Night dive under full moon?

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by TravelinTex, Dec 10, 2002.

  1. TravelinTex

    TravelinTex Guest

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    I'm newly certified PADI open-water diver, will be in St. Martin during full moon (Dec. 19). Is there anything special about diving under a full moon? (Insert jokes here about werefishes, etc.) Thanks in advance!
     
  2. chiara

    chiara Scuba Instructor

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    Only done it once, in very shallow water, on a shore dive in front of the main hotel promenade in Sharm el Sheikh.

    We mostly kept the torches off, but you'll need one if you want to be sure to avoid lionfish and other potentially dangerous creepies.
     
  3. nickjb

    nickjb Manta Ray

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    It is nice because you can dive without using your torch much but the downside is that it never gets really dark (which is one of the reasons for doing a night dive)

    The only pun I could think of was something about wolf fish but I didn't persue it:)
     
  4. XtremeSea1

    XtremeSea1 Guest

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    Full moon dives are incredible. I've done numerous full moon dives when I was stationed in Guam. The water in Guam was crystal clear and made for some of the most spectacular dives on a moon-lit night. Awesome visibility is a must. You want the kind of water where you can still see the surface from 150+. I regularly hit a spot called the ampitheatre. I was a very steep sloping reef that changed to a vertical dropoff at about 60'. At the bottom of the wall was a "pasta bowl" shaped area of pure white sand at 168ft. We would snorkel out about 200 yds to the edge and drop like a stone to conserve air, then sit in the sand and stare up at the reef which looked like a snow capped mountain under the moonlight. If it weren't for the extreme visibility, I have to say it would just be like any other night dive.

    Disclaimer: Those dives were well beyond the recreational limit and I don't recommend those depths...they are dangerous:boom:
     
  5. art.chick

    art.chick Manta Ray

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    I like night diving period. I think you are smart to follow Chiara's advice on the torch. I would add that it would be sensible to have a fleece diveskin or a thin wetsuit for protection. It is still good to wear a glo-stick or other luminescent thing on your tank to make you more visible. Be slow & patient when searching for octopi. Sudden moves scare them away.
     
  6. danw2002

    danw2002 Nassau Grouper

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    My buddy an i are going to do a night dive on the 19th in the Puget sound, should be great, if it is not overcast....:bonk:
     
  7. TravelinTex

    TravelinTex Guest

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    Thanks for your replies! The idea of night diving itself was obviously not quite clear to me. Am I right in thinking that there are quite different creatures, such as the octopi, that feed and move at night, and that these are better seen in dark water when illuminated by the torch? So the advantage of night diving is the different animal activity, right?
     
  8. Drew Sailbum

    Drew Sailbum Scuba Instructor

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    Many reef creatures are nocturnal. They come out to hunt and are sometimes preyed upon by other critters. No small part of this is the coral itself, which often opens up to feed. It looks totally different.

    Octopi, eels, certain sharks, coral crabs, Caribbean spiny lobsters and many other creatures are more active at night. Conversely, some daytime creatures are settling in for the night. One of our regular night dive sites has a resident hawksbill turtle which settles under the same overhang night after night.
     
  9. nickjb

    nickjb Manta Ray

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    Places that are alive with fish during day get very quiet at night. A lot of the fish will find a convenient hole in the coral and sleep. There are shoals of fish out that seem to prefer the dark. If you are feeling mishchievous you can steer the shoals with your torch;)

    I seen quite a few shrimps out at night and they are really colourful under torchlight. Lots of feather coral and Nudibranches out at night too.
     
  10. Cave Diver

    Cave Diver Moderator Staff Member

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    Something else I havent seen mentioned yet is the COLOR! Colors fade away as your depth increases, and diving the same spot at night with a light (esp an HID) can make the colors not previously seen in the daytime just jump out at you. You can get the same effect by using a light during the day, but it isnt as dramatic.
     
  11. Wreck/Tec

    Wreck/Tec Barracuda

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    Travilin Tex
    You may enjoy this experience very much. Excellant vis and a full moon make for a beautiful dive. Make no mistake you'll need lights, but take the time to roll over on your back, ( be mindful of your surroundings though ) look up and view the moon from under the water. It's very different, pleasantly so...........
    Wreck/Tec
     
  12. NetDoc

    NetDoc Chairman of the Board

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    so I asked him to pull his wetsuit up! :tease:
     
  13. uk diver 2000

    uk diver 2000 Guest

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    Cave Diver is absolutely right about the colors; they can be absolutely stunning at night. But if you really want to feel like you belong there, don't forget to cut your light off at some point and let your eyes adjust. That's the real beauty of a full moon dive: becoming a reef creature yourself. Oh, and don't forget to wave your hand around for the bioluminescence light show!

    You are going to have a great time.
     
  14. pentiumchic

    pentiumchic Nassau Grouper

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    I just did a night dive here at Kaka'ako Point Panic (Oahu Hawaii) Was a blast the colors were grand.The moon was about half full.Can't wait to do it again there's talk of doing a wreck called the Seatiger a 2 tank twightlight boat dive Xmas eve.What a wonderful way to spend it! Come on Santa need 45 bucks.LOL ;) Hope you have as much fun as I did.You'll be hooked on it.Can't wait to hear what you saw.

    Jen
     
  15. Uncle Pug

    Uncle Pug Swims with Orca ScubaBoard Supporter

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    ...don't Tiger Sharks feed at night?
     
  16. pentiumchic

    pentiumchic Nassau Grouper

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    Ssssssh that will be our little secret.*laugh* BTW in that area more likely to run into a hammerhead.They tend to pup in Pearl Harbor.

    Jen
     
  17. XtremeSea1

    XtremeSea1 Guest

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    Yea...but so do I:mean:
     
  18. DiverBuoy

    DiverBuoy Scuba Instructor

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    If vis is good, a full moon night dive does provide plenty of ambient light. On the 3 night dives I've done WITH a full moon the visibility was good enough that if you placed your dive light against your chest you could see the bottom and some aquatic figures with ambient light. But vis has to be good to take advantage of this. Nevertheless, you still need a dive light to make the dive.

    In St. Martin where the vis is very often over 60 feet, a shallow dive with full moon would be lovely. I was in St. Martin on the 18th and St. Thomas on the 19th of last week. I can tell you the weather was perfect - only a few clouds. And the moon was gorgeous. Vis was only so-so in St Martin according to the divers and the Dive Safaris scuba shop owner Bobby I spoke with. They were planning a night dive that night, but they all said they didn't expect very good vis, surge and currents had been a little rough that day.

    Anyway looking forward to TravelinTex's follow-up feedback.
     
  19. TravelinTex

    TravelinTex Guest

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    Thanks to all of you who helped me understand night diving in general and moonlight diving in particular! Unfortunately, visibility during day diving off St. Martin last week was down to 50-75 feet/15-20 meters only, and water temps were hovering just under 80 deg. F/26 deg. C. Therefore, I passed on the night dive, but I know enough now to enjoy a future one.

    Like DiverBuoy, I was diving from Dive Safari in Simpson Bay, who run a good operation. On my next trip I hope to dive Saba Island, about four hours' boat ride from St. Martin, which is down to 80-90 feet/28 meters. Here in the U.S. that would require the PADI Advanced cert., like many of the dives off New Jersey, and although I'm sure the shop would let me dive off Saba without the cert in hand.

    I was hopelessly spoiled by taking my check dives at Desecheo Island off Rincon in NW Puerto Rico, where vis was virtually unlimited to me (officially 200+ feet). Bottom was a good combination of sand and coral that would lend itself well to reflecting moonlight, so that would be great for a full moon dive. FYI, I very highly recommend Taino Divers there in Rincon (Greg Carson, skipper/divemaster is a fellow Texan;) .

    Thanks again to all, and I really appreciate having this board for a resource.
     
  20. divrnr

    divrnr Barracuda

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    Just came back from Maui and did a twilight dive in Molokini Crater and a night dive at Naked Marty's Reef. Awesome, I have a pic looking up at the moon from 70' with a shark above me. Hope it comes out good, getting developed now...
     

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