Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Maiden Voyage of Dry Suit

It was a beautiful day for a paddle on Sunday. The water temp and the air were both in the mid 50's so it was prudent ot wear my dry suit. I had started out with heavy biking plants and a polypro top, but after biking to the boathouse they seemed too warm to wear under the dry suit. I opted for just the top and wool socks.

I was comfy on the way south to the Williamsburg Bridge, but as the air temp sank, I cooled off rapidly. The experts know what they are talking about when they warn that dry suits do not keep you warm, just dry.

Luckily, I had tossed a warm hat in my day hatch and was just fine for the paddle back.

Back at the boathouse, as I was about to climb up the dock ladder, I decided to see if my tropos dry suit was really waterproof. I climbed down the rungs instead of up until I was waist deep. At that point I could feel the cold water on my legs and my core temp dropping slightly. That was enough. I climbed out of the water pulled my boat out.

As I lowered into the water, tiny air bubbles appeared on the suit, sucking the suit against my legs. The suit was indeed dry inside. I was not able to test the noeprene neck gasket, but it is a tight fit. Once I purchase better insulating layers I will test the whole system.

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