5 Disadvantages of using a drysuit

A drysuit is the type of suit that divers use for diving in cold water, and not only that: I dive in a dry suit in winter in the Red Sea, where the lowest temperature is 19-20 degrees. Comfort is very important to me, and during winter time I want to be fully concentrated on the divers I’m diving with, not counting the minutes until I get out of the water to warm up.

The idea behind a drysuit is that you stay completely dry and the insulating layer between you and the suit is air, not water like in a wetsuit.

Sounds promising, but there are some things we have to consider.

5 Disadvantages of using a drysuit

So, let me tell you the 5 disadvantages of using a drysuit.

I think it’s worth mentioning that of course, you can count more disadvantages, in general, as well as advantages. So let us gradually uncover this topic, which will require more than a single article. First things first.

1 A dry suit doesn’t always mean you’re dry 😂.

Sometimes water can seep through the neck seal or wrist seals, because of the increased mobility in the water or because of damages of the suit, through the zipper if it’s not closed properly; or through the valves because of poor maintenance, improper rinsing, etc.

2 You are less mobile in the water, a drysuit limits your ability to move compared to wetsuit mobility.

3 Most of the time you will need more weight compared to a wetsuit, often because of the thickness of the undergarments that you use.

4 The neck wrist seals need regular replacement, and the zipper needs regular maintenance. (more on this in another article). If this is not done in time, you may find yourself in a situation where you will have to cancel the dive, because the drysuit will not function as it should.
A torn seals on a drysuit or a wetsuit is not the same thing.

5 You cannot rent or dive with a drysuit without prior training.

Not all disadvantages are exactly disadvantages, but the nuances: price, necessary manipulation with the suit underwater, and more.

You may have thought that diving with a drysuit was a bad idea, but it really isn’t, we’ll definitely talk about the benefits in another article.

Share your experience, do you dive with a dry suit or a wet suit?

What disadvantages have you experienced or would you add to the list?

#diving #travel #redsea #egypt #tourism #drysuit #scubadiving #hurghada #padi #courses #instructor

Coral reefs are at risk

For years scientists are discussing and making research about sunscreen use and its impact on the health of coral reefs.

As a Diving Instructor, I feel important to raise this topic in my blog, to spread the information, to share my knowledge, and allow making a sustainable choice to those who will read this article.

Corals are animals and almost every diver knows about them. Corals are living in symbiosis with tiny algae called zooxanthellae. Tiny plant-like organisms live in a safe place within healthy coral tissue, and they also get to use the coral’s waste products as nutrients to power photosynthesis. The corals, in turn, receive energy in the form of sugars as products of the zooxanthellae’s photosynthesis, providing close to 90% of their energy.

So far so good and it is impressive how nature is perfectly created something which works so well.

Coral reefs are important for many different reasons aside from supposedly containing the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. They:

  • protect coastlines from the damaging effects of wave action and tropical storms
  • provide habitats and shelter for many marine organisms
  • are the source of nitrogen and other essential nutrients for marine food chains
  • assist in carbon and nitrogen fixing
  • help with nutrient recycling. 
  • the fishing industry depends on coral reefs because many fish spawn there and juvenile fish spend time there before making their way to the open sea
  • just a Great Barrier Reef alone generates more than 1.5 billion dollars every year for the Australian economy, from fishing and tourism

Unfortunately, there are many global and local threats to the health and sustainability of coral reefs, Let’s talk about it in a different article. But in this one, I would like to talk about a very specific one. 

So where is the issue? For years scientists are concerned about coral bleaching. One of the reasons for coral bleaching that each of us can influence by making a wise choice – is sunscreen protection use.

Sunscreen can enter the ocean indirectly through wastewater systems when it is washed off and from swimmers and divers or directly if the sunscreen comes off people when in the ocean. 

The main reason for that, the key ingredients of the sunscreen which are Oxybenzone and Octinoxate. Additionally, look out for Benzophenone-1, Benzophenone-8, OD-PABA, 4-Methyl benzylidene camphor, 3-Benzylidene camphor, and Octocrylene. 

Some facts: 

  • Oxybenzone and octinoxate are used in 70-80% of sunscreens. Sunscreen washes off when you swim or shower and can end up in the oceans.
  • Oxybenzone and octinoxate harm reefs by increasing a coral’s susceptibility to bleaching. Damaging coral DNA which interferes with reproduction. Causing deformities and growth anomalies.
  • more than 14,000 TONS of sunscreen end up in the ocean each year. There is an estimate that 90% of snorkeling and diving tourism is concentrated on 10% of the world’s coral reefs, meaning that popular reefs are especially vulnerable to sunscreen exposure. 
  • 82,000 chemicals from personal-care products (shampoo, conditioner, etc) may be tainting the seas; about 80 percent of corals just in the Caribbean have been lost in the last 50 years due to pollution, coastal development, and warming waters.
  • combined local and global pressures will push 90 percent of coral reefs to threatened status in less than 10 years (by 2030) and nearly all reefs will be threatened by 2050, one of the reasons for pollution and sunscreen use.
  • Just one drop of oxybenzone in 6.5 Olympic swimming pools can induce coral stress.
  • In addition to the harm caused to coral, sunscreen can decrease fertility in fish; accumulate in dolphins; damage the immune systems of sea urchins and deform their young, and impair photosynthesis in algae.

But it’s not only chemical sunscreens that are harmful. Mineral sunscreens sometimes contain nano-particles that are so small that they can be absorbed by marine life. These minerals are toxic to many ocean species and can cause stress and ultimately death, even at low concentrations. The safest sunscreen is biodegradable and made from minerals, instead of chemicals. We recommend using brands with non-nano Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide as the active ingredient. “Non-nano” sunscreen is made up of particles larger than 100 nanometers in diameter and is safer for marine life than “nano” sunscreen, containing particles smaller than 100 nanometers.

Reef safe sunscreen.

How you can help:

  • read the label of the sunscreen
  • chose those without oxybenzone and octinoxate (see the complete list above)
  • avoid aerosol sunscreen. Most spray sunscreens contain harmful nanoparticles that stick to the sand and wash into the sea
  • use hats, a long sleeve shirts
  • avoid being in the sun, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV rays are strongest
  • while diving do not use any sunscreens and do not touch any corals/underwater life

Thailand has banned sunscreens containing chemicals that damage coral from all of its marine national parks. Similar bans have been introduced by the Pacific island of Palau and the US state of Hawaii.

I hope that Egypt will make some efforts in this direction as well in the close future. 

We have to remember harmful sunscreen ingredients are just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to saving coral reefs.

  • Become an advocate for the environment, talk to your kids, friends, and colleagues – spread information about global and local threats. 
  • Donate to the underwater clean-ups that we organize in the local dive sites of the Red Sea
  • Support the development of sustainable approaches in diving activities
  • Share this article, spread the knowledge, and raise awareness.

6 Tips for making a good dive even better

How many dives do you have?

Are you just a beginner or already have some hours of making bubbles under the water?

You probably already have your favorite dives in your memory, where everything went smoothly, you saw something very special or something you had wanted to see for a long time.

How to make an upcoming dive one of the best? How not to loose the excitement and curiosity of going under the water, how even after hundreds of dives not to loose interest?

Let’s talk about it and see what we will find out. There are many things we need to keep in mind and consider, not everything will work in every particular dive for everyone, but this list of tips might help you to increase your awareness and create new opportunities.

Tip 1: Stay positive, take opportunities to learn

Dives can be different: a broken fin strap, before entering the water for the drift dive, foggy mask, low visibility, ear problems. Would this happen all at once? Probably not, but each of this instances teach us to anticipate and take precautions at least in the parts where we have an influence. Prepare your mask in advance, not just before jumping in the water. Descend slowly and equalize often to prevent ear problems. Low visibility? Maybe time to learn how to use a compass, widening the range of conditions where you feel comfortable. Getting out of our comfort zone, that’s what stimulates our ability to grow and helps us to develop our skills. Take this challenge and widen your horizons.

Tip 2: Less expectations

Go into the water with your eyes open, do not limit yourself to see a particular creature. Enjoy the present and magic of life to be just what it is, no plans and predictions needed. The most beautiful encounters are the unexpected ones. Waiting for dolphins the whole dive limits you so much from seeing all the surroundings, and all the other creatures which you do not even recognize. There is always so much to discover in every dive, you will be surprised, just try.

The most beautiful encounters are the unexpected ones.

Tip 3: Buddy team

Keep in mind that being a good buddy is very important for a nice and smooth dive, clear communication, responsible behavior and trust – this creates a good environment for a great,  hassle free dive.

Tip 4: Increase your comfort level

Stay fit, have better buoyancy control, efficient fin kicking, work on your air consumption – all of that will widen your abilities for different diving opportunities , which opens the door to new dive sites, types of dives, conditions etc.

Tip 5: Thinking like a diver

After each dive make a debriefing with your buddy. What worked exactly as you wanted, what felt comfortable or what didn’t, did you face any challenges or how good was your communication. Build up a good connection and real teamwork to enjoy diving even more, learn from each dive, there is always room for the improvement.

Tip 6: Record and share you experiences

Fill up your logbook, so many options are available for that: a paper version, an app for your phone or you can even make your own customized one. Time will pass and little details will be forgotten, do not let them fade away.

There are never two exactly the same days in our lives, the same is with dives. If all of them were absolutely perfect we would loose the feeling of special moments, so be open and let it tell it’s own unique story.

There are never two exactly the same days in our lives, the same is with dives.

Do you have any tips to help make dives an even better experience? Let me know in the comments, share your experience.

Here the Journey begins

Welcome to my Dive Blog, happy to see you here.

Who am I? Earthling – first of all… lucky one, having a chance to do every day what I love; I am a PADI Course Director teaching all diving courses from beginner to professional levels, sharing my experience, always discovering something new with each student.

Being presented on most of the social media, regularly having a lot of questions about diving from different corners of the world, I decided to put all of that topics together in one place.  Like that more people can participate in discussions, sharing their experience, that everyone can benefit from, exchanging thoughts, raising questions, finding solutions, building up a strong community of people with similar values and love for the ocean and Earth,  people who always ready to learn and make tomorrow a better day.

welcome to my dive blog

This Blog will be about diving, environment, underwater world, problems and difficulties, ecological and environmental awareness, how and where we can make a difference, conservation and protection issues and possibilities, fun diving, Red Sea, safety, skills, diving tips, course reviews and practical suggestions to help everyone to become a better diver and so much more. I strongly believe that we can find a balance and raise awareness about environmental issues, we can find the way how to influence them; no matter where we are, how often we dive and even if we are divers or not. This blog will be for everyone to take a part, to learn something new about diving and about yourself.

If you would like to suggest a topic for the discussion, or there is something you really would like to know or share, please do not hesitate to contact me, I am open to everyone and will be happy to create valuable content for everyone.

Communication, willingness to understand,  trust and respect – main rules of this blog, let’s make it together.