Water, water everywhere but not a drop in my suit!

By Michelle Marraffini

Invertebrate Zoology and Molecular Ecology

Breakwater Cove dive spot in Monterey where DUI had set up their Demo Day. Photo by: Pamela Neeb Wade

Breakwater Cove dive spot in Monterey where DUI had set up their Demo Day. Photo by: Pamela Neeb Wade

Scuba diving on the central coast means you get to see amazing kelp forests and underwater geological formations but it also often means you are getting in the sometimes frigid waters of Monterey Bay.  At depth, the water can get very cold, I experienced a dive at Big Creek, Big Sur where the temperate was only 8 Celsius (~46 degrees Fahrenheit)!  At that temperature my wimpy 7 millimeters feels like wearing shorts in a blizzard and gets even thinner as the pressure compresses all the neoprene bubbles in my suit.   Over the years I have seen many other divers in thicker wetsuits (up to 20 millimeters on their core) and dry suits.  That is right scuba diving without getting wet.  When a company that makes dry suits (DUI) offered a demo day at a local dive spot my labmate Pamela and I leaped at a chance to jump in the water without getting wet.

Dry suits allow you to stay dry with the help of tight seals around your wrists and neck.  However most of these suits do not include a layer of insulation, enter an under layer of fleece that reminded me of wearing footie pajamas. The demo day started with us spending what seemed like hours getting a new hose for our regulator, being fitted into our dry suit pajamas, and then finally getting all of our seals fitted just right.   Finally we were ready to get in the water, after posing for a few pictures.

look out kelp here we come

Finally fitted into our dry suits for the day. Mine has skulls on it! Photo by: Pamela Neeb Wade

The dive began with simple instructions about how to use our dry suit as a buoyancy compensator and a few safety tips.  Then in the company of a dry suit instructor we headed off into the water.   The dive was great, clear water and I wasn’t cold, and we even saw an octopus.  Even though I had a great time I do not think I would buy a new dry suit anytime soon but I did enjoy getting to try new diving equipment.  For more on DUI dry suits check out http://www.dui-online.com/ or your local DUI dealer.

I feel big and tough with my skulls

One more pose for the camera. Photo by: Pamela Neeb Wade

This entry was posted in Just for Fun, Michelle Marraffini. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Water, water everywhere but not a drop in my suit!

  1. amandakahn says:

    Wow, that’s super cool that DUI gave demos so people could try out dry suits before buying one. I had the trouble of wanting to learn to dive in a dry suit, but not being able to rent one without a certification. I’ve finally bought one and just dove for the first time, only in a pool so far (first ocean dive is January if not sooner!). It’s definitely different, but not as hard to transition to from a wetsuit as I’d thought. I’ll need it for where I am diving–the coldest water I went in was 6 degrees C, and that just hurts in a wetsuit.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s