Some people say scuba diving is like being in outer space. I’ve not actually met an astronaut to confirm this yet, but realistically it would be because of our lack of gravity, being able to float out in the blue has to be similar to walking on the moon, right? I like to think so. One cool thing about the moon is when you’re on the moon, the sky is always black- what we would refer to as it being night time, even if its really midday. To replicate this feeling underwater, you have to go at night.
Personally night dives are my absolute favorite; I could ramble on about them for days on end. Being in the water with no light but the moonlight and your flashlight started off as a daunting feeling. After my first night dive, I was hooked. I reckon I didn’t actually see anything very cool that dive; (its saying enough in its self that I cant recall the specifics of the dive) but it was the feeling of being in total darkness in the water at night that did it for me. Night dives feel almost quieter, as it should when all the fish go to sleep. All you can hear is your bubbles and the sounds of the ocean. By this I mean the fish eating, chirping, even croaking (think toadfish). Though the cool part is that a whole different realm of life appears at night, those critters that are hiding or sleeping during the day.
As you glide through the water, there is so much happening around you. Shine your light to the left and you see the beady red eyes of a lobster move along the reef, abandoning its safe hole you saw it reside in during the day. Shine to the right and you may have a beautiful, colour-changing octopus hunting for that night’s dinner. The coolest thing is octopus at night, using their tentacles to search in little holes in the reef, the same holes they would be hiding in during the day, they are nocturnal creatures after all.
It’s not like all those fish you saw during the day just disappear though. Many fish sleep, just like humans. Fish don’t have eyelids like us, so their eyes never close and are super sensitive to light. Basically don’t shine your light directly on a sleeping fish! Parrotfish are notorious for being a very sleepy fish, many being asleep at dusk when divers start to enter the water.
The coolest night dive I have ever got the chance to go on was one with what we call the String of Pearls. These are microscopic fluorescent blue shrimp that dance in the water column; but you can only see them with your lights off! Your eyes adjust after about 3 minutes without light and you begin to be able to see the whole reef around you, and swim comfortably. If you have ever seen the movie Avatar, the best way to describe the scene would be almost identical to that of Pandora Night, only its real! The shrimp light up your bubbles and look like blue LED light strips. They come out only on the most perfect nights, the ones with no light at all, when the moon isn’t shining and the water is glassy. Even better, there are thousands at once, lighting up the whole water column and leaving you in awe for the whole dive.
The take away from this slight ramble is how different and incredible night dives are, they are so far from day diving, a whole new realm really. If you get the chance to go on a night dive, give it a shot!
If you’re interested in a few of our night dive adventures, choose a link from the selection below: