Posted by Patrick on April 21, 2005 at 10:24:17:
In Reply to: Dissenting from my esteemed colleague ;) posted by Dave on April 20, 2005 at 21:51:06:
I beg to differ.
I dive both wet and dry and have been doing so for many years both in commercial, research and sport modes.
I've been using two 1/4" (farmer-john bottom, attached-hood inverted zipper top) suits (swap between them for long life) for nearly a decade, more than 1,300 dives, and only now is the good old rubatex material starting to crush and lose elasticity. In all honesty, hand to God, I am rarely cold and I spend a lot of time in the water.
I also dive a DUI CF200, but rarely need it in southern California waters unless I'm doing a sit-in-one-place research or photo task of some kind. However, for the dives in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, off Cape Flattery and in other less thermally benign waters of the world, nothing but a dry-suit with good under garments will do. That said, I think many who end up in dry suits are hooked by the tech glamour, more the idea of looking cool than actually needing the thermal protection.
I hadn't thought about it before, but I believe I've seen more divers in dry suits on the verge of hyperthermia (I know, they CAN take the suits off, but they don't. They just crack the zipper) on deck, than wetsuit divers moving into hypothermia. The caveat here is I spend very little time on charter boats. Most of the folks I dive with are either professionals or long term water-people. And again, most of those do their So. California work in wetsuits.
Just my opinion and experience.
Stay wet (unless you're in a dry suit)
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