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Cave Diving. Wet, or Dry. Pros/Cons

Discussion in 'Cave Diving' started by Boston Breakwater, Oct 20, 2020.

  1. Manatee Diver

    Manatee Diver Stop throwing lettuce at me! ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Tampa Bay, FL
    1,779
    1,641
    113
    I dive wet in Florida, but not by choice. Right now I am using a 5mm full suit with hood, and a heated vest underneath (set to low during the dive, and high on deco). It is tolerable for the 1-2 hour dives I am doing, but I can shiver on deco. And on winter days I wrap myself in my Surf Fur with my heated vest on high, until I get all my gear in the car and have it on high heat too.

    Once I can afford a prosthetic and can go in the water, I will be buying a drysuit shortly there after.

    ETA: I am mostly diving the High Springs area caves. The panhandle caves are noticeably colder, and so was Madison. Even in Mexico I found myself getting cold enough to turn my vest on during some of the longer dives. Though it wasn't intolerable.
     
    Dark Wolf and Boston Breakwater like this.
  2. rjack321

    rjack321 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Port Orchard, WA
    10,642
    5,165
    113
    There is no way to warm up in a wetsuit. You are only going to get cooler as the dive and deco goes on.

    Blowing up your drysuit and parking yourself on the ceiling at the 20ft O2 stop can easily triple the insulation value of your drysuit exactly when you need to minimize peripheral vasoconstriction.

    There are plenty of beginner cave divers diving wet in FL. Pretty much everyone doing long serious dives is dry. MX is 7 or 8 degrees F warmer and diving wet is more plausible there.

    Putting you redundant buoyancy source on your body makes a lot more sense than freezing with tons of gas not doing anything for your insulation cause its in your wing.
     
  3. Capt Jim Wyatt

    Capt Jim Wyatt Hanging at the 10 Foot Stop Staff Member

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: High Springs - Cave Country
    2,542
    1,725
    113
    I agree the best long term answer is dry. However entry level cave divers doing 60-70 minute dives are generally OK in a 5-7 mil wetsuit. I have a 7 mil Farmer John that has a 7 mil shorty that goes over the top of it and I am OK thermally with that for dives less than 90 minutes. I do have a dual bladder wing. I sometimes use this in the hot days of summer simply to avoid heat exhaustion on the surface.

    Normally I dive dry all other times particularly if I have to make deco stops. During deco stops in a wetsuit it can get very uncomfortably cold, long deco stops you can start to shiver and as @rjack321 pointed out this is not a good situation for proper decompression.
     
    Boston Breakwater likes this.
  4. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    60,645
    29,002
    113
    I'm the outlier of the group: I dive in just a swimsuit and t-shirt. After 4 hours I start to feel uncomfortable. I love the 70-degree water. I guess when you're built like a manatee you get to dive like one. Now if I can only get all those Save the Manatee groups to stop pushing me back in the water. :D :D :D
     
  5. tursiops

    tursiops Marine Scientist and Master Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: U.S. East Coast
    10,753
    8,527
    113
    A Thermalution heated vest works great for deco, if you are getting chilled.
     
    Capt Jim Wyatt likes this.
  6. Capt Jim Wyatt

    Capt Jim Wyatt Hanging at the 10 Foot Stop Staff Member

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: High Springs - Cave Country
    2,542
    1,725
    113
    LOL. Pete is the exception to the rule.:cheers:
     
    Boston Breakwater likes this.
  7. Boston Breakwater

    Boston Breakwater "Outlaw." Solo Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Brunswick, Georgia.
    521
    491
    63
    @tursiops @Capt Jim Wyatt
    Hello. I own an Apeks WTX6R. I bought it because, I dive "Solo." very often.
    I honestly don't recall where I read it.....I was under the impression that dual bladder wings were frowned upon in Cave diving. Maybe, it was someone's opinion.
    I know Nothing about cave diving. I'll try to relocate the article.
    I guess... I'm hijacking my own thread.
    I know that there are specific gear requirements....yet, I'm curious now.
    Is the Apeks WTX6R bladder, along with Faber L.P. Double 95's acceptable for apprentice cave?
    Cheers.
     
  8. Capt Jim Wyatt

    Capt Jim Wyatt Hanging at the 10 Foot Stop Staff Member

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: High Springs - Cave Country
    2,542
    1,725
    113
    Dual bladder wings are fine for cave diving, I use a Dive-Rite Classic Dual bladder wing for all my cave diving.

    The Apeks wing is fine and LP 95's are very commonly used, I have a set that I use for cave diving.
     
    Boston Breakwater likes this.
  9. Manatee Diver

    Manatee Diver Stop throwing lettuce at me! ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Tampa Bay, FL
    1,779
    1,641
    113
    Hey that's my joke. :D

    As punishment for stealing it we need to go diving. :cheers:
     
    The Chairman likes this.
  10. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    60,645
    29,002
    113
    Since I don't dive dry, I always dive dual bladder wings in a cave. I'm fat, not stupid. :D
     

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