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Night Diving Help

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by spectrum, Aug 21, 2005.

  1. spectrum

    spectrum Dive Bum Wannabe ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: The Atlantic Northeast (Maine)
    11,353
    805
    113
    Hi all,

    Since getting certified June 25 I have logged 34 dives and my wife just a few less. We decided to start night diving and got set-up with the Princeton Tec Shockwave LED lights and TEC400 back-ups.

    Our first night exscursion was a night skin-dive in a location we have skin dove many times. We both had a great,saw lots of clittle critteres we never saw in daylight and it was a fun experience.

    A week latter we did a night scuba dive at the same location, nice tiide, easy entry with a nearby street light, 2 nights from a full moon that was beaming brightly. Unfortunately while visibility was OK at the entry point it went downhill as we progressed to where she signalled to turn the dive due to visibility and since it turned out she was nearing her turn pressure anyhow. Turns out she was not doing well the whole time but had not indicated it and was blowing through her air due to stress. So we ended the dive without incident said too bad about the visibility and went home.

    A week latter we did a night dive in a local pond. Visibility was fine. We were able to dive comfortably in 5mm wetsuits instead of the 7mm gear. It's a place we have skin-dived extensively and and have made several scuba dives there as well. We made a complete dive, she did a little better on air but in thend said she wasn't comfortable at all but wants to enjoy night dives.

    We did a quarry dive yesterday with the LDS and it was essentially the same thing. She led, at her request we went down with lights, had an Ok though short dive and came up at the established pressure. Visiblilty was decent.

    On all of these dives I had a great time except for having a distracted buddy. We always turned the dive immediately at her call. We made all of the entries at dusk or in daylight at the quarry. After the first dive we added light sticks up neat our first stages for exta visibillity.

    We haven't decided what to do for AOW at this point but asside from having an instructor involved we've eased into it pretty much as many have suggested here in the past. We have both read numerous artlcles and book chapters on night diving. Our LDS jumps in the quarry for AOW and does a deep/limited visibility dive, that's the same dive we did yesterday.

    So... I'm looking for suggestions of how to help her get comfortable with this. Scuba took her a few extra nights to get comfortable with then she did fine. She says she's willing so I suspect she just needs more time to get comfortable in the dark. I'd like to ease the transition for her in any way I can.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks,
    Pete
     
  2. djkpsu

    djkpsu Nassau Grouper

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    It seems like both you and your wife have the right attitude toward night diving, and diving a site that you have done during the day is always a good idea.

    I think to help her get comfortable, you need to find out what is causing her stress.

    Is she afraid of being seperated from you? You could attach a lead between your BCDs to ensure you stay in contact.

    Is she nervious about what you can't see because of the dark? Remind her that its just like diving in low vis, or that even in good vis your FOV is restriced by your mask.

    Maybe try and time your dive to start just before dusk and end in the dark. Maybe the slow transistion of the sun going down will cause her to not notice it getting darker.

    I hope that helps.
     
  3. LindaBluedolphin

    LindaBluedolphin Resident/Token Treehugger ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Raleigh(ish), NC
    1,757
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    Another though is maybe night diving just isn't for her, I have been diving 11 years and have only done 2 night dives, one for certification and another one about a year later.

    In my case I just don't see that well at night and would prefer not to even be out driving a car at night unless I know where I am going or "need to be" out driving. Could I do one if I choose to....absoutely, but I have found they are not really my thing. I do however plan do the Kona night dive when I am there next week, but that is pretty simple from what I understand, go to a spot plop yourself down, shine your light and if you are lucky watch the show.

    Maybe talk to your wife, if she is just doing night diving to "please" you that is the wrong reason especially if she isn't comfortable. As DJ mentioned find out the reason, why she isn't comfortable with them.

    LindaBlueD
     
  4. Gidds

    Gidds Orca

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    I'm also wanting to do my AOW within the next year and I'm a bit nervous about the night diving as I am "night blind" to the point that it is dangerous for me to drive unless I am right near my house in a well lit area. I did a night snorkel a number of years ago in the Caribbean and it was cool but it still creeped me out. I've been thinking I might like to try a night snorkel again to see how I do and I'll be very interested to see what sort of responses Spectrum gets to this thread :D
     
  5. Rondo

    Rondo Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Colorado
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    It sounds like you are doing everything correct,I think always using a personal identification light is always a good idea,I always carry two GLO-TOOB lights so I can mark my buddy,GLO-TOOB.com.

    I have no good suggestions,personally i never apreciated night diving until I started deep,dark wreck penetrations,and caverns.
    After experiencing what really dark,and really cramped is,a 30 ft. night dive with mooonlight is usually my most tranquil dive with lowest air consumption.

    Maybe try some safe lights out situations in close contact,this helps kick in better night vision,and gives one a feeel for real dark.
    Personally I think there is usually tooo much light being used by groups on night dives,it takes longer to get adjusted and comfortable vision wise,and that can be stressful.

    I also find that backscatter from lights hitting partcles in the water can ruin night vision, many times lower light is better,it's like being blinded when you turn on your car high beams in a snow storm.
     
  6. KangarooSeatbelt

    KangarooSeatbelt Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Washington, DC
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    Night dives are freaking awesome, but they can be scary. Even if you're not outright scared, there's something about being in the dark water than can freak people out, at the very least make them breath a little heavier w/o really realizing it.

    It sounds to me like your wife just isn't comfortable with it yet... I'd reccomend putting in some more regular dives. I'm not sure where you're located, but if you can dive some springs or fairly open caverns, they are a great way to get introduced to dark diving. It's super clear, and there's nothing in there but water, so the fear factor gets dropped a lot. I would also say put in a lot of dives during the day in one location so that you both are VERY VERY Familiar with it. sounds like you could hit that quarry a couple more times before trying it dark again.
    Another suggestion is to try to get on a charter for a night dive. There will be more divers around, and therefore more lights. I dove a couple wrecks down in south florida at night with so many divers, that i could have turned off my light and been fine. Plus, just the subconcious idea of it being a sanctioned activity with a real dive company will help. That might be a way to break her in to it, and then move on to just some simple buddy diving in the dark.
     
  7. spectrum

    spectrum Dive Bum Wannabe ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: The Atlantic Northeast (Maine)
    11,353
    805
    113
    We've had that discussion, a few times. She wants to be doing it for herself, not just me. We had the same discussion about scuba diving afer the first pool session and she's conqured that.

    Thanks. I'll be sure to keep that discussion alive. I'd really like to share this with her but not at the cost of borderline terror!

    Pete
     
  8. StSomewhere

    StSomewhere Loggerhead Turtle

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    Don't do this. A lead would be especially hazardous in the event an entanglement in low visibility.

    FWIW and to no one in particular, a good night diving course by the right instructor should actually be a low visibility or no visibility course. I realize most AOW night dives are just experience dives, but you should be learning more. My two psi.
     
  9. KangarooSeatbelt

    KangarooSeatbelt Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Washington, DC
    97
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    Understand... i like the above idea... try some low vis during daytime stuff. I will tell you though, I understand the fear... the most scared i've ever been in my entire life.. my buddy and I (At this point just o/w with maybe 10-15 dives, certed for three months max) tried to dive this sink... we knew that it was 80' with some cars on the bottom, but the vis at the surface was around 8'. we thought it might clear up.... decending down my line holding each other's bcs, face to face, i cancelled the dive at 40' b/c i couldn't see my knees with my light cannon. Dunno why, but that was damn scary. lack of experience and the fact that we were in the middle of BFE i guess. I wouldn't have a problem diving it now.
     
  10. spectrum

    spectrum Dive Bum Wannabe ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: The Atlantic Northeast (Maine)
    11,353
    805
    113
    It's when we come upon something in the water. Not so much fish but we came upon a scuttled dock that must have been ripped out and floated to deep water when the ice came out some year. A totally unexpected find. When she looks ahead and sees nothing she thinks she's missing something. When there's something there the light will reveal it.

    She's no fan of poor visibility, even skindiving, but who is?

    We've been doing that more or less, it's a fine line with timing and all but we can try aiming a tad earlier.

    Thanks,
    Pete
     

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