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Weather and Diving

Weather and Diving

How many of us divers past on a good dive trip because we made the mistake of believing the weather or marine forecast? I know I have been guilty of this a few times in the past 30 years and it usually didn’t work in my favor

Why is it that most divers think that sunny blue skies and warm weather  will bring good diving and dark, cloudy skies and rainy weather  will bring bad diving. Besides who wants to dive in the rain anyways, we might get wet before we jump into the water. It is very easy to look out our windows and think that the current weather you see will not only be the same 10 miles away, but also 25, 50 or more miles away.

Then there is the marine forecast. Most all of us now have a PC and internet and we watch the marine forecast before a dive trip like we should. We watch the swell models, wind direction, surf report and read the forecast to see how the seas will be the day of our trip. We look to see if the forecast looks good, is it getting better or worse and then we make decisions based on what we think. Sometimes this works in our favor and exactly as we thought and other  times it doesn’t.

Next, there are the boat owners and captains who don’t care about the weather and only want your money, right-WRONG. I have heard this many times and in my opinion it is absolutely uncalled for. I have been a passenger on many boat trips, have worked on a dive boat and know quite a few boat owners and captains and there isn’t one of them that I know that willingly and knowingly would put there life, the crews or passenger lives at risk for a few $$$. I don’t know of anyone who wants to be paid to have a very bad day not to mention the possible loss of life or their boat. Just think, bad service always travels much faster then good service and how long do you think a boat would stay in business if they just wanted your money, I would have to think not very long.

Yes, I will agree that some days you just cannot go to where you were hoping too or the conditions may not be ideal, that’s just Mother Nature at work and beyond anyone’s control. You can only plan so much and then Mother Nature will take over no matter what time, day or hour it is. It is ironic that my best trip ever was also one of the worst trips ever. It was a 2 day trip from Morro Bay to Honda Rock in front of Vandenberg where 7 destroyers ran aground. I can still remember it vividly.

So what’s the point of all this anyways? Simply put, pick the day and location you want to go diving, pick the boat, pay for your spot, show up to boat and hopefully you will have the best dives you could ever have that day. If its going to be horrible out you will probably get a call the night before to let you know the trip is cancelled and if not the captains will make the decision in the morning to go or not and most always the captains have been operating in there local area for years and know the local weather patterns better then anyone and most always they make the right choice. Some of my best diving days on a boat where the days when the forecast looked very bad and the diving was awesome.

Remember, weather forecasting is based on the application of science and technology to predict the state of the atmosphere for a future time and a given location and the further out the forecast the less accurate the forecast will be. Sometimes you just have to trust the boat captains. The last trip I was on I even thought the weather forecast looked crappy and I boarded in the rain. When we left the harbor I was waiting all the way to Anacapa for the bumpy ride and bad seas we where supposed to have according to the marine forecast.  It turned out to be very calm, a little sun, no rain, 40’-50’ Vis and an awesome day to dive.

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