Once upon a time, and not so very long ago (just before Christmas actually), Tangodiver thought it was about time that she had her very own wetsuit. Even though she qualified in 1997, Tangodiver hadn’t done much diving in the last 10 years and hadn’t been too concerned about hiring equipment. She owned a pair of fins, a mask, and a snorkel, all of which fit into her suitcase and still left room in her luggage for shopping. Although Tangodiver hadn’t been on many diving holidays, she had been to some interesting places to dive: she had done her Open Water in The Maldives (before El Niño), Advanced Open Water in The Cayman Islands, back again to The Maldives (after El Niño), Kenya and The Red Sea.
Tangodiver never imagined in a million years that she would fall in love with the very nice man she met on her last diving holiday three years ago, and who had qualified as a Divemaster. When Tangodiver thought it was about time she went into the water again, she and The Divemaster booked a holiday to The Red Sea (Sharm el Sheikh). Now The Divemaster took his role very seriously (‘master’ being the operative word here) and decided that he couldn’t possibly go diving with Tangodiver if she would be wearing ‘snorkel’ (full foot) fins underwater. Tangodiver, being the true Jersey (New Jersey) girl that she is, told The Divemaster that they were the only fins she had, they fit her, she liked the colour, she was happy with them, and he knew what he could do if he didn’t like it. So he bought her a pair of ‘proper’ diving fins and boots for her birthday! 🙂
The holiday went better than either of them could have expected. The Divemaster was in charge of all diving related matters and was not embarrassed about what type of fins Tangodiver was wearing, and Tangodiver had her very own Divemaster to look after her every diving need. As the holiday was so successful, they agreed that they would have other diving holidays together in the future.
The Divemaster thought that it was about time that Tangodiver should own her own wetsuit. So when Tangodiver finally sold her house, she took The Divemaster with her (actually, he drove her around) on a wetsuit shopping expedition. She needed expert advice and since The Divemaster has very good equipment 😉 he was the best choice to take along. So she put on a very nice pair of matching undies that could almost be taken for a swimsuit and off they went.
The first dive shop they went to was little more than a ramshackle hut and they initially thought the place was closed. It wasn’t. The owner was a mature and experienced lady diver and had just come back from Sharm. She thought the water was cold and suggested Tangodiver try on a ScubaPro 7mm wetsuit. (Actually, Tangodiver thought it was the only one in the shop in her size.) So Tangodiver dutifully took off her clothes and squeezed into the wetsuit. “Are the arms and legs supposed to feel like I am having my blood pressure tested?” Tangodiver asked. “Oh, they are meant to be snug”, the mature lady diver said. The Divemaster thought it would be a good idea to try on a few different brands before handing over some cash and told the mature lady diver that they would be back later if they couldn’t find anything. So Tangodiver gratefully peeled off the wetsuit with the help of her Divemaster (it was a bit of a struggle), got dressed, and drove off to another shop. While they were in the car, The Divemaster told Tangodiver that the suit she had tried on was a bit loose under the arms and that she should try on a wetsuit geared particularly to women. She hadn’t noticed the looseness under the arms as the wetsuit was way too tight in other places. Maybe a wetsuit made for ladies was a good idea.
So with that in mind, they went to the second dive shop, but it had closed down. The third dive shop they went to was closed. There was one more place to try. Fortunately it was open. They had a nice range of wetsuits for women. Tangodiver proceeded to try them on.
The second wetsuit Tangodiver tried on was by Oceanic. It went on like a dream. It was snug in all the right places, but without trying to cut off her circulation. If there was one little fault, it was only that it was a bit loose around the neck. That was no good as it would let in too much water.
The third wetsuit Tangodiver tried on was by Fourth Element. Apparently, these wetsuits are meant to be the mother of all wetsuits. It was snug, like a second skin, but not too snug, except for when The Divemaster tried to zip her up. “Help, I can’t breathe!” Tangodiver said. “It’s choking me! Get me outta here!” The Divemaster quickly unzipped her, and while Tangodiver was recovering and gasping for breath, the shop assistant was bringing her another wetsuit to try on. While Tangodiver was trying to explain to The Divemaster that although she liked the look and feel of the wetsuit, the neckband pushing on her oesophagus was a big negative, as breathing was essential to scuba diving.
While Tangodiver couldn’t get out of the Fourth Element wetsuit quickly enough, she got into a bit of a tangle and she wasn’t aware what a sight she must have been to the shop assistant who politely tried to avert his eyes while she stood in the changing room in her undies as she grabbed the fourth suit out of his hands. 😉 (Tangodiver thinks matching undies are about the same as a bikini and is quite proud of her figure these days, so wasn’t fazed by this.)
Now Tangodiver was getting very tired and bored with trying on wetsuits and was hoping the fourth one would be the last one to try on. Everything started well – legs in, ok, not too tight – arms in, ok, not too tight there either – zip up. In fact, it fit perfectly. Tangodiver had just tried on the Cressi Comfort Plus 5mm Lady. It is shaped specfically for women and their curves. The Italians know a thing or two about style. So it was no big surprise to Tangodiver that this wetsuit would fit her in all the right places. There was an added bonus in that the colours complemented the new fins that she got for her birthday! The Divemaster thought that Tangodiver looked great and told her that the most important thing was how comfortable she felt wearing it. It was not too tight, nor too loose. It was just right! Now all Tangodiver had to do was wear it underwater!