Many people who scuba dive start off with scuba diving in places with favorable water temperatures such as the popular dive sites in Oahu and the rest of Hawaii. When you become conversant with scuba diving in favorable climates, the best adventure would be trying to scuba dive in cold water.
Choosing scuba diving gear for cold water diving
Water absorbs body heat at least 80 times faster than air does. This means that you cool much faster in water. Also, when scuba diving you may suffer burns, scrapes and stings. This is why you need thicker wetsuits for scuba diving in cold water. These suits help in retaining heat and offer protection against underwater injuries. Generally dry suits are used for cold water scuba diving as they are created for cold water diving.
This is what allows you to breathe underwater without wasting the air in your tank. For cold water diving, you need to snorkels that have comfortable mouthpieces to avoid chafing and jaw fatigue. The best snorkel should fit your mouth perfectly with the tip facing the crown of your head. Most snorkels are made in such a way that they can be adjusted to fit.
The scuba tank
This is simply a cylinder tank that is used to hold breathing air that is compressed. Common scuba tanks are made from steel or aluminum and can hold pressure of up to 200 bar/3000 psi.The scuba tank should come with a valve which controls the air flow. The valve should have a burst disk which releases air from the air cylinder in case there is too much pressure.
Go for a scuba tank that is comfortable to carry and wear. However, for small statured individuals, smaller tanks would be ideal in order to balance weight.
This is equipment attached to the scuba tank. Its purpose is to reduce the pressure of the air to the pressure level required for breathing. It supplies air each time you inhale and directs your breathing into the water every time you exhale. The regulator is also responsible for channeling air to your dry suit and BCD. You should choose a regulator based on performance and how often it has been serviced.
The BCD (buoyancy control device)
This is equipment that allows you to release the air from the bladder to adjust your buoyancy. In turn, this allows you to float and maneuver your way through the water. You choose your BCD based on the how you plan to use it. Also, the type of BCD you choose determines the type of regulator you choose. So, consider your regulator when choosing your BCD.
The scuba mask
This mask acts as your underwater window since the human eyes cannot focus under water. They help you to see clearly under water. Choosing a mask is quite easy, you simply have to go for one that fits best and offers the best view. It is also possible to have masks fitted with special lenses for people with eye conditions.
How to remain warm when diving in cold water
While diving in cold water can be fun, it also comes with a few concerns. Cold water diving can pose a threat to personal safety and may not be as enjoyable as diving in warm water if you do not take time to ensure that you keep warm. Luckily, there are ways through which you can keep warm while diving in cold water. This way, your body will remain in its normal temperature even under cold water.
The ideal way to keep warm when diving in cold water is to choose a thick and insulated wetsuit. This helps in retaining the body temperature.Any water that enters the suit and comes into contact with the body is heated up by the body.
To minimize water circulation in the wetsuit, you need to pick the perfect fit. This, in turn, reduces heat loss from the body.
A good alternative to a wet suit is a dry suit. This is simply a waterproof shell that keeps you dry throughout the dive.