Diving Tips

Tips for Cold Water Diving

One of the best experiences is cold water diving as cold water offers an amazing underwater ecosystem with beautiful and strange sights increased in cold waters. One disadvantage however is keeping comfy and warm and it is often easier than you might think. Try these tips to make your icy scuba diving experience memorable and enjoyable while warm.

Always a Dry suit

A dry suit is perfect although it is complicated to get in and you spend less energy to keep warm while diving and you stay much warmer. The risk of hypothermia is considerably less and you can stay in icy water for much longer too.

Wear a Wetsuit the right way

In water as cold as 5C you can get away with a 7mm wetsuit. The secret though is to prime the wetsuit before you dive into cold water, this is done by having hot water in insulated container and once you have your wetsuit on, pout hot water down the front of the suit, until it leaks from your ankles. If you do it the same way with your gloves and boots, your body does not have to use energy in warming the water layer between wetsuit and skin. Even wearing surgical gloves from latex under gloves reduces additional heat loss. Once your dive is over, use hot water again to thaw regulators, zippers, frozen fingers and face.

Eat and Drink

We all know that extra fat is a welcome insulation against cold and in icy water, however the skinny ones do well with a solid breakfast and a cup of warm beverage before a dive. Carbohydrate filled snacks after your dive will also add the calories you burned while your body fought to stay warm in the cold water.

Stay warm Outside

Before and after an icy dive you need to keep warm when you can. Keep a warm jacket and keep it on until you dive and put it on immediately after getting out.

Top Easy Reefs to Add to Your Agenda

As far as reefs go there are plenty to explore with some of the best ones listed here:

FLAMINGO BAY which is a must dive especially for new divers and as part of the Marine Park it is a photographer’s paradise with vibrant coral and tropical fish.

HAPPY VALLEY is also inside the Marine Park and part of a large wall with large amounts of sea whips and fans which attract magnificent species like scorpion fish and moray eels. On the wall edge you are accompanied by shoals of fish with Barracudas on a distance watching divers.

U.W SCULPTURES is an easy but must see reef for all divers regardless of experience level. It is the first underwater sculpture park in the Caribbean with sculptures placed first depicting the local history with the first sculptures placed in 2006, artists continuously add more with time. It is a gallery that changes continuously with its sea life and growth and being a shallow dive it is an excellent opportunity to add it to inexperienced diver’s list.

DRAGON BAY has shallow rock formations and deeper gullies yet very easy to dive, it is home to green moray, French angelfish, snappers and lobsters too.

GRAND MAL is awesome especially after you dived Hildur wreck close by. A short swim from the wreck is Grand Mal which is a huge pillar coral that attracts grouper and octopus.

THE VALLEYS has its name from coral fingers extending from valleys of sand that resembles an underwater island with exquisite fish life and critters. It is the home of Bridled Burr fish and webbed Burr fish too.
NORTHERN EXPOSURE is inherently a huge sand patch and excellent opportunities for photographers interested in star eyed hermits, giant hermit, banded jaw fish and garden eels.

DR. GROOMS offers diver’s very diverse species of fish such as porcupine fish, sand divers, moray eels, lobsters and nudibranchs. Critters like oscillated box crab, three- ridge snapping shrimp and orange gill Doris are also found here.

BOSS REEF has outstanding coral and this is a reef with probably the most exotic and diverse species which include harlequin bass, glass eye snapper, rock hind and stag horn, elk horn, brain coral, finger coral and plate coral.