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Mississippi River


WeatherWool is getting some attention from serious divers. Here is information and imagery from Michael Freeman, a Commercial Diver on the Mississippi River.

Michael is wearing a FullWeight CPO Shirt in Lynx Pattern.

I knew Mike planned to wear the CPO before and after diving. But ... Mike had a couple of surprises for me.

During correspondence, I mentioned to Mike that my Dad was a Hard Hat Diver in World War 2, and that his work on the Mississippi was perhaps in some ways similar to Pop's work in the early days of the war.

Dad was diving in the Hudson River, where he was working to raise the Normandie, a French trans-Atlantic passenger liner that had burned and sunk in New York City's Harbor. The original idea was to raise the ship and rebuild her, but, once she was afloat, it was determined the damage was too severe and she was scrapped. Here is Mike's kind response to my note:

"Much respect to your dad. Most every technique we use in current dive operations were pioneered and developed from WW2 divers and their salvage operations across both theaters of war, from our lightweight dive dress to the use of exothermic cutting equipment that we are using on this current project.
It may have also influenced your wool direction as the standard naval uniform was often used as the insulating clothing under the heavy gear dry suit. I’ve wore your [CPO Shirt] under mine with off brand wool bottoms."
WeatherWool Merino Jacquard Garments are worn by commercial divers before, after and even during (under a drysuit) diving, in all kinds of weather.
"The pictures are me doing a pre dive check on surface supplied dive equipment. The job is located on the Mississippi River near New Orleans Louisiana. The job itself is a demolition of an old Bunge grain elevator dock by underwater cutting using divers. You may note the crane in background with old dock components both fore and aft, those piles of material have been removed over the course of the last several weeks.
Air temps for this particular day started at 35F and held high 40’s to low 50’s with a fairly brisk 10 knot North breeze. Water temperature is roughly 42 in the river, so getting out of the wetsuit into your WeatherWool is quite nice."

WeatherWool Merino Jacquard Garments are worn by commercial divers before, after and even during (under a drysuit) diving, in all kinds of weather.

A guy working with the US Military FAST boats had asked me about the potential for WeatherWool in his work, where he normally wears a drysuit, and Mike provided more information:

"And yes you can tell your buddy he can most assuredly use WeatherWool as drysuit underwear. The [CPO Shirt] can be used without any modifications. The anorak is somewhat uncomfortable due to the hood being compressed in the center of the back at depth, the large wrist straps give a little bulk to the wrist area making gloves hard to fit up, however it is also useable.
Thermal properties under compression are good, and range of motion is good. My dry suit is a HD Viking with boots, a neck seal, and wrist seals."


 A couple of months after Mike sent the information above, he wrote me again about the combination wool/nylon fabric on the outside back of the collar of the CPO. He's the second person who has told us this fabric was working loose. Actually, I wanted this fabric omitted entirely, but for some reason the tailors felt it was necessary.  Anyway, I explained to Mike we'd fix the stitching or remove the fabric, or whatever else he liked. He actually didn't care, and only wrote because he correctly thought I'd want to know. Here is the email Mike sent: "In defense of your product, I absolutely love it. I think we both know, I’ve put the product through way more than anyone can design a outerwear jacket to accommodate. It has spent some 30 dives compressed in a dry suit, and several months now of daily wear in a marine construction environment, and I mean daily. My email is absolutely not a critique, I stated in the beginning of our correspondence that I would advise you on the products ability to wear in a working environment and I have worked the heck out of it this winter. Your [CPO Shirt] has withstood welding/cutting both above and below water, heavy rigging, rain, sleet, and daily contact of materials involved in construction. It hasn’t even discolored. Well done. The wool is exceptional. I wouldn’t give this product up for anything."


Separately, in late 2018, we received a 1-liner note from another professional diver who travels the world. I don't have permission to use his name yet, but here is what he wrote ... I think he was talking about putting on the Anorak after taking off his wetsuit:

"Yeah, love my anorak. Was up very near Norway recently. That thing is like returning to the womb."


18 February 2019 and then updated slightly in 2022 because we changed the name of the ShirtJac to CPO Shirt. --- Ralph