• Gearing Up

    A Word On Wetsuits or how to fit into tight rubber!

    Wetsuits. Rubber Straight Jacket or Sleek Dive Wear?

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    Ok, so you have arrived at the dive shop and it is time to try on your equipment.  Most things go on pretty easily, boots, BCD, mask and fins just slip on, no fuss.  Then there are the wetsuits!  At this stage your inner contortionist comes into play, nails splinter, knuckles get bruised and potential hernias pop!

    Meanwhile, your divemaster or instructor just seems to glide seamlessly into their rubber straight jacket without even breaking sweat, goes off for a cup of tea, has a chat, answers a few emails and yet your wretched suit still has not got over your knees!  How do they manage to do this I hear you ask.

    Alternative dive gear
    Alternative dive gear

    Which wetsuits are right for you?

    The first thing is to have a suit that is the right fit. Strange it may seem but men and women do not have the same body shape. Men’s wetsuits are more generous in the shoulders and women’s wetsuits are more generous in the hips.  If your dive shop has both male and female suits then you are very lucky indeed!  Suits are generally sized from XXS to XXL and will stretch to accommodate a wide variety of height and width fittings.

    However, there is a limit to how much they will stretch! You want the fit to be comfortable but snug.  Remember, the idea is to trap a little bit of water inside the suit and then have your body warm that water. If you have a bath full of water swilling around on the inside of your suit, then you ain’t going to warm it up, likewise, if you have huge gaps at your neck, wrists and ankles, then all that warm water will wash away!

    Getting it on!

    You have found what you think is the correct size for you, so how can you glide into you rental suit like a pro? Solution one is plastic bags. Place a bag over your foot before sliding into the leg of your wetsuit and you will find that your foot does not snag half way through the foot hole.  The same with your hands going into the sleeves of the suit.

    Solution two is to carry a bottle of shampoo or conditioner with you.  Lather yourself up all over your arms and legs with shampoo or conditioner, wet the inside of the wet suit and you will find that the suit slips on like a second skin. If you wish to remain friends with your dive shop, do not use sun tan lotion or oil.  This trashes the wet suit in next to no time.

    Third, try to pinch the wetsuit with your thumb and fingers rather than grabbing a fist full of neoprene and tugging like a person  possessed. This will save your nails and knuckles. Ease the suit up a little bit at a time. Finally, get your buddy to help.  They can ease the suit over shoulders and also help pull up the zip.  Tears form in divemasters eyes as they watch divers playing tug o’ war with wetsuit zip cords, just waiting for the inevitable ripping sound as the zipper pulls away!

    A final though.  You may wish to invest in a wet suit of your own, that means you try on a range of suits and get professional advice of what would be right for you. You can even have your suit tailor made…

    ”Rubber?  Rubber? Suits you sir!”

  • Diving with Mola at Nusa Penida and Lembongan, Bali

    mola Nusa Penida Bali
    World Diving Divemasters are skilled at finding mola

     

    The mighty Mola (Oceanic sunfish) is one of the reasons why our islands and our dive sites are so famous.

    The sunfish is one of the strangest looking fish in the ocean and yet one that divers often place highly on their lists of ‘things to see’. As the heaviest known bony fish in the world and weighing in at over 2,200lbs the mola has two dorsal fins making it as tall as it is long. The most distinguishing feature of the mola is its main body area – of which there is very little – and which is flattened laterally. This strange shaping explains the German name for the fish – ‘schwimmender kopf’ which translates literally to ‘swimming head’.  The word ‘mola’ is actually latin and means ‘millstone’ perhaps referring to either the shape or marbled coloration of the fish which is very typical in the Ramsayi species commonly seen around Nusa Penida.

    Sunfish live on a diet of nutritionally poor jelly fish and to maintain their body weight they consume huge quantities. Ordinarily they are deep water fish but they are seen around Nusa Penida from July to October as they drift up the reefs on the cold thermoclines making their way into the shallower waters. Year round they carry an incredibly heavy parasitic load and these giant fish rely on some of the reefs smallest inhabitants to unburden them through cleaning.

    Mola cleaning is an incredible sight as this huge fish, which averages around 2 meters, cruises up the reef hoping to attract the attention of the smaller reef fish. Banner fish are one of the great mola cleaning fish and can be seen literally leaving the reef in swarms as they flock to the mola. Other cleaner fish include cleaner wrasse which primarily clean around the gills and mouth, butterfly fish which focus on the eyes and even emperor angel fish have been seen cleaning the dorsal fins. Another means by which the mola is thought to rid itself of parasites is by ‘jumping’ – a phenomenon often witnessed by fishermen and during surface intervals. The mola will break through the surface and then crash back down creating an almighty splash which is thought to break off parasites in the process.

    They are a truly Jurassic looking fish which, as a member of the order Tetraodontiformes, are closely related to pufferfish, porcupine fish and triggerfish. The sunfish is also referred to as the Balinese Sunfish (or Moonfish to the French – Poisson Lune). The name sunfish is thought to come from its habit of ‘sunbathing’ on the surface of the water.

    Are you hoping to see a mola? The season is our busiest time here at Word Diving so be sure to book your space on the boat well in advance. Our PADI Divemasters know exactly when and where to look for them so you’ll be diving with mola experts! To make your reservation contact us on [email protected]