Usually there’s some sort of payoff to diving in near-freezing conditions — a magnificent wreck perhaps, or a unique geological feature. I wasn’t so lucky. When I first dived in 37-degree water, in a shallow lake outside London, there was nothing. Well, that’s not quite accurate: At one point I think I spotted a traditional British black taxi through the murk. But I couldn’t be sure — with visibility of only 20 feet, it was hard to tell. Check this out
It was so cold, I could barely think. This was problematic because I was there to make the open-water dives for my PADI Dry Suit Diver qualification and needed my wits about me. The water temperature at Wray Bury Dive Centre’s 15-acre lake is always on the chilly side — this is England, after all — but 37 degrees was unusual. A cold snap the week before caused the surface of the lake to freeze, though it had begun to melt by the time of my visit.