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Thread: Do you need a Wet Suit for 60ft in the Carribean?

 


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    Do you need a Wet Suit for 60ft in the Carribean?

    I'm a naturally insulated person and I was wondering if I will need a wetsuit in the Carribean? I signed up for dives from the cruise ship excursions. They are max 55 to 60ft mostly shallower and not too long. I have all my own equipment except a wetsuit.

    I did my open water certification in a quarry where the water got down to 61. I was wearing a 2piece 7mil suit. At times I actually found it too warm. I would pull the arm and leg seals to let the cool water in. I am naturally insulated and I tend to get warm easily.

    What do you think? I have signed up for 2 tank dives on 4 different days. I think I might go without the wetsuit the first day to see how it goes. Then if I get chilly I will rent the following days?
    In liue of a wet suit I am thinking of just getting a long sleeve exposure shirt to help block the sun and protect against minor scrapes. Also so I don't blind the other divers with my white belly

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    TMHeimer's Avatar
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    The Caribbean water temps. can vary from maybe 75 to 85F depending on location. Your plan seems OK. I brought only my body suit for abrasion protection but was fine in 76F. Of course everyone is different regarding cold. You'll know for sure the second trip.
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    I would at least use a rash guard. Protects against sunburn and also stinging things. If it isn't warm enough you can rent a wetsuit. If the cold doesn't bother you at least a rash guard will protect your "white belly" and the other divers.

    They are inexpensive and easy to pack taking almost no space and weigh very little.

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    What month of the year? What area of the Caribbean? 76F is a lot different than 82F. The form, I'd say see if you can rent one. The latter, you should be fine

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    I would definitely agree that some sort of exposure protection is a good idea. There are lots of hydroids and little jellies that you can come in contact with unintentionally that will leave nice stings on unprotected skin.
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    Carlos Danger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 00wabbit View Post
    I'm a naturally insulated person and I was wondering if I will need a wetsuit in the Carribean?
    I'm the same way and usually dive in just a rashguard and some boardshorts; perfect combo when using an AL80 or AL100. Never really get cold, and have better bouyancy. I might wear a 2mm shorty when using a ST120 due to the core temperature drop that can happen on longer dives, and for help with bouyancy when using a heavier tank.
    Last edited by Carlos Danger; June 17th, 2012 at 03:14 PM.

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    I don't know when or where you are diving, but even in the best of conditions, you'll want full body protection as others have stated. Sun and critters.

    I really, really like the Scubapro .5mm steamer. You are not "hot" at the surface, nor in the water. But that half mil actually helps even in 84 degree water.

    The typical nylon skins would offer protection against sun and stings, but you'll look so much better in neoprene than nylon. Nothing is worth doing unless you're looking cool doing it.
    Tim
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    Composed of elite divers with Macho mentalities, back when men were men, and FEAR was a lispy companion of the common Man. It was a time before insurance liabilities, lawsuits or beauracratic regulation of the "sport". Guerrilla divers didn't need "Buoyancy Compensator Vests". In fact, "Anyone who needs a BC deserves to drown" was a popular adage. Exploration and the Hunt came first, excitement and fun followed. Safety was the stepchild of fitness, good reflexes and a cool head.
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    RonFrank's Avatar
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    I always wear a exposure suit for protection against fire coral, jellyfish, and monsters! Its cool to have a deep tan and dive in shorts until your body is covered by welts and rashes!
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    caribean-ted's Avatar
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    I dove Jamaica, ocho rios in march this year, no suit just bcd and tanks etc... It was very comfortable to 150 ft. No change in temps as far as I could tell and I hate the cold!!

    Best to ask someone from the place your diving from, they will know for sure and can give you all the info you need.
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    I started out wearing just a T shirt in the following locations: Belize in December, water temp about 80 (2 dives per day), Roatan in May, water temps in low 80s (4 dives per day), Bahamas in July water the mid 80s (2 dives per day), Red sea in September, water temps in 77 (2 dives per day. During all these dives I just figured that a little shivering was the standard way to feel , more as the week wore on. After the red sea however I decided that was stupid. I am also naturally insulated (I'm writing this from my hosptal bed 6 days after bypass surgery) so I'm going to try to reduce that factor. I got my weighting and trim down to where my air lasted pretty well (sac rate .55 to .60) during that first trip to Roatan. I then purchased a custom wetshirt (off the rack does not fit well at 5' 11" and 245). Using the shirt on subsiquent trips to Roatan, Fiji, GBR etc. I no longer end dives shivering and my sac rate dropped again down to between .38 and .5 so now I am one of those divers for whom an al 80 lasts as long as needed. Hope this is helpful for your decision making process. Happy diving.
    Last edited by farsidefan1; June 17th, 2012 at 03:28 PM. Reason: mentioned where I got weighting and trim figured out.
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