“It is raining, are you guys canceling today’s dive?” A commonly asked question, with one simple answer; NO!
Although we understand that people get worried when it rains. Both experienced and novice divers have their doubts about diving in the rain. In certain places in the world this would be a valid question.
The main reason people seem to believe it is not good to go out diving when it rains is because of the visibility. A common assumption is that the visibility won’t be good.
This can be true especially in places with a lot of rivers. For example the west coast of Costa Rica has a lot of rivers running into the ocean. Therefore, when it rains, the run off from the murky, sandy water will bring “dirty” water into the ocean and therefore mess with the visibility. Luckily we don’t have rivers in the BVI, so that doesn’t happen here. Sure, we can get general land run off. However, as long as you don’t go close to the mainland, but rather go to the smaller islands, with less sand/vegetation, you will be fine.
Quit often, especially in times where we have lots of plankton in the water, the rain will actually settle the sediment in the water down and make the water clearer!
“The light under the water won’t be as good though, it will be dark.” Well, of course it will be darker than when the sun is out in full force. It is still light enough however, it is not as different as day and night. One of our underwater photographers even mentioned that quit often he prefers it to be overcast rather than sunny when he takes photos under the water. He says that when the sun is out, the back scatter and the highlight of particles in the water is bigger then when there is overcast.
“Isn’t it dangerous?” Nope, it is only water. The dive boats are big and have plenty of cover even if you don’t want to get wet before, in between or after the dives. If we get caught in a heavier squall, we will just turn our navigation lights on so other boats can see us. Our captains have driven in these conditions before and know what to do and where to go in these situations.
“But it is rougher on the surface!” Often, when a rain storm comes through, the wind does kick up a little bit. Nothing the boat and captain can’t handle and definitely not so crazy that it is uncomfortable. Once we get to the dive site itself, we will be able to go and hide from the crazy wind and pick the most sheltered location of the day.
The main thing is, what else are you going to be doing in the rain? It is not beach laying weather, hiking will be slippery and wet. So unless you want to stay in your room/boat and read a book or play cards, you might as well! If you are going to get wet regardless, then you might as well be getting wet under the water, having fun!
Because rain or shine, we want to go diving! Just remember there is always sunshine after the rain and it makes for some of the most amazing rainbows ever!