You can always tell when the temperature starts rising in Sharm, the instructors race to kit up in the holy grail of dive kit – Rash vest and shorts! There is nothing like diving in non floaty attire (although given the condition of most of our wetsuits, they don’t affect buoyancy that much), halving your weight belt and enjoying the warm water. That said, guests often mis-judge the conditions and turn up with suits that invariably get retired to the dive bag by day 2! Often, guests have never dived without a suit, and seem unable to understand why we are so keen.
As you may have guessed, this leads nicely to my guests today. Experienced divers, they are doing a house reef dive to get them back into the swing of things, before they go and enjoy a week of solid diving! I know these guests well, and soon realise they are both brandishing new, and matching, wetsuits. And these suits are thick. 7mm I’m informed. The sight is comical as I wander around in my vest and shorts, watching (and helping) my guys to struggle into their new purchases. There is another very good reason to not wear a suit that is too thick at this time of year and this is a perfect example – the heat. If getting into your wetsuit leaves you in a puddle of sweat, it’s probably not a good thing! However, determined to try out their new gear, and with the aid of the shower, they are finally ready.
The walk to the water is a quick one as they are desperate to get in the water. As I trot along behind, they are in the sea and under the water before I can spit in my mask. I say under, as it’s more of a bob. The new suits are refusing to go down, and being the prepared instructor I am, I duly hand over the ton of extra weight I have bought with me! (I’ve seen this one too many times). The dive itself is lovely, the newly warm water seems to attract more fish than normal, and we are treated to a magical display from the schooling banner fish as they seem to weave through the water before retreating to the safety of the amphora pots. A quick swim by a large parrot fish with a particularly algae encrusted mouth ends our dive and all too soon we are sweltering in the top side heat again. As I give them a quick briefing about tomorrow’s plans, and start moving their boxes, it occurs to me theirs are very light.
Guess what? “Think we’ll save the suits for Majorca. Any idea where we can get some rash vests?”