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  #1  
Old 05/17/2004, 12:43 AM
skylsdale skylsdale is offline
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Location: Central WA
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Just finished Puget Sound.

Finished my last two open water dives yesterday off Whidbey Island in Puget Sound! Water temp was 50*F, visibility was 15 ft. at best, and it was fantastic!

We took two shore dives along a jetty, having to work through a kelp bed (full of juv. needlefish) to get to the main part of the wall. It was completely covered with Metridium anemones, forming a pretty surreal looking white-plumed wall that just ascended up into green haze. Saw plenty of painted greenlings and lingcod, and during the second dive found a juv. Giant Pacific octopus.

I LOVE IT!
  #2  
Old 05/17/2004, 12:53 AM
mickey57 mickey57 is offline
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Thumbs up

Wait till that current gets ya Scared me so bad,I thought something had ahold of me I thought I was going to be lost at sea.It brings tears to my eyes even now
  #3  
Old 05/17/2004, 01:15 PM
skylsdale skylsdale is offline
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You get used to it, and then it's not too bad--just be smart about what you can and can't handle. Places like Hood Canal can really get ripping, though! The water turns to coffee pretty quick. Where in the Sound did you dive?

Our second dive the tide changed and there was some current, but it wasn't bad at all as long as you hugged the bottom--it was the people sitting up in the water column that tended to struggle with it the most.
  #4  
Old 05/17/2004, 02:20 PM
SawCJack00 SawCJack00 is offline
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Gongrats, sounds great!
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  #5  
Old 05/17/2004, 06:18 PM
mickey57 mickey57 is offline
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That was my first open ocean dive.Gulf Stream off Fort Laurderdale Florida.14years ago nest month.My brother and I had this Idea......
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  #6  
Old 05/18/2004, 11:16 AM
ranran ranran is offline
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Hello, skylsdale
I am also a northwest diver, at least I dive and live in the nw. So far I have kept my diving adventures to the warm tropics.
I have been thinking real hard on doing some local diving, did you get your open water with a drysuit or wetsuit? If it was a wetsuit was 7mm and did it keep you warm.
Randy
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  #7  
Old 05/18/2004, 12:31 PM
skylsdale skylsdale is offline
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It was with a 7mm wetsuit, and it kept me considerably warm, but toward the very end of each dive I did get noticeably cold (avg. 25 min). It wasn't anything unbearable, but the divemaster and instructor both had drysuits and they were toasty the entire time.

If you plan to dive somewhat regularly, I would definitely go with a drysuit. You don't have to worry about getting cold which could be something that keeps you out of the water. Also, some of the best diving in the Sound is during the colder winter months because the water is so much clearer and vis is so much better (no plankton blooms during the winter to contend with). The water temps is still pretty steady, but the outside temps are going to be much cooler, so you wouldn't be all wet each time you get out.

At the location we were at, there were quite a few divers throughout the day. Only a few of them had wetsuits. I would recommend heading up and renting a wetsuit and just trying it out and see what you think. Try a couple dives (it was on the second one that I noticed the cold the most). But, even if you plan on just going out a couple times a year, it might be best to take a drysuit class and then just rent one. However, if you're just going out a couple times a year, it might be worth it to just "tough it out" with a wetsuit. It's hard to say.
  #8  
Old 05/18/2004, 05:53 PM
Blazerdog Blazerdog is offline
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Congrats!!!!
On getting your license
  #9  
Old 05/19/2004, 05:32 PM
Scuba Dog Scuba Dog is offline
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Congradulations on the new C card, actually i love the look of kelp forrests and actually i think there better looking than coral reefs much more rustic, but thats me, and yes dry suits make all the difference in the world there not tight on the body keep ya way warm and dry! if you have a chance travel on down to califorina and check out montey bay great great kelp forrests, I have seen oters and seals on my dives there and the spanish shaw nuidbrank is so stunning in color maks for excelent macro photography....
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  #10  
Old 05/20/2004, 03:26 PM
sea dog 6 sea dog 6 is offline
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Thumbs up Cold dive gear

Congrats on your Certification! The NW is a great dive area...

The wet suit vs warm suit debate is a matter of personal preference of course. Here's some food for thought...
On Wetsuits
1. Warm is relative... if you are tired, (ie, multiple dives) you have likely already burned the calories necesary to warm the surrounding layer of water in your wet suit. You'll grow uncomfortable much quicker. You can pre heat this layer of water by pouring heated water into your suit prior to the 2nd dive.
2. In a wetsuit, surge is a factor... the entering of new water in a non custom cut wetsuit. Seal features of new designs are great. Custom fit suits are not that much more expensive, IMHO a worthwhile expense for a NW diver. Check Harvey's for example. Made in Kent WA by the way.
3. A proper hood design makes temps much more bearable by ten degrees at least.

On Dry Suits
1. Training
2. Training
3. Training
(did I mention............. training?)
4. New seals are uncomfortable until trimmed and stretched... you can store them with forms in the neck and wrists.
5. Thermal protection comes from insulating garment underneath.
6. Air management is critical in the suit, and is used to prevent pinch and maintain loft of undergarment, not for boyancy trimfunctions... wear that BC... its better at the job.
7. pricey... and air mgmt valves and zipper requires maintainance that is often overlooked, beware of used drysuits.

I dive both, often. This winter I was under 10" of ice in both wetsuits and drysuits. Take your pick. Wetsuits are easier to move in, and put on/off, and IMHO more comfortable for one tank days, two at most, plus you can layer the neoprene. Drysuits are uncomfortable, hard to don/doff but allow longer dive periods.

Have fun, the NW is great diving......... more reports please!
PS: investigate/consider cold certified regulators
Seadog 6
out there sippin air
  #11  
Old 05/22/2004, 11:33 AM
skylsdale skylsdale is offline
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1. Warm is relative... if you are tired, (ie, multiple dives) you have likely already burned the calories necesary to warm the surrounding layer of water in your wet suit. You'll grow uncomfortable much quicker. You can pre heat this layer of water by pouring heated water into your suit prior to the 2nd dive.

That's definitely true. I wouldn't say I was uncomfortably cold, but I noticed toward the end of my second dive (especially when I was fairly inactive during the safety stop) that I realized I was a littly chilly. The first dive I was fine. I'm not totally convinced of the preheating method: tried it before the second dive, and after a minute or two in the water, I couldn't tell any difference.

3. A proper hood design makes temps much more bearable by ten degrees at least.

Yeah, I ordered all my personal gear assuming that I'd be doing pretty much all my diving here in PNW (the Sound is only 2.5 hrs away). Everything is 6.5 mm--of course. My hood worked great, and I never noticed any discomfort around my head. Even my gloves worked MUCH better than any other ones I have tried before (they have a sleeve that goes about 2/3 of the way up my forearm).

I think that when I have the opportunity to really start diving regularly over in the sound and some of the lakes around here, I will definitely go with a drysuit. As I said earlier in this thread, the colder winter months are some of the best diving in the PNW because there aren't any plankton blooms to contend with. A wetsuit would still be possible, but a drysuit would definitely help keep you warmer during surface intervals as you're not sitting at a picnic table in the wind and rain.

Thanks for the info! Hopefully I'll be diving Hood Canal a few times before summer is over. If I can I'll try to get ahold of a camera and snap some shots to post. I'm definitely more comfortable and familiar with tropical life due to my experience with reefkeeping, but there is so much here to see, and it so completely different.
  #12  
Old 05/22/2004, 05:18 PM
sea dog 6 sea dog 6 is offline
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Quote:
I'm not totally convinced of the preheating method: tried it before the second dive, and after a minute or two in the water, I couldn't tell any difference.
Skylsdale:
Check your neck seal and ankle seals, and zipper flap placement... it sounds like surging new water is being caused by poor sealing coupled with a loose fit. In a wet suit, when you have areas of loose fit, those volumes of space and loose neoprene act together as a pump when you move. This draws in outside water when interior heated water is pumped out of the suit. Another reason why a custom cut suit is nice.

There have been many dives in a proper fitting wetsuit that my swimsuit did not get entirely wet... at least until I saw that Mako shark!

Have a great time, & send up some pics!

Seadog 6
Out there somewhere, sippin air
 

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