I learnt to dive in Australian Cool/Temperate waters.
These reached a glorious low of 14 degrees during Winter. I believe that experiencing diving in cold water, with so many other elements to consider and obstruct your learning process, makes for a diver who can enjoy both types of diving. I think I would have struggled with the cold more, if I had learnt say – in Fiji, and then been dipped into freezing, currenty, poor viz water and expected to know how to deal with that change.
So the ’6 Reasons Why Learning To Dive In Cold Water Will Make You A Better Diver’ Are –
1. Difficulty Levels. Tasks are more difficult to achieve in cold water and bad viz. Thick gloves, hoods and wetsuits hinder movement and make you a better diver in the long run. You learn to realise your body’s limits to temperature, and a different skill set in dealing with serious things like hypothermia; and annoying things like trying to do up a buckle underwater with numb fingers.
2. Quality Time. Meaning more time and attention from intstructors. People would generally take the ‘warm tropical dive followed by post-dive cocktails under a palm tree’ option. This means smaller classes/less students in cooler water climates.
3. Qualification. Dive charters in the tropics often only give patrons a ‘Try Dive.’ This (though fun) gives you no proper qualification, and is usually a one-off fast money spinner for the charter itself. You get your ‘Open Water Certificate’ if you endure a proper course.
4. Gear. Cool water diving involves a whole new set of gear to get used to. heat packs. Hoods and gloves. And dry-suits and semi-drys, which alter buoyancy and get you used to weight belt changes during preparation etc.
5. Warming Up! Huddling over a mug of hot chocolate post-freezing-dive, is like sensory overload! A hot choccy in the tropics just doesn’t have the same meaning. My other favourite reason is getting to wear humungous hoodies after!
6. Appreciation. Diving in the tropics for the first time, having trained for two years in cold water, was soooo eeeeesy!! I was able to appreciate where I was. And having learnt the skills in difficult conditions meant using them without being complacent to their value was awesome.