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<font color='#0000FF'>Well, I'm as happy pig in mud: It's been just over a year since the Prestige Oil disaster and we've been given the all clear to dive the Cies Islands (off Galicia, Spain). This afternoon we fill out a mountain of beaurocratic paperwork and then have the permit.
The only downside which I conveniently forget is that it is cold outside: Air temp 10ºc and water around 10-12ºc. That wouldn't be so bad but I use a wet suit (Oceanic Shadow7mm + 7mm). I'm not too worried being fresh in the water but welcome any tips from you cold water divers to keep warm after the dive. So far I can think of the following:

-Thermos with hot tea & plenty of sugar
-Mars bar
-Going on a hard boat and trip back to port is about an hour, is it better to keep wet suit on or should I strip and put dry clothes on immediately. Space is a bit tight and real risk of everything getting wet -hence my hesitation.
-Wooly hat for my head.

I also have a 0.5mm shark skin suit or whatever it's called, would I be warmer having this on below the Oceanic wet suit or would it slow the process of warming up the water in the suit?

P.S Maybe one day I''ll get a dry suit but have a long list of bits n pieces before hand -i,e pony. I may have a different opinion after the first dive!


Also, No I won't take any Marmite sandwiches or Bovril or any other slurry!
 

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Keep the suit on (stripping off is gauranteed to get you cold!) but get a good, windproof jacket (and trousers if you're brave) to cut down on wind chill.

Gloves are important - mittens if you can get away with them. Scarf as well.

If you can, replace the wooly hat with a polartec one - polartec is amazingly good at staying dry in wet environments

Mars bars, due to their high fat content, do not give an instant sugar rush. Eat the mars bar before the dive, then have some Kendal mintcake ready for afterwards.

You want as little water in the suit as possible. Wear the skin under the suit.

Don't save everything for post-dive - if you're cold before you get in, you'll be hypothermic by the time you get out. Start warm = stay warm.
 

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My recommendation would be to get the wet stuff of ASAP after the dive and into lots of layers of dry stuff, the wetstuit will conduct heat away from your body 25 times faster than air (or so the oft quoted figure goes)
Hot sweet drinks will be pretty much a psychological boost only as ordinary sugar (sucrose) wouldn't get into your system as fast as glucose which doesn't taste as sweet, no harm in adding that to your drinks though, use 1 gram glucose per kilo of bodyweight made up in 1 litre of liquid. Personally I find hot chocolate or soup is a better psychological lift than tea
HTH
Steve
PS see if you can get one of those "space blankets" from an outdoors store in case you end up a bit hypothermic
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] ]the wetstuit will conduct heat away from your body 25 times faster than air
No no - WATER conducts 25 times quicker. Not neoprene
 

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oooo you bloody pedant


Anyhoo... according to Ray Mears (and he should know being Mr-Crazy-outdoors-and-well-'ard-guy) the first rule of survival when you're at risk of hypothermia is to get dry ASAP as the cooling effect of evaporation lowers your body’s core temperature. The process is accelerated when the air temperature is low. AFAIUI the neoprene merely slows the process of heat loss
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Steve W @ Dec. 05 2003,11:52)]PS see if you can get one of those "space blankets" from an outdoors store in case you end up a bit hypothermic
Foil "space" blankets are only good to keep you warm.

Never use one if you are hypothermic as it will keep you cold.

Dom
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] ]oooo you bloody pedant
Yup

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]the first rule of survival when you're at risk of hypothermia is to get dry ASAP as the cooling effect of evaporation lowers your body’s core temperature
This is true.. but it's more referring to wet clothing than a wetsuit, surely?
Wet clothing absorbs water and looses all insulative abilty, and then evaporation causing cooling, so even in otherwise warm conditions, wearing wet clothes makes you cold.
But a wet wetsuit is only wet on the surface - there's 5mm of neoprene between you and the wet layer, which is a different matter.

Anyway... if the hardboat is of a type that will allow you to remove your wetsuit, dry yourself off quickly, put on dry clothes, and remain dry, then yes, change into dry clothes. But if your clothes could get wet, or if you're going to get changed then go and get caught in sea spray... a wet wetsuit will keep you warmer than wet clothes.

IMHO, tho, you'd be best off getting a drysuit. I'd certainly rank it a more important buy than a pony. You should outfit yourself with the core essentials before getting onto peripheral matters. Buying a pony before a drysuit is like buying a pony and then using a hired set of regs on a hired main cylinder - you're more likely to get out of trouble, but more likely to get INTO trouble as well.

The colder you are, the more danger you're in. I'd take a warm buddy with a single cylinder over a cold buddy with a pony any day. I even recommend in my buying guide that a drysuit be the absolute first purchase after the MFS combo..
 

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I'd take the suit off and get dressed. Like steve says - the insulation provided by the neoprene won't stop the cooling effect of evapouration. This will be aggravated by the wind, so you'll cool down very fast if you're exposed (ie. on the deck of a fast moving boat).
 

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That's what the windproof jacket is for - staves off windchill.
If the option of getting dry & staying dry exists, take it. Otherwise, a windproof jacket & wetsuit remains the warmest option.
Should have been clearer in my first post, but I'm too used to thinking of diving = RHIBs, where of course there's no chance of staying dry..
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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<font color='#0000FF'>This is the boat I normally dive with. I think I'll Dominic's advise and use a windcheater. If I change to dry clothes my feet will always get wet from the moving water within the boat. I'll put on the windcheater and move forward to keep away from the breeze. I'll take some dry clothes as well and if I can I'll change but keep my dive boots on.
I will look into the dry suit, I have yet to try one, always think of it as diving in a Tesco bag but that is still better than being cold. It is a pity drysuits are so expensive.

I could always bring up some fuel oil (off the spill) and light a fire!
 

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My first drysuit cost £80 (second hand)
£250 can get you a brand new one from Robin Hood

Enjoy the trip!
 

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Looking at the boat I'd go with Dominic. Like you say, stay in the lee of the wheelhouse, out of the wind and you'll be OK.

My first UK boat dive was in a semi-dry. Betweeen dives I stood on deck looking out the sea, and found that I had to cut the second dive short becuase I was cold. I'm sure that if I'd kept out of the wind I'd have had no problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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<font color='#0000FF'>Annoyingly the club I dive with do a single dive outing, this infuriates me as it takes a good part of 45 min to reach the islands I prefer to do a double dive. So in this long weekend I will end up doing 3 single dives in 3 days rather than 6. I may knock the dive leader with my cylinder (tank, tin or bottle) on his head and get to do a double dive. Then, on the other hand waiting an hour on the boat before going back in I'll be sure to be much colder.
 
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