good advice from Chris

Scuba Diving on the Great Escape Southern California Live-Aboard Dive Boat

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Posted by NorthCoastDiver on June 18, 2004 at 14:44:33:

In Reply to: learn more here posted by Chris on June 17, 2004 at 14:37:28:

You will probably need some kind of drysuit here, unlike Honduras. Wetsuits don't work well for Northern California, unlike Southern Cal.

In addition to the 10 lbs of lead (14 if you were using aluminum tanks) you needed in Honduras, you will probably need double that here, after you pack enough thermal wear under your drysuit.

Your face will get cold and numb right away. If you breathe out through your nose into your mask, you can warm your face a little between breaths from the exhale.

I use 3mm gloves, but many here use 5mms to keep their hands warm. A 7mm drysuit hood is needed too.

Some divers who are really thin find that they also need a separate argon bottle for their drysuits. If you are really thin, think about that too. It is probably not necessary for your first dive, but if you dive 2 or 3 dives from a boat, the cold water and the cold wind may make repetitive dives uncomfortable without an argon bottle.

All in all, it is so different here from the tropics that you certainly should find a nearby dive store in SF and have them give you an orientation, or else take their Advanced Open Water course.

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