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DRYSUITS


With a little practice, dry suits can provide unparalleled warmth and comfort during a dive, as well as leaving you nice and dry between and after dives.

The purpose of a drysuit is to ensure the wearer is kept dry and to provide thermal insulation or passive thermal protection to the wearer while immersed in water. Although these suits are predominantly worn by divers, other users such as boaters, water sports enthusiasts, and others who work or play in or near cold water also benefit from these suits. A dry suit normally protects the whole body except the head, hands, and possibly the feet, this is were the need for hoods, gloves and boots are greatly increased. In some configurations, however, all of these are covered as well.

The main part of the drysuit is a waterproof shell made from a membrane type material, neoprene or a commercial foam rubber.

Types of Dry Suits

Scuba drysuits are made from a few different materials.

  • Neoprene
  • Tri-Laminate
  • Vulcanized Rubber
  • And more...

Each type of suit comes with its own unique set of pluses and minuses.

Drysuit Features

A dry suits features are what turns it from a big person shaped water bag, into something that can keep you warm and dry in even the coldest water.

Multiple valves, zippers and seals all come together to form what looks to be a deceptively simple suit, but is actually a sophisticated piece of environmental survival equipment.

Fitting Drysuits

Because they are worn baggier than a wetsuit and an exact fit isn't necessary, fitting a dry suit is very easy.

But be aware: different brands can vary in their sizing.

The best thing to do is try on the suit while wearing whatever thermal under garment you plan to wear while diving.

Try squatting down to see if you can do so comfortably. Reach your hands over your head, hug yourself, bend twist and generally move around. If you feel like you have a good range of motion in all angles and directions without the suit being too baggy or tight, then the suit fits.

Make sure the boots fit, as this will be your biggest source of discomfort if not sized properly.

If you can't find something off the rack, then you'll have to get measurements done and order a custom suit.

Putting it All Together

There is no way around it, buying a drysuit is probably the most expensive piece of equipment the 'average' diver will buy. That's IF you can call anyone who is looking for a way to dive in freezing cold water and/or weather 'average'.

If you take a look at each of the above sections you'll have a good head start on picking out a great suit.

If you're lucky and have some dive buddies that own drysuits and are willing to let you try theirs, or a knowledgeable local dive shop like The SCUBA Doctor, them you'll be a lot further ahead.

Take the time to do your homework and you'll find the right suit that hopefully won't empty your bank account.



Thistle, Port Fairy

Wreck Dive Wreck Dive | Shore access Shore access

Ideal For Snorkelling Open Water Rated Wreck Dive Site

Two-Masted Wooden Brigantine | Max Depth: 3 m (9.84 ft)

Thistle Wreck
Thistle Wreck
Source: Heritage Victoria

Level: Open Water and beyond.

The Thistle shipwreck lies on the shore opposite Rogers Place in Port Fairy Bay on Victoria's Shipwreck Coast. Port Fairy Bay is notorious for vessels dragging and parting with their anchors when southerly and south-easterly gales prevailed. A total of 30 vessels were wrecked in and around the waters of Port Fairy between 1836 until 1876.

Diving and snorkelling the Thistle shipwreck requires calm conditions and a very low swell. See WillyWeather (Port Fairy Bay) as a guide for the tide times and the height of the tide.

{{southern-ocean-warning}}

Thistle Shipwreck History — Built in 1825

The Thistle was a two-masted wooden brigantine of 58 tons built in 1825 at Fort Gloster, Bengal, India and is an early example of an Indian-built vessel. The vessel had an overall length of approximately 52.6 ft (16 m), beam 16.3 ft (4.97 m) and draught 8.95 ft (2.73 m).

The ship visited Fremantle in 1830, and then circumnavigated Australia. Bought by the Henty family in 1831, the vessel was used as an inter-colonial trading vessel and a means to explore new areas for settlement and trade.

On 13 October 1834, the Thistle left Launceston, Tasmania with the Henty's onboard to establish the first permanent European settlement on the Victorian coast arriving in Portland on 19 November 1834 — the voyage taking 34 days instead of the expected six due to bad weather. The Thistle subsequently traded across Bass Strait between Victoria and Tasmania. In 1836, Thistle transported three bales of merino wool to Tasmania, the first recorded export of wool from Victoria.

Thistle Sinking — 25 December 1837

The Thistle arrived in Port Fairy under the command of Captain Charles Mills to load a cargo of wattle bark (used for tanning) bound for Launceston which was completed by 22 December 1837. She then waited for suitable weather before starting the return voyage to Launceston. On Christmas Day 1837 a gale set in from the southeast. The Thistle broke its anchor cables mid afternoon on 25 December 1837 and was driven onto shore where it was declared a total loss. Thistle gradually sank into the sand and the vessel's upper works broke away through natural forces or used to form parts of the houses in the growing settlement of Port Fairy.

Only four Asian built vessels have been confirmed as being lost on the coast of Victoria during the 19th century. The Thistle and Regia (Portland Bay) are the only ones that have been located. The other three Asian built vessels were the Martha (built in Thailand), Merope (built in Fort Gloster, Bengal, India) and Regia (built in Cochin, India).

See also, west-coast-shipwreck-trail,
Heritage Council Victoria: Thistle, and
Australian National Shipwreck Database: Thistle.

Heritage Warning: Any shipwreck or shipwreck relic that is 75 years or older is protected by legislation. Other items of maritime heritage 75 years or older are also protected by legislation. Activities such as digging for bottles, coins or other artefacts that involve the disturbance of archaeological sites may be in breach of the legislation, and penalties may apply. The legislation requires the mandatory reporting to Heritage Victoria as soon as practicable of any archaeological site that is identified. See Maritime heritage. Anyone with information about looting or stolen artefacts should call Heritage Victoria on (03) 7022 6390, or send an email to heritage.victoria@delwp.vic.gov.au.

Eastern Maar country
Eastern Maar country

Traditional Owners — This dive site is in the traditional Country of the Eastern Maar people of south-western Victoria between the Shaw and Eumerella Rivers and from Yambuk in the south to beyond Lake Linlithgow in the north. This truly ancient Country extends as far north as Ararat and encompasses the coastal townships of Port Fairy in the west, Warrnambool, Peterborough, Port Campbell, Apollo Bay, Lorne, and Airies Inlet in the east, including the Great Ocean Road area. It also stretches 100 metres out to sea from low tide and therefore includes the iconic Twelve Apostles. "Eastern Maar" is a name adopted by the people who identify as Maar, Eastern Gunditjmara, Tjap Wurrung, Peek Whurrong, Kirrae Whurrung, Kuurn Kopan Noot and/or Yarro waetch (Tooram Tribe) amongst others. We wish to acknowledge the Eastern Maar as Traditional Owners. We pay respect to their Ancestors and their Elders, past, present and emerging.

 

Thistle, Port Fairy Location Map

Latitude: 38° 23.044′ S   (38.384067° S / 38° 23′ 2.64″ S)
Longitude: 142° 14.615′ E   (142.243583° E / 142° 14′ 36.9″ E)

Datum: WGS84 | Google Map | Get directions
Added: 2021-06-18 16:30:10 GMT, Last updated: 2022-05-23 19:12:13 GMT
Source: GPS (verified)
Nearest Neighbour: Lydia, 216 m, bearing 27°, NNE
Two-Masted Wooden Brigantine.
Built: Fort Gloster, Bengal, 1825.
Sunk: 25 December 1837.
Port Fairy, Shipwreck Coast.
Depth: 3 m.



DISCLAIMER: No claim is made by The Scuba Doctor as to the accuracy of the dive site coordinates listed here. Should anyone decide to use these GPS marks to locate and dive on a site, they do so entirely at their own risk. Always verify against other sources.

The marks come from numerous sources including commercial operators, independent dive clubs, reference works, and active divers. Some are known to be accurate, while others may not be. Some GPS marks may even have come from maps using the AGD66 datum, and thus may need be converted to the WGS84 datum. To distinguish between the possible accuracy of the dive site marks, we've tried to give each mark a source of GPS, Google Earth, or unknown.

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