For many divers their experience of scuba diving includes sunshine and warm tropical seas and is something they would do on holidays. But for those of us who do most of our diving in “cold” water we know that the rewards of diving in cooler seas far out weigh the challenges.
I’m often asked what is the temperature of the water on our dive sites and what defines cold water. It is not so much a case of what defines cold water as what type of suit do I wear when I go diving. It is important that the suit you wear is suitable for the conditions you are diving in. If you are dressed in a warm wet suit that fits you well, that is rated for cooler conditions, or in a Dry Suit, then the water temperature becomes less of a challenge.
Diving here on the south coast of Ireland might be considered cold water, but our coast is washed by the Gulf Stream which brings in warm currents that mix with our cooler waters so our water is not actually cold, it is more correct to call it Temperate.
Weather you call it cold water or temperate water doesn’t matter, it is important to note that the sea off the Irish coast is extremely rich and our reefs are very healthy. Our beautiful, rugged coastline translates to spectacular underwater scenery, and the reefs provide shelter to a wide variety of marine life, the colours of soft corals, anemones, and sponges would rival that of any coral reef.
This rugged coast line along with two world wars and bad winter storms have resulted in many ships coming to grief and sinking along the Cork Coast. Today Oceanaddicts take divers to visit these historical wrecks. There may be barriers to diving these wrecks for some divers, barriers that can be removed by training and experience. Cold water is never presented as a problem to divers wanting to look at and photograph these historical wrecks.
So before you dismiss diving in Irish waters as being too cold, talk to the Oceanaddicts team, we have the suit to keep you comfortable on you dive. We can also offer you a Dry Suit Speciality course so you can expand your skills while doing your “cold” water orientation
Having braved it and gone for a dive in Irish water, I am sure you will want to explore more and will not be put off again by the fear of “cold” water.