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wetsuit vs temperature question

Discussion in 'Solo Divers' started by Elkfriend, Apr 11, 2010.

  1. Elkfriend

    Elkfriend Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: calgary, canada
    54
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    Quick question:

    I have 7mm full body cressi wetsuit and in addition I wear a 7mm ice-vest (like a shorty, but with hood), so core body is engulfed with 14mm, in addition 5 mm booties and gloves.

    Any ideas what the coldest water temperature is for such a setup? I dove off Nanaimo in the frigid PNW waters, that was chilli but still ok.

    So the ice if off my local waterhole now, I dipped the thermometer in the water a few days ago and the water is around 7 degrees C (=44F).

    Should I try to solodive? Or is this too cold, w. hypothermia risk?

    opinions welcome!!!
     
  2. Dive-aholic

    Dive-aholic Dive Shop

    # of Dives:
    Location: North Florida - Marianna area
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    If you haven't done it yet with a buddy, then you shouldn't go solo. Just the fact that you're asking should be enough. Dive what you know and feel comfortable with.
     
  3. Elkfriend

    Elkfriend Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: calgary, canada
    54
    1
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    Agree. I know the lake and its my standard solo diving area, however the temperature is what is different now.

    Anyways, I thought the same thing, maybe a buddy dive is in order to get a handle on the temperature
     
  4. AfterDark

    AfterDark Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Rhode Island, USA
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    Take a dip with your suit and some skin diving gear snorkel around see how long you last on the surface. That should give you some idea of your tolerance. I have a 7mm farmer style wetsuit hood, boots and 5mm gloves. I was in 45F water for 50 min. with 26 min bottom time in 40F bottom temp. I was fine and I don't like cold.
     
  5. Stoo

    Stoo NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Freelton & Tobermory, Ontario, Canada
    3,115
    2,884
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    I dove for years solo in a wetsuit in frigid water. Like any other dive, be aware of your comfort level and get out before your are frozen solid. Remember you are going to need to "peal" yourself which might prove tricky with frozen hands.

    I'm assuming you have all of the other requisite "solo" gear. A reg freeze-up could be a problem without a redundant system... And even then as well!
     
  6. Guy Alcala

    Guy Alcala Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: SF Bay Area
    745
    12
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    I've soloed for 45 minutes in 41 degree water as deep as 85 feet, wearing a 7/5mm fullsuit, 6/3 drysuit hood, 5mm gloves and 6.5mm boots. It was tolerable, but there was nothing to see but silt and the occasional tree branch, so I was swimming the whole time. And it was warm and sunny on shore, and I was only doing the one dive. I still tend to use my wetsuit in below 50 deg. water temps when I know I'm only going to do a single dive, and I know there's not that much to look at (mountain lakes). I've also dived wet in Monterey at 48 deg., and froze if I was idling along looking at things.

    Guy
     
  7. GrumpyOldGuy

    GrumpyOldGuy Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: West Texas/NH/CA
    4,571
    2,435
    113
    I have been down to 39 diving wet. You can do it, just not very fun. At 44 I suspect your dive would be short but doable.

    I think you have to ask yourself is if this is the right dive to start your season off with? The first dive of the season tends to bring on minor issues (gear config or brain farts). Going solo and frigid water might make one of these minor issues a big problem. So I would put some serious thought into this before proceeding.
     
  8. spectrum

    spectrum Dive Bum Wannabe ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: The Atlantic Northeast (Maine)
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    The skin-dive is a good first step. Remember that you will be working harder and breathing "warm" surface air. If you're not comfortable on the surface forget about scuba. A good skin-dive may be just the fix you need to buy a few weeks while the water begins to get reasonable.

    If the suit passes the skin-dive test how prepared are you for a cold water regulator incident?

    Being solo you don't want to be introducing multiple risk/task loading factors on a single dive.

    Pete
     
  9. Dive-aholic

    Dive-aholic Dive Shop

    # of Dives:
    Location: North Florida - Marianna area
    8,872
    1,004
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    While there are a lot of good points about the water temp, I think a huge factor is being overlooked here. The OP is questioning whether this would be an okay dive to solo. The simple fact that the OP is questioning this should indicate it's not.
     
  10. allistoy

    allistoy Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Windsor Ontario Canada
    144
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    I used a 7mil full suit with a 5 mil chest plate and hood and 5 mil gloves and boots yesterday for 2 dives at 42 degrees and for me I was toasty warm for both dives, but everyone is different in their tolerance to cold.
     

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