So it’s crazy hot outside. Tons of high temperature records were broken in the last week with highs on the low 100′s for the rest of this week. So the first thing I think of is getting in the water.
As divers, what kind of precautions do we need to take as we get in the local lakes to have fun, continue our education or just cool off?
- Drink lots of water – High temperatures only add to the water that you sweat/use during a regular dive. On a run of the mill dive in Wisconsin during the summer you will still wear a 7 mm suit because the thermocline in most lakes and quarries is still under 65 degrees. 55, 45 and 40 is still common. 75′ in Wazee will always be 42 degrees.
- Hood and Gloves – yes or no? On the surface or above the thermocline. Leave them off! But, plan your dive and dive your plan, you need them below that thermocline.
- Rethink how you gear up for a dive – Take more trips from your car or set up point to the dive entry point. Take all of your gear to the dive entry before you don your suit. Put your suit on in the water!? Yes, go for it! This will keep you cool or cool you down after hauling your gear. Even If you are going through the thermocline you will heat up as you are getting ready. Take a drink from your water bottle between trips.
- Finally have a quality buddy – Make sure you discuss the heat with your buddy. Have a plan if one of you get in trouble out of the water. Discuss the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Got a lot of water on hand?
There are a lot of other discussions that you need to have with yourself (final Ok really?), with your buddy and with the others around you. Keep an eye on others if you can. Help out to the extent of your training, don’t make one tragedy/situation into two.
Let’s get wet!