Drysuit Camaro Stingray suit
When I am trying to take photographs, I tend to leave the real world behind and start living the dive through the eyepiece of my camera. Because good photographs under water demand that you get your camera as close as possible to your subject, I view this world in the steep perspective of the close-up at a wide angle.
     Things reproduced as an image in the viewfinder are very much further away from me than they look. This can give me a very disconnected view of what Im doing.
     So what does all this have to do with diving suits Quite a lot.
     The problem I have found with diving in a drysuit is that although I can be quite precise about my buoyancy and hover with my camera at exactly one point in the water column, the fact that my body, like that of most divers, is of a rather complex shape causes small amounts of air to migrate gently around within the suit.
     This is because we have to do a balancing act under water with one of the heavier parts of our kit, the tank, positioned high up on our back, and the weights below. Legs may be a bit floaty, arms continually being repositioned.
     So although I might be able to control my depth precisely by varying my lung volume, I cant stop myself pitching and yawing, or gently rotating.
     Drysuit diving with a camera therefore usually means hanging onto some structure while trying to get the picture, and this can be a bit inconvenient. In some places, such as the silty bottoms of freshwater lakes or over ecologically fragile terrain, to do this either destroys the visibility or is simply a political no-no. The solution Wear a wetsuit!
     Brrrrrrr! The whole idea of entering an inland quarry in a wetsuit fills me with horror, though I know that people do it.
     I first encountered the problem of the rotating drysuit more than 10 years ago, while making a diving video off Devon. I soon gave up on the Viking drysuit I was using and went over to a very thick Beaver semi-dry instead.
     The only rotating I did then was between the wet one I had used and a dry one I kept in reserve for the next dive.
     People in Europe dive in cold lakes too and Camaro, Austrian manufacturer of all manner of diving suits, knows it. The Camaro Stingray is a semi-dry suit designed for use in the coldest water.
     The first thing I noticed when I picked it up was its weight. Theres an awful lot of neoprene in a 7mm one-piece semi-dry suit with attached hood and a second 7mm jacket that goes over it. It is beautifully made and looks good enough to last a lifetime. Apart from the fact that you will need to wear a lot of lead to counteract its natural buoyancy, it looks to be the answer to staying warm when not wearing a drysuit.
     It has Metallite double cuff seals covered by zippered wrist sections, front zippers for easy access but asymmetrical to avoiding flushing, a smoothskin seal around the inside of the hood, comfortable titanium alloy plush lining, and ergonomically shaped rubber knee pads. This is a good old-fashioned suit for use in cold waters. Its not rocket science, but it works!
The Camaro Stingray suit costs £304 and is available in a wide range of stock sizes.
  • Camaro in Austria. www.camaro.at

  • Divernet
    + Cold water answer for those who dont want a drysuit

    - Not at all glamorous to wear