We recently bumped into an old friend who works as a local dive instructor. While discussing local conditions, he commented that, “it’s surprising how many divers don’t know how to dress for cold water”. We couldn’t agree more, especially around here where the subject of cold water diving causes people to shudder and claim, “You’ll never get me into that cold water” or “I’ll be darned if I’m wearing a heavy old wetsuit”. This is downright silly because with proper preparation and the right gear, cold water diving should be just as comfortable and enjoyable as warm water diving.
Staying warm and comfortable begins with having the right exposure protection and a good fitting suit. Heck, you don’t go out to play in the snow in shorts and flip-flops, do ya? Around here, we’re talking at least a full 7 mm wetsuit together with a set of 6.5/7 mm boots, 5 mm gloves and a 6.5/7 mm hood. Still a bit chilly — then step up to a semi-dry, hood integrated wetsuit, or better yet, a dry suit. In addition to being warmer, modern day wet and dry suits are affordable, light in weight, extremely flexible and designed for freedom of movement both in and out of the water.
Conditions in the sea are consistent with water temperatures in the low to mid 60’s and green visibility averaging 30 ft +/-. Topside, the forecast calls for cool, breezy conditions through mid-week and calming by Friday (fingers crossed). Just in time to book a weekend trip through one of the local dive shops, gotta luv that!
Finished your Christmas shopping yet? Now’s a great time to visit your local dive shop and pick up the gear and instructions for diving colder water. Go ahead, take the plunge, increase your knowledge and extend the time spent pursuing your passion for diving. It doesn’t have to stop with the change of seasons — especially here where we enjoy a diversity of marine life like no other place on earth. As always, we welcome your comments.
By Jim and Becky Moors