Most of the time, when people think about scuba diving, they think of something tropical. They also think about it being primarily a summertime activity which isn’t true. In fact, if you live in British Columbia, Canada, some of the best diving comes during the late fall into the early spring. Now, when it comes to the winter months, it is obvious that no one enjoys being cold. So, the idea of being cold in water can put off many people considering diving in the winter. However, you could be missing out on some of the best diving conditions many places have to offer. The colder periods produce water that transforms into a beautiful shade of blue along with days where visibility can reach up to 20m. So, here some tips for scuba diving in the winter.
Layering up is going to be a sure fire way for you to stay warm in the water. You can typically lose between 30-40% of your body heat through your heat, hands, and feet. So, by adding a hood or a hooded vest along with gloves and socks, you will significantly reduce the amount of body heat that you lose in the water making the experience much more enjoyable. Another option you have is to use a Dry Suit. These are great pieces of technology, but they also require the correct layering to remain warm in the water.
You will want to arrive at the boat with plenty of warm clothing along with a dry bag to store it all in. Keep in mind that when you finish your dive, you should have a change of clothes that are easy to put on. Some examples would include track pants or something of the sort, and bring extra just in case. If you plan on diving from the boat, the wind-chill might be a major factor to consider. So, try wearing a Sharkskin Chillproof vest as they are windproof and fleece lined. They also have rapid drying which makes them the perfect layer to beat any chills on the boat.
One of the holy grails when it comes to winter diving is a thermos filled with warm soup. You will want to use this to refuel and reheat from the inside out. It adds both a physiological and psychological benefit when you eat/drink something warm in between dives and you will enjoy the second dive much more. Although, you will want to avoid eating anything too heavy between dives because it could cause stomach discomfort which is why soup is the ideal winter diving companion.