the name “Queen of Singles” you ask? Well everyone thought the site was a dating site due to the popularity of online dating sites. However when I learned to dive ‘single was your diving status…not your marital status’ so to me it was the perfect name for people looking for a dive buddy. During the nearly 7 years we’ve been SingleDivers.com ironically we’ve had 7 marriages, a couple of other engagements and our first SingleDivers.com ‘baby’ despite NOT being a dating site. When I met my own husband a few years back a guy asked me was it really that hard to find a date in a place like Dallas Ft Worth that I needed to start my own dating club? I laughed and said ‘no I didn’t need to form a dating club but I needed to form a DIVING CLUB for people without travel and diving partners’ but alas I could not argue my way out of it and the ‘Queen of Singles’ moniker stuck anyway.
About SingleDivers.com: Founded in 2004, we have over 6000 members from 32 different countries all with one goal in mind…’Divers from around the world DIVING the World’. We run 15-20 group trips a year for single, solo, married but buddyless (the spouse does not dive) and yes even some couples. We also turnkey travel for dive shops and dive groups…ask us how we can help you!
Contact Us: Info@SingleDivers.com or 214-350-7003