What to do in this weather: The past few months of cold fronts have made it hard for fishermen and divers to safely get offshore. Use the downtime to get your dive gear serviced. Many dive shops aren't busy this time of year, and annual repairs and rebuilds can be completed and returned to you in short order. Also, this time of year many shops offer repair discounts. Call around and see if you can save a few dollars.
Winterize your gear: If you are waiting for warmer water to dive again, prepare your gear for hibernation. Take the batteries out of your underwater torches and cameras. Keeping them in idle electronics can cause severe damage to the contacts if the batteries leak acid. O-rings that stay compressed when the device is closed will last longer if you take them out of the unit and store them uncompressed inside the device. Fold the O-rings into a figure 8 for storage. To delay degradation of spear bands, take them off the gun and store them in a sealed plastic bag in your refrigerator.
Bill Hardman teaches scuba, spearfishing and free diving through Aquatic Obsessions Scuba in St. Petersburg and can be reached at CaptianBillHardman@gmail.com or (727) 344-3483.