I am glad to see the back of January

This is the month that sees some very noticeable changes in the bay, but this past January was bizarre to say the least.
Historically, January brings in the cold currents and the water turns a dark shade of green. It also has some of the largest swells and waves of the year which are caused by the strong January moons.
As we approached the second week of January, the water temperature plummeted from 84° to 77° in two days, which is totally normal for the bay. However, instead of the temperature continuing to drop, it went back up to 83° in one day and the south side of the bay turned blue and I was beginning to think this was the shortest winter ever. It stayed like this for two days and then reversed.
This is all well and good, but when we are telling our guests about the 83° blue water that we dived in the day before, they feel slightly cheated when we arrive at the dive site to find it is back to 77° and is green and cloudy! Thankfully, I can show them photos so they don´t think I am making it all up.
So, we get used to the water getting colder and low and behold, six days later it turns warm, blue and clear again! Now, this is really starting to tease us and make us look like we have no idea what we are talking about. We also have no idea what thickness of wetsuits to pack for our guests, so we just pack them all!
Don´t get me wrong, I loved the little treats of diving in clear warm water in January and wished it would stay like this all year round. But then again, there would be 30 other dive shops in town and very few whales to watch as they need the cooler waters. I was happy with these conditions, but then the big swells started to come in, day after day after day.
The far sites were not an option for diving, which left us the dive sites from Majahuitas to Los Arcos to choose from. Majahuitas is always a certainty as it is sheltered and is my go to dive spot when Mother Nature is having a tantrum.
This was a good thing over the past two weeks as Los Arcos has been out of the question with the ocean spray hitting the top of the rocks and 20 foot swells. The problem with this is not when you are on the surface, but when you are underwater.
Let’s say I am diving along at 60 foot and a 20 foot swell goes over my head. The atmospheric pressure change my body is being put under is dangerous to say the least. When we ascend from a scuba dive, the rate should never exceed one foot per second. Consider this wave is going over my head in less than five seconds and you can see that I am exceeding this limit.
The ocean has calmed down again and I doubt it will get warmer until April, but really, what do I know?


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