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Students frequently request information on where to stay, where to eat, what to bring and how much to budget for expenses above and beyond the cost of training. Here are the answers to most such questions.
Weather/What to Wear
Water Temperature: As you probably already know, water temperatures at our local dive sites are 71-72 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Centigrade) year round. This is colder than it sounds — particularly when you realize that we can be in the water for up to two hours at a time, and at depths of up to 100 feet/30 meters or more.
Those of us who live here almost universally choose to dive dry — albeit with slightly lighter undergarments than are necessary in colder water. If you own a dry suit and have considerable experience using it, bring it.
On the other hand, if your dry suit experience is limited — or your dry suit is unusually bulky — you will be better off with a multi-layer, 7mm wet suit and hood. While not quite as warm, you will have an easier time controlling buoyancy in a wet suit, and you will avoid the problems associated with trying to push a too-bulky dry suit in our high-flow caves. Be aware, however, that in anything less than a good-quality, full-length, 7mm wetsuit, you are going to be uncomfortably cold.
Air Temperature: It tends to be either Summer or Winter in this part of Florida. What passes for Spring and Fall tends to be very short.
As you no doubt already know, summers are hot, with day time air temperatures averaging in the upper 80s and 90s, and nights being only slightly cooler. Winter time air temperatures can vary substantially from day to day. It can be in the 70s one day, and in the 40s the next. (Night time temperatures are almost always in the 30s and 40s, even following warmer days.) You will need to bring clothes to deal with any eventuality.
For up-to-date weather information, go the Weather Channel’s website and enter the zip code 32643.
North Florida Cave