Once I finally made up my mind on the Cressi Lady 5mm wetsuit, it wasn’t long before I had a chance to try it out. It is one thing trying on a wetsuit in completely dry conditions, but the true measure of a wetsuit is how well it performs when in the water.
Getting into the suit when it was dry was only challenging in that it was a new suit and I wasn’t used to getting in or out of it. The boat bouncing on the sea didn’t help much either. Fortunately, there is always a helping hand from somewhere on the dive boat. The suit is a beautiful fit, and I wore it with a Fourth Element Thermocline vest underneath. I added a bit more weight than usual to compensate for the high buoyancy of the new suit until I got used to it and the suit had a chance to compress a little. While in the water, I didn’t notice anything untoward with regard to the suit. My first dive lasted an hour and I didn’t start to feel cold until the last 10 minutes of the dive. Although the suit comes with a hood (purchased separately), I didn’t purchase one, which probably would have been very useful and would have kept me warmer.
After the dive, getting my suit off was more difficult than getting it on, but I had helping hands that just ripped it off of me. The wind blowing made it very chilly, so getting into dry clothing and warming up was a priority. So that was the first dive with a new suit. It worked. The fun would start on the second dive when having to get into a damp suit.
My vest was dry for the second dive, but my wetsuit was still wet – and cold. Putting on a pair of tights, support underwear, or a condom is easier than putting on a wet wetsuit. The wind wasn’t helping and just made everything colder. Once the suit was on I quickly got warm. The second dive was similar to the first as I didn’t get cold until the last 10 minutes of an hour of diving.
The next day I was able to lose the extra weight. By the end of the week, I had developed my method for getting the suit on and off efficiently, more or less. After two weeks of diving, I noticed that some days the water was colder than at other times, and was not indicative to the performance of the suit. I may have been warmer if I had adequate head covering. All in all, I was very happy in my new wetsuit.
When we came back from our holiday, Amor and I went back to Ocean View Diving, where I had purchased my wetsuit, to pick up the matching hood and a new pair of fin boots. I also found a cap called a neo beanie, by Bare. My hair is fairly short at the moment, and although it is long in the front, it isn’t long enough to pull back off of my face. I tried on a Scap when I was in Sharm, but it just wouldn’t stay on my head. I am hoping the beanie will do the job of keeping my hair out of my face and keeping my head warm.
This weekend, I decided that I should just go out and buy the rest of my diving kit while I had the money. I spent about £200 for the hire of a BCD and regulators over a two week period on my last holiday. That is the equivalent of the price of a dive computer (ok, not a really expensive one, but you get the idea!).
Amor and I drove over to Blue Ocean Diving to see what they had. I was looking to buy a dive computer, BC and regs. I was tired of hiring BCs that didn’t fit me properly, and wearing regs that felt like I was wearing gum shields. One of the ladies I met on holiday had an Oceanic Islander 2 BC. I liked the idea of wearing something lightweight and which didn’t take up too much weight in my luggage! The young man in the shop was very helpful and knowledgeable. There was no pressure to purchase anything and I was offered options for the various items I wanted. I tried on the Islander 2 as well as several other BCs and decided on the Islander 2. It was the most comfortable. Amor made sure that it fit me properly and everything was in the right place. One down, two to go!
The next item was a dive computer. I wanted to purchase a computer that would last me for a few years (or more!) and where I would be able to see the numbers underwater. Amor has a Suunto. Although Suunto makes very nice dive computers, they are a bit more expensive than I would have liked to spend for my first computer. Blue Ocean has a nice selection of Suunto dive computers as well as computers by Oceanic. The young man talked me through the various Oceanic dive computers and their functions. I eventually chose the Oceanic VEO 2.0; it is easy to read and meant to be easy to use. I just need to get my head around the instructions.
Lastly, and to stick with the theme, I purchased a set of Oceanic regulators. They are lightweight and the mouthpiece fits perfectly. Amor helped me choose these also. I don’t know what I would do without him. He is The Divemaster after all! 🙂
I handed over my credit card, and that was that. I now own everything that I need to go SCUBA diving. Now I just need to book another holiday so I can try everything out!