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scuba at lake rawlings in feb/march?
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scuba at lake rawlings in feb/march? - January 21, 2013, 10:01 AM

i did a search and noticed there's quite a few folks here that scuba dive. i'm planning to start in early february for my open water cert, for a trip to hawaii at the start of april. i'd like to get my cert done here, so i don't have to worry/fuss about finishing the open water portion while on vacation. unfortunately that means completing the open water portion at lake rawlings in the middle of feb, early march, when the water will be freezing cold. and millbrook quarry doesn't open until mid april.

do any of you guys have experience diving locally in feb/march? the dive shop will provide 7mm wetsuits, so i'm assuming that'll be enough to keep warm? or should we reconsider finishing the open water portion while on vacation because it's not that big a deal? we'll be island hopping and visiting oahu, maui and big island. any dive recommendations for those islands?


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January 21, 2013, 11:44 AM

I would be all over this but my girlfriend is scared shitless of the idea of scuba diving, something about the breathing freaks her out

or maybe it was snorkeling


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January 21, 2013, 12:56 PM

It's doable, but your going to be absolutly miserable.
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January 21, 2013, 01:03 PM

I did a dive in early March back in high school when I got certified. It was not too bad if you have the proper gear.

I had everything and I was ok besides my hands and neck being friggin cold due to how I put on the gloves so the water keep going inside my gloves. For my neck, it is the same thing, I guess I put them on improperly because everyone did not have a problem while I did.

But I would admit, it was not that fun at all. I was a little discouraged after the dive at the lake late winter/early spring. Summer in Florida changed all that. It was worth it even when the Hurricane Katrina scared all the pretty fish away from the area. I got to see a shark up close which was awesome imo.

Good luck with your dive!


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January 21, 2013, 01:07 PM

just do it while your in hawaii.. hell it might even be cheaper..

I also see cert dive vacations to the bahamas all the time for like 600 bucks... includes flight hotel and class.


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January 21, 2013, 01:37 PM

I got certified at Mt. Storm in WV in January 2008 I believe. It was snowing and 30 degrees outside. Water was around 40-50 degrees. We had 7mm wet suits.

You'll be fine. It's not that bad, you won't regret it. It's a lot of fun. My girlfriend at the time also had a lot of fun.

I suggest you knock out the cert dives if you can before your trip. Then you won't waste time down there.
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January 21, 2013, 02:24 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by onel0wcubn View Post
just do it while your in hawaii.. hell it might even be cheaper..
ya it's cheaper, but i'd rather waste my time here getting the cert and spend all my time in HI enjoying the dive and not worrying about classes, lessons, etc. the cert is definitely cheaper in HI though, by about $100.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CCS762ZX6 View Post
I got certified at Mt. Storm in WV in January 2008 I believe. It was snowing and 30 degrees outside. Water was around 40-50 degrees. We had 7mm wet suits.

You'll be fine. It's not that bad, you won't regret it. It's a lot of fun. My girlfriend at the time also had a lot of fun.

I suggest you knock out the cert dives if you can before your trip. Then you won't waste time down there.
i guess it's kind of like riding our bikes in the rain. most people hate it and advise against it, but with the proper gear i think it's worth it, and can even be fun.

online reviews for lake rawlings say the customer service is pretty shitty, but the diving is worth the visit. has anyone here been there?


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January 21, 2013, 02:43 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by novasquid View Post
ya it's cheaper, but i'd rather waste my time here getting the cert and spend all my time in HI enjoying the dive and not worrying about classes, lessons, etc. the cert is definitely cheaper in HI though, by about $100.
gahhhh.. i think i would still sacrifice a day... it also give you an extra dive at a cheaper rate.. i would just look at it that way.. you get an extra dive in while there...


ay ya yay
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January 21, 2013, 02:44 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by novasquid View Post

online reviews for lake rawlings say the customer service is pretty shitty, but the diving is worth the visit. has anyone here been there?

i guess it's kind of like riding our bikes in the rain. most people hate it and advise against it, but with the proper gear i think it's worth it, and can even be fun.
that's the right attitude. It's extreme, have fun
The place I went through was Sea Ventures in fairfax. I'm pretty sure the instructor's name is Bud Haney. I don't have my cert card on me though. He was very cool. Would recommend him to anyone.

Last edited by CCS762ZX6; January 21, 2013 at 02:49 PM..
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January 21, 2013, 02:50 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by CCS762ZX6 View Post
The place I went through was Sea Ventures in fairfax. I'm pretty sure the instructor's name is Bud Haney. I don't have my cert card on me though. He was very cool. Would recommend him to anyone.
my class is through virginia scuba based in manassas. the shop and indoor pool happen to be near my house, so that part works out great. i'm also close to the quarry but they don't open until mid april, so i'm stuck going down to lake rawlings for the open water portion. thanks for the recommendation, i'll check them out. i'm surprised at the number of dive shops in this area.


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January 21, 2013, 03:07 PM

Go to Rawlings and get the cert out of the way. Take lots of the heat packets to put Lin your shoes, gloves pockets after your done bin the water.
7 mil suits can be a pain, you will appreciate the skin suit that much more in Hawaii.
I would stay away from millbrook, ever since they killed off the zebra mussels, you can't see 10' in front of you.

My two cents.


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Last edited by Patracer; January 21, 2013 at 03:09 PM..
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January 21, 2013, 03:10 PM

Awesome. Good luck!!
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January 21, 2013, 03:53 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jay956 View Post
It's doable, but your going to be absolutly miserable.
This is more likely than...

Quote:
Originally Posted by CCS762ZX6 View Post
You'll be fine. It's not that bad, you won't regret it. It's a lot of fun.
...this.

If you dive that in a 7mm you're obviously going to be wet when you get out; cold water, cold air, wet skin, wet gear and four or five dives keeping you outside for several hours each day sounds like a recipe for misery to me. Your first dive is likely to be your best (warmest); after that you either stand around in wet gear or take it off and have the fun of putting it back on for each successive dive. I don't like donning cold wet gear when I'm diving some place reasonably warm, let alone at a quarry in Virginia in February!

Diving there this time of year is more feasible if you're wearing a dry suit but that requires a separate certification from open water. I understand waiting until you get to Hawaii seems like a waste but you can still see cool stuff on check out dives. That said, February at Rawlings is doable; just a matter of how bad you want to do it.


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January 21, 2013, 04:25 PM

jeez, 7mm is a THICK suit.

If you do this, do not take the suit off between dives, you'll just start the warming all over again that way, and that's completely counterintuitive as to how a wetsuit works. If you're warm enough to take it off at all, you don't need to be wearing one. I never understood the people I saw wearing wetsuits in 65+ deg water... but whatevs. Pee in the suit, and wear a rashguard.


Water temp will be what, high 40s, low 50s? Don't be a pussy. Virginia isn't Alaska. Dry off and cover your head when you get out of the water.
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January 21, 2013, 04:59 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jay956 View Post
It's doable, but your going to be absolutly miserable.
^ This. Definitely miserable. Any idea what water temps will be at Rawlings?The last time I dove Millbrook, we dropped below the thermocline (mid- August, so probably around 45-50 degrees) and it was physically painful very quickly - while wearing 7mm w/hood. Granted, I'm a total puss about cold, but it was most unpleasant.

As far as doing your cert dives there, it won't be a waste of precious vaca time, more like a few dives with an experienced diver.

Either way you do it, you win. Hawaii... SO jelli. Expect full post-trip report.











Last edited by shermizzle; January 21, 2013 at 05:01 PM..
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