Where was your deepest, most interesting, and/or most challenging night dive?
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Where was your deepest, most interesting, and/or most challenging night dive?
I'm sure there are plenty of interesting night dive stories out there. We did one in Grand Turk going inverted straight down a sheer vertical wall into the blackness, all while being consumed by swarms of crazy blood worns. Everyone seemed to have trouble maintaining their depth amidst all the excitment, and we kept sinking and sinking; definately one of the more unnerving dives I've been on. Also did one in Belize in very heavy current where I kept repeatingly getting run over by the same newbie. She ended up getting separated from us and surfacing with a totally different group - her husband had to clean-out his shorty after that dive. Frederiksted pier in St Croix was another pretty interesting dive to do at night; very surreal.
So, where were some of your more memorable night dive experiences?
Last edited by Maredsous; June 17th, 2012 at 05:05 PM.
Had a very shallow night dive in Africa, off Pemba where the current changed and got pretty stronge. Visibility went way down. We all got separated into a huge gaggle and one of the newest divers, who didn't have a backup light, lost her primary. Her buddy didn't understand what she was trying to tell him and continued diving. Luckily, he was diving with a huge video camera, lighting up the ocean for her. She kept her head and everything went well.
We all had a pretty long swim back to the boat, due to the crazy currents but overall, it was an amazing dive. Octupi, Spanish Dancers free swimming, just all kinds of good stuff.
Pemba Island had amazing diving, although the currents could be unpredictable and crazy. Not a lot of huge stuff or pelagics but tons of beautiful rays, eels, octupi, tropical fish and nudibranchs.
Generally, we try to keep night dives pretty easy. We usually use a dive we're familiar with as a day dive, an easy entry, relatively shallow, especially since its usually a third dive or more of the day. My usual experience with night dives is that they are a wonderfully, relaxing, "Xen-like" dive, great way to end a good day of diving. Plus, all the best stuff is usually out. My most recent one in Catalina Dive Park-saw tons of lobster, a huge black sea bass and a Blue shark swam right underneath me when I was on the surface at the end.
Channel Islands near Santa Barbara, California with the Truth Aquatic's Aggressor fleet.
We did a night dive off of Santa Cruz Island, 80ft below the boat and 20ft off the anchor.
The entire dive group descended off the anchor line which was at a 45 degree scope. Since most people were new to night diving or new to diving in general, they all clung to the anchor line while negative, including my buddy. Despite the briefing and repeated encouragement by me and the boat crew (I was a paying customer) to not hang on the anchor line, pretty much everyone did just that with no air in their BC.
The anchor line ended up bobbing up and down, sometimes as much as 15 ft. During my descend and ascent I had to repeatedly put input into my BC because I couldn't dial in my buoyancy. I remember having a slight runaway ascent in the beginning of my dive because I lost all reference.
During the actual dive my buddy would hang real close to me and continually drift into me. She actually managed to get her inflator hose tangled into my bungee necklace. Every time I moved away, she'd somehow drift over and on top of me; quite annoying especially considering there was no surge what so ever.
Our ascent was absolute hell by my books. I stuck with my buddy as she clung to the anchor line, ahead and behind us were several buddy pairs, and we ended up bobbing from 15ft to 24ft at our safety stop, simply because everyone was putting tension on the line then letting go when they surfaced. That or they would swim up, then stop kicking to hold their depth and end up dragging the line down with them. The dive by far topped my least favorite safety stop of all time.
The bioluminescene and after-dive cheesecake made up for it though.
Overall this wasn't my deepest night dive (35ft), but it was the most challenging.
My first night dive included getting my mask knocked off, getting my reg knocked out of my mouth and getting kicked squarely in the jaw with the result being seeing stars.
It was also my 10th OW dive and was perpetrated by the same person. I was "attacked" by the same person who was intent on getting in to see what the DM was pointing out all 3 times. The attacks came from above and behind me, I never saw it coming until it was too late. I recovered and cleared my mask, my regulator and managed to keep my wits about me. Is that exciting enough? It was certainly memorable for me.
My most memorable night dive was in Raiatea in French Polynesia. The sea was a tad rough and we were in a small boat with the dive shop owner and DM. When we finally got in, it was on a gorgeous wall with tons of fish and other marine life. I got some of the most amazing photographs that night. I'll also remember walking back on the cruise ship with my dive buddy (me in my wet suit) both sopping wet and getting some really strange looks from other passengers. We didn't meet the dress code. LOL
Last edited by Laurie S.; June 17th, 2012 at 04:04 PM.
Reason: Wrong island, oops....
Shore diving with friends on a moonless night at about midnight. Surfaced and the electricity had gone off on the island. It took a long time for us to see some candle light to know which way we had to go back as nobody had brought a compass
Most challenging night dive was probably at Kelvin Grove (near Vancouver, BC), when I was still quite new to diving. We went down to about 100fsw, when I realized that I was extremely narc-ed, likely a combination of it being night-time, pretty cold, and down to 100fsw.
I signaled to my buddy that I was going to ascend a little, and we ascended about 10ft. Symptoms went away, and I felt clearer. Nothing really dangerous happened; it was just the most narc-ed I'd ever felt. We did a second dive after to around the same max depth, and I didn't feel narc-ed much. I probably just got more comfortable with all the environmental elements.
Not challenging ... in fact, quite an easy dive ... but memorable. When I was a pretty new diver my (then) wife and I took a trip to Bali. We didn't own much equipment at the time, so except for our regs and masks (prescription) everything else was rental gear. The dive guide showed up with four little Q40 lights that we would be using for the dive ... one for each of us, and one spare that he tucked inside his waist strap. About 10 minutes into the dive, the first light died. A few minutes later, another ... then, another ... and finally, about 25 minutes into the dive, the last light went out. The moonlight filtering down through the water was sufficient to make out silhouettes and shapes, but little else. We navigated back to shore underwater, using the glow of the lights from the resort as our guide.
It was just below freezing and snow was falling steadily. As we stepped toward that portal separating a cold and dreary world from the tranquility and wonder of another dimension teeming with life and color a passer-by shook his head and muttered "crazy". Poor fool. If he only knew. (Airsix)
Most intersting: manta ray night dive off KONA- spectacular at about 55 feet. Close second, off a liveaboard near Statia: 70 feet, lots of sleeping turtles, active night feeders, and the most intense bioluminescence I ever saw! Deepest: 110 shore dive off Buddy;s reef, Bonaire, just to say we did 110 at night to see that it is REALLY dark at that depth.
My first night dive under the ice: a cold night (17F) with a huge moon and brilliant stars, plus some HUGE old cannister lights placed on the ice surface shining down. Stunningly beautiful! Our club had shoveled big arrows in the snow pointing to all the exits (intended plus 2 extras). In the areas where the ice was still covered with snow you looked up and saw the air trapped under the ice surface, moving and flowing like you were inside of a giant green lava lamp. From dark areas without snow you could look up from 12m and see the stars and moon way, way far above.
Since then I've learned that the night sky always looks amazing from below the ice, but I've never again seen the fabulous light show created by having so many big lights shining down from the surface. That I would really love to see again.