Jump to content
diver dave1

Cocos trip questions, what gloves and booties?

Recommended Posts

Gloves then foot protection questions:

I am headed to Cocos later in the year in early December, presuming the virus events pass by then.  From what I read, one should be prepared to hold onto rocks to allow closer passes from sharks, etc.  And the rocks might have sea urchins about.  So I need sturdy gloves that work well with DSLR photo equipment.  Already upgraded from the Z240's to the Z330's so that will be easier.  But the gloves I have might work for holding rocks most likely but of no help with urchins.  I have older scubapro warm water gloves with thin neoprene on the backs and a leather like material on the front.  They are good for pulling down a rope and warm water.  Not sure how well they will do for Cocos conditions.

I looked at the Scubapro tropical 1.5mm gloves.  They are tight around the fingers, good elsewhere.  Land and diving gloves I have had in the past that are tight on fingers end up cutting circulation and making the hands colder.  Not tried these gloves in water, only tried them on.

What suggestions can I get from the Wetpixel community?  I only do warm water diving, above 78F for most diving.  The cold upwellings at Cocos might be my coldest diving plans for the near future.  So 3mm or thinner gloves are what I am looking for.  I think 1.5mm would be sufficient as well for warmth.  I will be in a 5mm suit at Cocos with hood.

 

For my feet, I want to use full foot fins with 1.5mm socks.  Will that be adequate?  I could go to 3mm booties and open fins but that is not my preference.

 

Thanks for your time and comments.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

In my experience with Cocos it was not the Rocks that were the big problem (they are a problem) but the descent lines.  Many sites will have strong currents and you often descend on a barnacle encrusted permanent buoy line.  The currents can be so strong that you have to pull yourself hand over hand several hundred feet horizontal down the line as the currents are too strong to swim against. 

So i recommend that you be prepared with some good kevlar dive gloves like these from XS Scuba.  I used these at Coco's, 2 trips to Galapagos, etc over ten years before they finally fell apart.  Don't mess around with tropical gloves.

https://www.amazon.com/XS-Scuba-Kevlar-Grabber-Gloves/dp/B003SJYPWE

As for Booties, it's best to use more robust full foot fins with booties as you may do some serious kicking.  Get a few pairs of the Lycra "shark skin" socks to avoid developing blisters.  Lycra socks are another essential item in my book.

Edited by davehicks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the advice.  Exactly what I am looking to hear about.  I did buy a robust pair of full foot fins already and use 1.5mm neoprene socks in them.  They fit tight but not too tight.  I will check into the socks you mentioned.  The limit seems to be my leg strength as the fins are stiffer than my previous ones. I have been working on leg strength regularly but am limited a bit now due to avoiding the virus.

Would I need both 1.5mm neoprene socks AND sharkskin socks? 

I bought these fins:  Mares Avanti Super-Channel full foot fins.  Been using them in the pool only so far.  Looking forward to the next chance in the ocean.

Also sounds like I need to be prepared to clip the camera gear to my BC in 2 places if I am hand over hand on the rope.  I do not have it clipped and hanging when swimming so far.  I have always pulled along with one hand and kick to hold position when moving that hand forward.  Sounds like that is not sufficient at times at Cocos.  Fortunately, I have clips that should work for that but will pool test it prior to going.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Cocos robust gloves are a must... you can't easily hang out at one of the cleaning stations without them.

I would argue that booties @Cocos are important primarily as protection against the ever-present sea urchins. I would hate to be bare-ankled while hanging around that many urchins (because accidents do happen).

Unlike the last post - I don't think you need to attach your camera to you... I did the first time and found it more annoying than helpful. The exact process you describe ("pulling along with one hand and kick to hold position...") is exactly what I did in the strongest currents (Alcyone and Dirty Rock on my trips there). The only addition was on the heaviest current dives I also used the crook of my elbow as an anchor on the descent line to both rest and reposition my camera if needed. 

One tip I picked up on my first trip to Cocos was that a couple of divers with large domes actually descended with neoprene covers on their domes (for protection), only taking them off at the bottom. They used a small clip to disconnect the cover and then stored it either in pockets or attached to their BC. Tried this the 2nd time and it worked pretty well. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A camera without a lanyard is a lost camera eventually.  I don't use two attachments, just one lanyard on my harness chest d-ring.  I'm always holding the camera unless I shoot an SMB, or have an incident to deal with.  That's why you need to the lanyard.  Safety first, and drop the camera when there is an issue with your buddy our yourself.  

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, oneyellowtang said:

@Cocos robust gloves are a must... you can't easily hang out at one of the cleaning stations without them.

I would argue that booties @Cocos are important primarily as protection against the ever-present sea urchins. I would hate to be bare-ankled while hanging around that many urchins (because accidents do happen).

Unlike the last post - I don't think you need to attach your camera to you... I did the first time and found it more annoying than helpful. The exact process you describe ("pulling along with one hand and kick to hold position...") is exactly what I did in the strongest currents (Alcyone and Dirty Rock on my trips there). The only addition was on the heaviest current dives I also used the crook of my elbow as an anchor on the descent line to both rest and reposition my camera if needed. 

One tip I picked up on my first trip to Cocos was that a couple of divers with large domes actually descended with neoprene covers on their domes (for protection), only taking them off at the bottom. They used a small clip to disconnect the cover and then stored it either in pockets or attached to their BC. Tried this the 2nd time and it worked pretty well. 

Clip off your camera.

I have a little loop of bungie on my dome neoprene covers with a little SS carabiner on it.  I clip it off to my waist d-ring and slip it under the waist belt.  I do this for any rough conditions or difficult shore entires.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These are good kevlar gloves:  https://www.leisurepro.com/p-wpgg3/waterproof-g1-5-finger-3mm-gloves

I'd suggest you try gloves on at a local dive store- some kevlar gloves are not real comfortable to wear.  I had a different pair with a seam done with kevlar threads right on the top knuckle joint and it quickly rubbed through the skin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chris,

Thanks for the link on gloves.  I do not see anywhere in the description that those are Kevlar gloves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/18/2020 at 7:23 AM, davehicks said:

A camera without a lanyard is a lost camera eventually.  I don't use two attachments, just one lanyard on my harness chest d-ring.  I'm always holding the camera unless I shoot an SMB, or have an incident to deal with.  That's why you need to the lanyard.  Safety first, and drop the camera when there is an issue with your buddy our yourself.  

 

This. Just get a lanyard that can be extended or made to stay short. You don't want to think about losing your camera when you suddenly need two hands in an emergency. As long as it's extended it won't hinder you in any way. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple of random thoughts.  I dive with a D850 in a Nauticam housing and a 230mm dome port.

I used to take the Neoprene cover off underwater and simply stick my arm through a hole, up to my armpit.   My strategy failed in Maui due to strong currents.  The cover got swept off and away as I entered the water, so now I just take the cover off on the boat.

On the socks - I've been using a pair of Apollo Bio Fins since 2006, and until they wore out I had a pair of hard-soled booties that were nice to walk in.  But those booties were a little bit loose.  I very often got lower leg cramps until one day I tried on a pair of (very thin) neoprene socks.  The original reason (and they work fantastically well for it) was to make it easier to slide my feet into the wetsuit.  What became clear though was that my lower leg cramps almost disappeared.   Evidently you don't want dive booties fitting loose (like a cowboy boot).

There has been a downside though.  Ever since I started using dive socks and making my feet tighter in the boots I've had an issue with a grain of sand getting caught between two toes.  By the end of a dive I'll have a small sore - or worse - worn into the sides of those toes.  So now I premptively wrap a bandaid around my long toe before a week of diving.  Problem solved.

On barnacles - I wish I had gloves on for my first open water dive in St. Thomas.  Went down an old line and sliced one of my fingers pretty well.  Blood is green at 70 feet, by the way.

On tethering: I'm a zealot here.  I once participated in an unsuccessful search for a new rig that got away from a diver as he was getting back on board.   First thing I do when I get in the water is attach my tether, before I descend.  My tether isn't on a retractor and is about 3 feet, and stretches for more.   I let go of my rig quite a lot actually, letting it hang down while I take care of business.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm the odd one out here...

I started with a tether, but now I no longer connect my rig to my person (D500/D850 in Nauticam housings). In an emergency no camera rig is worth it - I would rather have the freedom of movement.

There are a few dives in Cocos that can be challenging. If the current is ripping, most u/w photographers are not going to let their rig go (if tethered) to bounce around against you, your equipment, the line, etc. to get down using both hands. I've figured out that it's better to go slow, stay under control, etc. If the dive is so tough that you can't manage the descent with a camera and one free hand, I'll abort the dive (which I've done in a small number of occasions).



 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you need both hands in a hurry and don't mind floating away, you can put your camera between your knees while you get sorted. I'm with the tether-free gang. Though I have a clip on the camera for clipping it off to myself, on a normal dive I wouldn't use it. Just carry the rig in my hands all the time from jump in to pass up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sponsors

Advertisements



×
×
  • Create New...