Updated: Feb 21
Any swimmer, snorkeller or scuba diver will tell you that as soon as you get out of the sea gear needs to be washed. Yes! It is one of those things where the voices going through your head say "but do we have to.." the unfortunate truth is that yes washing needs to be done each and every time.
How many out there will confess to getting home and committing the sin of leaving the wet suit or any other dive paraphernalia in the back of the car in favor of a cup of tea and a stretch out on the couch or a post-dive beverage (coffee of course... yes coffee). Or are you the type of person who prays for rain after a dive and finds the nearest quickest car barrier/wall and leaves a suit hanging to be dry-cleaned by nature? While I am not recommending the latter at all you might get away with something like this on a once-off basis getting out of fresh water such as a lake, but for every non-washing sin in salt water, there is a penance.
In the short term normally equipment stinks to high heavens and the boot of the car won't smell much better. The lingering odor can be very difficult to get rid of and bear in mind salt (water) is corrosive and will cause damage to carpets or chromed metals. In the long term, the outlook can be much worse as salt water can damage the stitching or rot the fabric of even the best equipment. In the case of divers not washing their breathing apparatus, it can have further-reaching consequences on the safety of breathing equipment which I won't go into in this blog.
A very useful facility that has started cropping up more and more around the country is coastal public shower facilities. One of the few things we have to be thankful for from the pandemic is the acknowledgment that watersports are becoming more popular and need support.
Local public shower facilities are a great idea in the first instance for washing and cleaning suits as soon as you exit the water but also for giving everything else that quick all-important rinse. It should be noted that these freshwater showers are not dedicated wash facilities for gear and shouldn't be hogged by anyone washing gear, they are for everyone. If you look at their Instagram page some of them are in the most unlikely of places.
Click on the map for current known locations from around the country. The map has been shared with the kind permission of the owner. If you have any to add you can contact Arlene on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/showerplus.ie/, and make sure to follow them for any updates.