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  #1  
Old 01-25-2010
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Wetsuit in the Abacos?

We're chartering in the Abacos this coming February. Does it make sense to bring wetsuits for snorkeling, etc.? Me, the admiral and our two tadpoles, 7 and 5. That's my instinct, but just checking with others who may know better. Thx.
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Old 01-25-2010
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In the past I have taken shorties. One year I brushed a man-o- war and was glad I had it on as the tennacles brushed against the suit and I was unharmed
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Old 01-26-2010
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Here in Florida we don't swim in the ocean during the winter when people come down from the North and enjoy the water. We sometimes wear wetsuits in the Abacos during the winter, but we're pansies! We were in Maine for the summer and saw many people swimming; however, I was unable to enter the water. Maine in the summer is far colder than the Abacos in the winter. 'take care an joy, Aythya crew
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Old 01-26-2010
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No wetsuits, generally, but be sure to wear Tshirts and even maybe light pajama pants if you're going for a long swim.. Best snorkeling is around noon when the sun is it's most powerful and you can get a nasty sunburn on backs and legs without knowing it til it's too late.
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Old 01-26-2010
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The water is warm enough to go naked, usually in the 75 degree range. However, I wear a skin or shorty to protect my skin against any accidental rubbing on coral or nasty creatures that might come along.
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Old 01-26-2010
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A couple of years ago, we spent November to Feb in and around Marsh Harbor. I did a lot of scuba diving and snorkeling. I definitely recommend a short 3mm wet suit if you are in the water long. My son who is cold natured used a 3mm full suit and still complained about it.

I looked at my diving logs and the water temps were in the mid 70s for the most part. You also need to be prepared for colder weather. For the most part its shorts and tee shirts, but when a front rolls through, it can get a little nippy.

Here is a link to a photo blog of our trip if you are interested.
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Old 01-26-2010
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A wetsuit makes snorkelling much more enjoyable.
Even in 'warm' water the insulation provided by a 3mm shorty can help to significantly retain core temperature. Your body temp is 98.6 F so even tropical 85 F water will leech away warmth.
The added buoyancy will be an asset. A wetsuit also protects against the sun and things like jellyfish (I got zapped on the ear in Grand Cayman - it felt like someone had snapped me with a towel it burned and ached for a couple of days.)
Please avoid touching coral and other marine life. Coral is killed by contact and takes years to regrow if at all. Fish are protected by a film of slime. If the slime is wiped off it leaves the fish prone to infection, illness and death.
I was really shocked to see the dive master in Abacos accosting the grouper.
In many dive ops, touching corals, fish etc. will earn you a quick trip back to the boat and loss of diving privilages.
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Old 01-26-2010
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Reefs are full of specimens that can injure you through contact. Plus you lose body heat 17 times faster in water vs air. Some people should wear a 5mm suit instead of a 3mm suit.

Another problem with injuries is that the blood attracts all kinds of fish that bite at the wound. Blood also attracts the mighty shark. Mightily.

As for killing a fish by touching it.....balderdash. Ever been to Sea World? I made my living taking care of commercial aquariums.

Last edited by adamsaquatics; 01-26-2010 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 01-26-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamsaquatics View Post
Reefs are full of specimens that can injure you through contact. Plus you lose body heat 17 times faster in water vs air. Some people should wear a 5mm suit instead of a 3mm suit.

Another problem with injuries is that the blood attracts all kinds of fish that bite at the wound. Blood also attracts the mighty shark. Mightily.

As for killing a fish by touching it.....balderdash. Ever been to Sea World? I made my living taking care of commercial aquariums.
I don't want to hijack the thread, but, there is evidence to suggest that handling fish can have a negative effect on them.
According to this report from The University of Florida (emphasis added):
"Protective barriers against infection
1. Mucus (slime coat) is a physical barrier which
inhibits entry of disease organisms from the
environment into the fish.
It is also a chemical
barrier because it contains enzymes (lysozymes)
and antibodies (immunoglobulins) which can
kill invading organisms. Mucus also lubricates
the fish which aids movement through the water,
and it is also important for osmoregulation.
2. Scales and skin function as a physical barrier
which protects the fish against injury. When
these are damaged, a window is opened for
bacteria and other organisms to start an infection."

"Effect of stress on protective barriers
Mucus
1. Any stress causes chemical changes in mucus
which decrease its effectiveness as a chemical
barrier against invading organisms. Stress upsets
the normal electrolyte (sodium, potassium, and
chloride) balance which results in excessive
uptake of water by fresh water fish and
dehydration in salt water fish. The need for
effective osmoregulatory support from mucus
components is increased.
2. Handling stress physically removes mucus from
the fish.
This results in decreased chemical
protection, decreased osmoregulatory function
(at a time when it is most needed), decreased
lubrication thereby causing the fish to use more
energy to swim (at a time when its energy
reserves are already being used up
metabolically), and disruption of the physical
barrier against invading organisms."

So not 'balderdash' at all.

I would also expect that someone as intimately familiar with ichthyology as you profess to be would know better than to propagate the hysteria surrounding sharks.
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Old 01-27-2010
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My uncle was on the destroyer that charged the Yamamoto in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. He spent a few days clinging to debris while waiting for rescue. During that time, about half of his crew was lost. To sharks. He, and the other survivors, watched while the sharks tugged at his ship mates....before consuming them.

The sharks were not attracted to the battle. They were attracted to the blood.

If you are not bleeding, you are probably very safe. If you are bleeding, it is an entirely different story.

Look....I'm just trying to prevent some misery. I'm also a master diver who took care of over 1000 gallons of saltwater fish and invertebrates within the past 48 hours. I might know something?

Last edited by adamsaquatics; 01-27-2010 at 09:47 AM.
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