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Checkout dives are in Panama City Beach next weekend. Advice for a newbie?

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by cogito222, Dec 7, 2019.

  1. cogito222

    cogito222 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: 30043
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    CuzzA, I don't tolerate cold very well. I was thinking it would be more like 70 or 72. I'll contact my dive instructor down there to see if I can wear a 7 mm. They carry Scubapro wetsuits, which I imagine would be pricey if I needed to buy one. Hopefully, they'll have one in their rental fleet.
     
  2. cogito222

    cogito222 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: 30043
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    I've been down there many times in winter visiting my brother and the seas can get pretty rough due to the wind. We are planning on boat dives but there is a protected area of clear water in the state park. It's right next to a jetty and a pass but is protected from the currents of the pass and the water is usually calm. I've snorkeled there with my son. I don't know how deep it gets but the area I was snorkeling was easily 15 feet and I was pretty far from the opening to the pass, which looked much deeper.
     
  3. cogito222

    cogito222 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: 30043
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    That sounds like a great idea. I'm bald, too. I want to lose as little heat as possible. I want to think about what I'm experiencing and not think about being cold.
     
  4. cogito222

    cogito222 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: 30043
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    I'll definitely take those first few deep breathes, flyboy08. I can't wait to take my first breaths underwater with my new reg! This is going to be awesome!
     
    flyboy08 likes this.
  5. CuzzA

    CuzzA Solo Diver

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    Yeah, probably a good idea. The problem with rental suits, which may not be the case here, is they get used so much the neoprene has been crushed from excessive exposure to depth. I certainly don't want to tell you how to spend your money, but given your lodging will be free, you may want to consider a @MAKO Spearguns 5mm closed cell suit since they are so inexpensive. A 5mm open cell will be warmer than a 7mm scuba suit, plus you'll have far more flexibility in the suit rather than feeling like you're wrapped in a cast, and you can dive knowing that hundreds of people haven't pissed in the suit you're wearing. :wink:

    I just bought this one from Dano.


    https://www.makospearguns.com/Yamamoto-3D-Reef-Camo-2-Piece-Open-Cell-Wetsuit-p/m2y3drc.htm
     
    cogito222 and MAKO Spearguns like this.
  6. tarponchik

    tarponchik Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: USA
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    Being bold makes it easier to get sunburned but in losing heat underwater it is all the same. Hair won't help you here. Probably, all things equal, being bald gives you an advantage since lots of hair will create useless dead space between your skull and the neoprene cap.

    In St Andrews Park I went down to about 70 ft, going along the jetties.
     
    cogito222 likes this.
  7. bletso

    bletso Dive Shop

    # of Dives:
    Location: Louisville KY
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    Yes, outside jetties can be a very nice dive when timed correct with the current. You want to time entry about 45 minutes before high or low tide. That puts the current and vis in more acceptable range most of the time. It can be a very advanced dive if conditions aren't right. I have seen 0 vis and 4+ knot current and 60+ vis no current in the same day! More varied sea life than any single wreck in the gulf. Inside jetties you will not find 15ft, more like 8-10ft right against the rocks.
     
    cogito222 likes this.
  8. bletso

    bletso Dive Shop

    # of Dives:
    Location: Louisville KY
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    BTW, Next weekend 13-14 Dec doesn't look real good for dive times. PCB has only one high and one low per day. The park opens at 0800 at least in the summer. As far as beach dives it is long way out for 20ft. Most of my local dive shops stop at the springs, (Vortex or Morrison) and then do a boat trip.
    Screen Shot 2019-12-08 at 16.46.37.png Screen Shot 2019-12-08 at 16.47.03.png
     
    cogito222 likes this.
  9. carobinsoniv

    carobinsoniv Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Moultrie, Georgia
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    Really good advice here. If you do get a hood (which will be warmer than a cap), try to use it before so you are use to it. It took me a few times to get use to mine.

    Current water temperature looks to be 66 now and the range for December is low 60s to high 60s. I am guessing your dives may be 30 minutes or less so that will help. Warmth will depend on you, the wetsuit materials, and a hood. I would rather be too warm than too cold as you can always let in some cool water by pulling on your wrist or neck. Also, take a knitted/fleece type cap to cover your head and ears between and after dives. Talking to your PCB instructor would be good too.

    Enjoy - look forward to a report.
     
    cogito222 likes this.
  10. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
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    Yeah, you can go around the back end of the "Kiddie Pool" as they call it and then the depth in the pass is about 30', going down to at least 70 before the end of the jetty, where is it about 45. I've dived these spots, but if the viz was terrible I just spent the day in the Kiddie Pool. Deepest I found there was about 8 feet. Maybe where you were snorkeling was toward that back end near the entrance to the pass. But I believe you need about 20' to do the checkout dives.
     
    cogito222 likes this.

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