May 122010

…is it really possible to sleep dive?  Having had some very long days/weeks recently and getting all my sleeping/waking times confused I think it really is possible.  I must have woken at some unfathomable time (lets just say it was pitch black outside) this morning while it was still a chilling 12 degrees and decided to drive  to a dive spot on the tweed coast.  I must have subconsciously unloaded my car and decided that I really was going to get wet and changed into a wet suit.  The outside temperature was about 14 degrees and as I geared up and then touched the water I realised that the warmth shooting up my leg (not down) really was from the water.  It was an amazing 23 degrees so in I went – camera and torch in hand.  I hit about 8m shortly after entering and then right in my face was this enormous school of catfish balling and deciding that they would just run me down – It was a real wakeup call as you can see from the pic below.

balling catfish

A face full of balling catfish

The temperature of the water was surprisingly warm – not as warm as the 30 degrees in Malaysia that I am used to but also not as cold as the icy sludge I have dived in at the Arctic. I once arrived in the Arctic a couple of years ago during winter and I was asked as I got off the plane and trudged through meters of snow whether I had brought my scuba gear and I laughed and said “as if” – the response was “anything is possible” so about a week later I found myself in a dry suit trudging through snow and watching the thermometer dip below -20 degrees Celsius.  Now that is getting close to crazy, but at least I am now enjoying the warmth of my study with all the computers and monitors to keep me warm again :-)  I wonder if LCA2011 will have scuba diving events ???

actic diving

...I wasn't kidding - here I am freezing in a dry suit