I went diving with my friends yesterday and the water was really cold. Diver’s core temperatures drop throughout the day after diving even in water most people consider warm. I spent over 100 minutes in the water yesterday in 48 degree temperatures and I was definitely cold after the dive. Here are a few ways I warmed my core temperature that I recommend for all divers.
Take A Break
I took a break between there dives after we all got chilly. We decided ti was time to eat lunch and my wife barbecued a delicious tri-tip steak for us all. I think some of the guys were dreaming of it on our dives and decided to go in after only 40 minutes of diving. I stayed out for an additional dive with my buddy. We came back to the boat with little air and needed a tank change but the smell of the steak made me want to pull my exposure suit off half-way. The break gave me a chance to warm up.
Borrow Someone’s Gear If They Aren’t Diving
My friend Steve wasn’t diving anymore and I noticed his super-duper gloves sitting on my boat. I previously dove with 3mm gloves that were OK but the promise of warm hands sounded nice. I asked and he gladly shared his gloves. The dive went so much easier with warm hands. It is the small things that add comfort to your enviroment.
Get a New Hood
I always rented hood when I dove in cold water until I bought my own chest/ hood. It seals properly to my head and keeps me warm. i was surprised at how a new hood kept me warm compared to the old rental ones. I figure I am also reducing my risk of getting lice.
Put On A Jacket
I always wear jackets after diving. I have a special sweatshirt that I wear at home after diving. I’m usually cold and sometimes I wonder if I am crazy because I end up looking at the house thermometer thinking it is freezing inside. I usually sleep with it on to increase my core temperature.
Snuggle Your Wife
I am lucky in that I have a very warm-blooded wife that loves to snuggle me. It always feels great when she snuggles up to me in bed after a dive. One thing usually leads to another and I can’t think of any better way to raise your core temperature than having a little sack time!
Are you diving the Antarctic, chilly Scandinavia or your local lake or quarry, you make temperature one of the components of your dive plan. You do this by asking questions such as: What’s the ambient temperature topside? What’s the water temperature? Are there any thermoclines? How deep will I dive and for how long? What exposure protection do I need – will a 7mm wetsuit be enough? In essence, you’re asking yourself: How cold am I going to get on this dive?
You’re also answering that question with your dive-planning. Hypothermia can affect even tropical dives, if you’re wearing only a swimsuit or dive-skin and remain immersed for a long time. Hypothermia is a condition of reduced body core temperature, defined as a temperature below 35°C. Divenet has a really informative article that I enjoyed reading.