Snorkeling is not only best done in tropical water. It is also exciting in cold water. But don’t get me wrong. You cannot just snorkel into freezing water without preparation. There are right ways of doing it. Taking the plunge into the extremely cold water can be dangerous. When your body temperature drops, your reaction time and thought process drop off, too. Your body needs more energy to keep warm so you will have less energy for your dive. Here are ways to keep your body warm when snorkeling or diving in cold water.
You would need to assess yourself if you need a long sleeve or legs to keep your body warm. You also need to check the thickness to keep you warm without making yourself overheat. If you are not sure, you can ask for recommendations from your dive master or instructor. The most important thing is to ensure your suit fits you well. If it doesn’t, it won’t work properly and you may find yourself still freezing despite wearing a suit, thus defeating its purpose. So carefully choose the right wetsuit for you to maximize your cold water snorkeling experience.
Don’t make a mistake snorkeling or diving in cold water without a hood. You don’t realize the amount of body heat lost from your head. Look for a hood that has a long neck. This can be tucked into your wetsuit, thus reducing the amount of skin exposed to the cold. You would also need to cover your hands and feet by wearing underwater gloves and boots.
As you stay on the deck before snorkeling or in between diving, your wetsuit can become a swamp cooler as you are exposed to the sea breeze. It is important that you wear a parka or a windbreaker to keep you protected from wind chill. If there is none, take off the suit or dry it off.
Ok, this might be misleading. It simply means you make sure the water doesn’t get into your suit. It would be useless if too much water comes in. Keep the water out by repairing broken zippers and split seams. Check collar seals because as you swim, it can act as a way for water to come in.
It should not just be any meal. A good meal can generate a much-needed energy to keep you focused especially when snorkeling in cold temperature. Plan or research a meal that can help your body maintain warmth throughout the whole activity.
If available, bring a jug of warm water and pour it on the wetsuit when you’re getting ready to dive. Take note: warm, not boiling. Pour the water at the front, back and sleeves of your wetsuit. This would make the layer warm and so, your body won’t work hard to produce heat.