Looks like we’ve survived the summer.
It is September now and we’ve had a couple of months of hot, hot, hot, sticky hot weather and humidity, but we survived.
Temperatures haven’t really dropped yet, it’s still 36-38 degrees during the day, although less humid so it feels less suffocating but at the same time it feels like the sun is burning stronger. Water temperatures are up to 28-30 degrees although there can be a sneaky 25 degree thermocline on deeper dives.
Summer was not as bad as I thought it would be and it is amazing how fast your body gets used to the heat and humidity. In the beginning it felt gross to be sweaty and sticky all the time but now it’s just the way it is. Let’s just say that sweat is the new black and nothing beats the feeling of buttsweat rolling down your thighs.
To illustrate how hot it is: A carefully conducted scientific experiment reveals that our laundry dries faster out in the sun than in the drying machine.
At one point our pool was 37 degrees because the cooling system was broken and the tarp that shades it got blown off in a storm so there was no relief to be found there either. Do you sometimes get that queasy feeling when you take a hot bath?* That’s exactly what happens when you try to do a confined water session in a 37 degree pool. Not cool. (see what I did there?)
The best place to be is generally either in the airconditioned office (but who wants to be in the office all day?) or out on the boat, but being out under the sun the whole day brings it’s own set of challenges – so here’s some tips for when you are diving in very, very hot weather.
Tips for diving in hot weather
– WATER. DRINK IT. I don’t really have to explain this one, do I? Water hydrates. Water is good for you. Being properly hydrated also decreases your risk of getting decompression sickness, so extra important when you are diving.
– Wetsuit last. Seriously, make sure all your other gear is set up and working properly before you put your wetsuit on, and put your wetsuit and gear on at the same time as your buddy. Nothing beats semi-suffocating in your full 3mm suit, already sitting in your divegear, while your buddy realizes he has a leaking o-ring and needs to change it.
– While putting said suit on, especially for you crazy people who still like to dive in 5mm’s, put your wetsuit on to waistlevel and then jump in the water to put on the rest. It will make you feel much, much better.
– Gear up in the water if you have to (and if conditions allow). Saves hauling your gear around on a rocking boat under the sun. Remember: Mask & fins first, then your BCD, and then your weightbelt. Don’t forget to do a buddycheck at the surface.
– Sunblock/lotion. Use it. Your mother will be proud and your skin will thank you later.
*Caused by a drop in blood pressure because your arteries and veins dilate to assist in cooling your body
2 thoughts on “HOT HOT HOT: Tips for diving in hot climates”
Yep, I find the same thing in the Caribbean! I always get my divers in 5mm suits (seriously WHYYYYY… the water is 30C and I’m in a rash guard and shorts, and I am diving 3x a day 6 days a week and not cold!) to dump freshwater down their wetsuit for the boat ride and sit in the shade. Luckily our boat rides to the sites are only about 5-10 minutes… how long are they in Oman?
45-60 minutes, up to almost 2 hours for some sites (which we do only occasionally) so we assemble everything in the harbour from where we depart and only put our suits on once we’ve arrived at the site, otherwise everyone would melt!