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From wolf eels to seals, from the clearest viz to the lowest temps, we celebrate what makes cold water diving the best.

shutterstock_88409767 - Copy#1 Because you can see diverse marine life. Cold water diving delivers biodiversity like garibaldi, giant Pacific octopus, wolf eels, giant egg yolk jellyfish, sixgill sharks, large nudibranch, plumose anemones, and sea otters, just to name a few. To find more cold water creatures check out the ScubaEarth Critter Finder.

#2 Because we want weird and unusual environments. Cold water divers have the option of diving in rivers, lakes, quarries, missile silos, as well as the ocean. Swimming through kelp forests feels like flying. Ice diving in the Arctic will make you feel like an adventurer. The wrecks of the Great Lakes, diving in the mountains and fossil hunting in rivers are just a few environments cold water divers love.

#3 Because the challenge yields camaraderie. Cold water divers endure more gear: thicker suits, more weight, brighter flashlights, durable fins, and sometimes lower visibility. The solidarity and unity among cold water divers exist because they can handle the challenge. Many dive by the motto, “If you can dive in cold water, you can dive anywhere”.

shutterstock_261048392 - Copy#4 Because not everyone can live in or travel to a warm water location. If you live in a part of the world that isn’t the tropics, you need to find a place close to home to dive regularly. Active divers are open to cold water diving because it increases their options. Being ready and willing to dive in lower temperatures opens the door to winter diving and an all-year-round dive season.

#5 Because of the sharks and big mammals. Did we mention diverse marine life? Seals, sea lions, sharks, orcas, and whales all spend most of their life in cooler waters. If you want to see the Sardine Run in South Africa or the leafy sea dragons in Australia, or the manatees in Florida, you’ll have to endure those chillier waters.

These are just a few reasons why we love diving in cooler waters. Did any of these pique your interest? If so, contact your local PADI dive shop to book onto the next cold water trip.

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