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Finally Gave In to the Drysuit lure
Pyrifera - 11/16/2009 1:26 PM
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Category: Personal
Comments: 0
After years of diving in the less-than-warm waters of Monterey Bay I finally gave in to the prodding of my drysuit-wearing friends and got one too. It had always been a little bit of a badge of honor to comment to students something along the lines of "50 degree water is NOT ’cold’... it is chilly" and truly, that was mostly the case. I also was fond of pointing out that "I can pee with impunity" (in a wetsuit) to which my drysuit-wearing friends could only shrug their shoulders and nod in begrudging agreement. Plus, with all the emphasis we put on staying hydrated (so as to minimize possible cramping) to students, urinating once (and many times several more times) during a 40 minute dive was not unheard of. With that being said - Drysuits ROCK! In a wetsuit I have always been able to get into 50 degree or so water, do what needs to be done, and end the dive with no problem. Yes I can feel that it is "chilly" in here but no, it is not debilitating (deep dives when the temp plunges an additional 10 degrees notwithstanding). Any subsequent dives though and I really knew that that water now was actually cold - my core temp having been lowered enough to notice. With the drysuit (picked up a "starter" suit Pinnacle Freedom 2 w/polarfleece unionsuit and hood for $600+tax so could not pass up that opportunity - it’s still not up on their website but it is a front zippered version) several dives a day are no problem and I never feel cold once out of the water due to evaporative cooling while drying off. Yes, I have had several dives that were uncomfortable having to hold my bladder and yes I have contemplated using adult diapers but the overall comfort still rules. That is not to say that I will not soon have a Urine Relief Valve (commonly called a Pee Valve) installed but for now I just drink less and eat more bananas ;-) Will use the wetsuit more for pool work with students (my affiliated dive shop wants us to use what they sell and we don’t allow OW students to use drysuits).