Hi! How can you tell someone is a newbie at Dive.Is? Just ask them to show their hands. It sounds silly really. I never thought I would be such a pansy about hands. Just look at my sausages. Its like I’ve been living in the middle ages as a clothes washer servant gal.

Being in the cold all day doesn’t help, but when you add scuba diving in 2°C water and helping customers with scuba gear – its a recipe for disaster.  My nails have always been brittle, but now i’ve tried to really cut them short as possible.I feel like I’m in kindergarten or something. Nice short nails. No color, not even that white part of the nail on top of the pink part of the nail. No scratch post for me — ow.

Remember that horrible part of Black swan where Natalie Portman has the nastiest hang nail? Yep, thats me.  My middle finger nail split when i was trying to put on a customer’s glove, so now my middle finger nail is slowly ripping.  Filing the name down to stop the chip only made it worse.

Others have complained of their hands cracking at the joints. Think small cuts everywhere. My hands are extremely dry and feel like the tops are going to explode and crackle off my body, but still in tact. I have been trying to prevent this by  covering my hands in  “All good goop.” I call it my hippie creme because it smells like lavender. I got this stuff at Whole Foods before I left for my sabbatical. Its good for itchiness, cracked heels, burns, bites… you name it, it helps it. I would recommend anyone traveling for an extended time to get this stuff. $7.  This stuff has really been a life saver.

I’ve also been putting on some Kiehl’s Creme de Crops Body Butter. This is some fancy smancy stuff I bought when I used to have a job. Now I can’t stop using it. I’m going to be sad when I run out and can’t get another bottle of it (especially in Iceland).  At times I chuckle to myself because I feel like that chick at the bottom of the tunnel in Silence of the lambs. Her nails all jacked up from trying to crawl up. Then crazy psycho telling her to “put the lotion on or it gets the hose.” I’ll be a good scuba divemaster trainee and put the lotion on.

One instructor has recommended work gloves. So I started wearing a pair to try prevent my hands from scraping on the gear.  I’m not sure if that helps, but its giving me some more grip strength.

Bottom line: My hands look like they came out of a horror movie. Iceland +Scuba = Dead Hands