a VirtualTourist member
Can you snorkel in Feb? What is the water temp...I am from Ohio...it is snowing here!
When I dove there in at the begining of February a few years back, the water temperature was in the low 70's (I just checked my dive log). Not much difference in temperature at the surface or at depth. I wore a full 1/4" wetsuit for the dives.
If you want to do some digging, I use the NOAA data buoy information. It's a bit of work to get the historical information, but it is there for the taking.
It is too cold for me in February even though I have a certain amount of natural insulation and can stand a bit of cold. I CAN snorkel, but can't stay in very long. Snorkeling would be harder to do than swimming because you are not moving enough to generate heat.
Agreed - me wearing 1/4' wet suit means that the water is not all that warm. Certainly not warm enough to stay in for any length of time without thermal protection. Getting hypthermic is no fun at all. I tend to wear a dry suit until the water temperature gets into the 60's.
Do you mean you wear a dry suit up to 60 deg F and from there to say about 80 deg F you wear a wet suit? 80 deg is about the coldest that my husband will swim.
Anyway, I DID snorkel in the Keys in Feb 2004 because I was diving on the prop to see if it was full of barnacles. I was only wearing a dive skin, and I couldn't stay in very long even though I was exerting myself more than just snorkeling on the surface. I don't know exactly how cold it was, but it was too cold. If there had been a problem, I would have had to get into full diving gear with a wet suit and all (I can't snorkel in a wet suit and get down under the surface because I'm too buoyant (that natural insulation I spoke of - aka fat).
If you just want to get in and paddle around a bit to see what it is like, you can probably do that, but I wouldn't go on a snorkeling trip that I paid for without some kind of thermal protection.
Actually I always wear full-body protection:
32F - 60 F - I wear a crushed neoprene dry suit. Undergarment vary with water temperature, so at 32 I have a heavy polar fleece set that I wear and somewhere around 50 F I switch to a lighter set. Heavy neoprene hood too. Lobster claw mitts in colder water and regular heavy 5 finger gloves as it gets warmed.
60F to 74F I wear a jumpsuit style wetsuit 1/4" with insulating sleeveless top. The top disappears when the water temperature exceeds high 60s F. Bibbed hood to light hood and heavy to light gloves, depending on water temperature.
75 F and above I wear a 3/16" neoprene jumpsuit (full body cover) with light hood and gloves. Full body protection just because there are sharp, abrasive things down under water and I'd rather scuff the suit, not my skin.