Diving Dry with DUI

This past summer I was lucky enough to be chosen as the Boston Sea Rovers Summer Intern. The Boston Sea Rovers is a large dive club based in the Greater Boston area and boasting a nationwide membership. Each year the club selects one young-adult from a pool of applicants to spend the summer exploring career opportunities in marine science under the guidance and hospitality of the club’s members. The summer is full of brief apprenticeships and adventures both domestic and international.

My summer was full of diving in different parts of the world. I was very fortunate to dive in two new locations: Newfoundland, Canada and (believe or not) the New England Coast. For this cold water diving, Diving Unlimited International (DUI) generously donated a custom-built TLS350 drysuit for my use. Previously deterred by these regions’ colder waters, I was now eager to dive in, armed with a top of the line exposure suit. 

2

I thoroughly enjoyed my time underwater while staying warm in my DUI suit. A dry suit works by creating watertight seals at the wrists and neck, ensuring your body stays completely dry while only your hands and head are exposed. I wore thick, 7mm neoprene gloves and hood to keep these areas warm as well. Underneath the suit itself, I wore a special, moisture resistant, DUI sweatsuit. It felt as if I were diving in my pajamas! Despite water temperatures as cold as 44º F, I was plenty comfortable in my TLS350.

4

The other aspect of drysuit diving that differs from diving in a wetsuit is that your suit is connected to your air supply via a low pressure inflator hose (similar to your BCD). Given that a relatively large air space is created between your body and the suit, as you descend in the water column, your dry suit will ‘suck’ to your body. In order to compensate for this squeeze, drysuit divers inflate their suits slightly as they descend.

3

If you’re interested in learning to “dive-dry” check out Undersea Divers’ Dry Suit Dive course. Drysuit diving not only keeps you much warmer in colder environments such as New England, but allows you to extend your diving season into the colder months. The two day course will teach you everything you need to know about drysuit diving and incorporates academic, confined water, and open water sessions.

5

If you’re looking to buy a drysuit, I would highly recommend the DUI TLS350. This custom-built suit fits me perfectly and I can tell it was created with care by the DUI team. The seals are comfortable, I have full mobility underwater, and most importantly it keeps me incredibly warm. In fact, I often am warmer in my drysuit diving in 50º F water than I am diving in my wetsuit in the Caribbean! Check out their website for more information: http://www.dui-online.com/.

We hope to see you around Undersea Divers soon! 

Post By: PADI Instructor James Allan