October 23, 2014
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Uniform Project: Scuba Divers
Sarah Blais: "He was once attacked by a 600-pound male sea turtle during mating season"

This week photographer Sarah Blais dove into the Toronto Scuba Club to find out what some of Toronto’s instructors and students wear when they go under. England-born Chris Williams, the club’s co-founder, made it clear from the get-go that the stylish scuba uniform’s footwear can never be referred to as flippers… they’re called FINS.

Chris is one of the Toronto Scuba Club‘s principal instructors. He’s been diving for 12 years and his favorite spots are in Indonesia, Thailand, and some of the wrecks in Brockville, Ontario. His uniform depends on what kind of diving (recreational vs. technical) he’s doing and the water’s temperature. His wetsuit is good for temperatures of 21-25°C. He doesn’t have the tech gear on today like his student Andy, but has plenty of experience cave diving (think that amazing Planet Earth episode). Some of the cool accessories he rocks? A regulator, low pressure inflator (BCD), integrated weight pouches, a buckle system, and of course, his fins. 

Unlike Chris’ wetsuit, 30-year-old Andy dons a drysuit, made for temperatures of 0-10°C. There are caves in Tobermory, Ontario that have low temperatures where a drysuit would be needed. One of the main differences in Andy’s gear is the 7-foot secondary hose (vs. the 2-foot one Chris has), so if his diving partner has a tank failure, he can hook up and they can get out together through the long, tight spaces. This is Andy’s tenth month diving, and he’s currently practicing the skills needed for cave diving. All his gear can be found online. 

Eric is also 30-years-old, and has been diving for the past 4 years. His favorite spots are Bermuda, Cayman Islands, and Belize. He was once attacked by a 600-pound male sea turtle during mating season. They’re known for being quite aggressive and holding onto you with their mouths, so you have to move very quickly to get away from them. His uniform is a shorty wetsuit for warmer waters.

Galia is a 21-year-old diver who has been at it almost three years. She started diving in Egypt and Russia, but is now working towards becoming a ‘dive master’ in Toronto. She wears a women’s wetsuit and recreational scuba gear. 

____

Sarah Blais shoots Toronto Standard’s Uniform Project. Follow her on Twitter at @sarahblais_. 

For more, follow us on Twitter at @torontostandard and subscribe to our newsletter.

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