After just over three years of not diving locally I finally dived again last night in the North Sea with North East Dive. I’d been meaning to go diving with them for a couple of weeks but was concerned it was going to be too cold as I was mainly used to warm water diving.
Prepared for the worse I wore a 5mm full wetsuit and a 5mm shorty with hood, on the way out to the dive site on the rib I was talking to the other dives who said on Friday the water was 16 degrees. At that I didn’t think I would need my gloves after having been in 20 degree water in Malta a month before without a hood or gloves. The moment I rolled back off the rib and hit the water I knew it wasn’t 16 degrees and regretted not wearing my gloves. However I continued without and descended down for the dive.
The visibility was around 10 metres and it was a shallow dive along the coast. After spending the first few minutes getting used to my kit and the conditions again we started the dive. There was lots of little swim throughs and getting thrown around by the current near the coast was a new experience which made me feel sea sick, so had to quickly descend again to get away from the waves. The marine life was pretty good, lots of little spider crabs around the kelp and a lots of big edible crabs in the fisherman’s pots. Navigating in and out of the coast line never really exceeding 12metres we managed a 42 minute dive. I was starting to feel the cold without any gloves on as the actual bottom temperature was only 9 degrees!
I will definitely be back for more dives and next time will be wearing a pair of gloves! I urge anyone who is a qualified diver and has diving on their doorstep to give cold water diving a try. Yes, you have to wear a lot more equipment than warm water diving but cold water diving just lets you keep up your diving experience and that next time you go on holiday diving you don’t spend the first days diving to refresher courses!