Sunday, February 5, 2012

Tips n Tricks: Easing the Cold

Even though Southern California is known for its hot summers and other temperate weather, the diving here is still considered cold water diving. For about half the year the water can easily drop down to the low fifties, especially if you are diving closer to central California towards the northern Channel Islands. Low fifties, even high forties, can still be done in your normal 7mm wetsuit, maybe add a 3mm vest to help. You do not really need a semi-dry wetsuit or a dry suit. They are great, but they are also a lot pricier. Depending on how long you dive, it does get uncomfortable really fast.
For beach divers, all you need is a couple of items: a couple of gallon jugs of water (filled about half way to three-fourth full) and a thermos of hot water. When you are all geared up and ready to get into the water, go ahead and mix the hot water from your thermos into one of the jugs. Pull open your wetsuit around your neck and pour it in! The nice warm water should be running down your body warming you up! This helps to fill out all the air space between you and your suit with warm water. When you go on your dive, this helps to keep the cold ocean water from rushing in and giving you that chill down your spine. This is even more convenient if you are doing a boat dive since most boats will have a hot water hose, no mixing required.

There’s also another advantage for filling your wetsuit with warm water, especially if it is your first dive of the day. It helps out greatly with your buoyance and your descent because you are not filled with all that trapped air making you extra buoyant!

So what about the other jug of water? Leave it in your car with direct sunlight on it. When you are done for the day, use it to rinse yourself off. Your drive home will be much more comfortable!

Written by: Wayne Lu, February 5, 2012

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