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Advantages of night diving?

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by freeze43, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. Bob DBF

    Bob DBF Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: NorCal
    Around here they like to zoom by out of no where and show their white belly so that if you were not thinking of a Great White, you will be for a while.

    I may be old, but I’m not dead yet.
  2. Doc

    Doc Was RoatanMan

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Chicago & O'Hare heading thru TSA 5x per year
    So many great comments so far, little to add, maybe just +1 on some....

    The best warm water stuff at night can easily be found in the shallows. You will see more Octopuppies and Squidlets in <25fsw than any deeper.

    My wife has mastered certain techniques so that she can entice either to make contact with her hand or mask faceplate. They are cautious but curious.

    The critters seem to be out more at night, indeed they are more adventurous (out of their hidey holes), but many hide in plain sight all day long. Octos could pass for the critter Predator from the Arnold movies. Amazing how blind we are.

    A back-up light is a minimum requirement. (Two is one, one is none)

    Get very familiar with the dive site during daylight hours. I did three day time dives on the Thistlegorm in the Red Sea pushing my nitrogen load pretty high- it was worth it for the night dive. I have done the "Front Yard/Prince Albert Wreck" at Cocoview several hundred times- I have never been lost at night~ but I can teach the willing and competent the landmarks in 30 minutes time. Familiarity of the terrain makes for a longer and more comfortable dive.

    Skip the camera for the first few- until you sort it all out. If you find a good local DM, hire him to show you the critters.

    Glow Sticks are fairly useless, you can only use them to find your buddy among the masses, but only if he's the only one wearing one. It's better to tie a colored flagging tape to your ankles or tank nipple. For illuminating a SMB, nothing beats putting your flashlight up to it- a glo stick might be seen by a helicopter with FLIR, but useless for a boatsman.

    Never turn off your primary light. Instead, cover it with the palm of your hand or stuff it in the armpit. It is, of course, secured to you with a lanyard. If you croak out, at least they'll have a chance to find you. If your light was off while you were gawking, well....

    My best such experience: In a screaming current of about 3mph, zooming along a shallow depth of a sloping Philippine wall in Puerto Galera. Lights covered. The Plankton in the current looked like thousands of popping flash bulbs against hillsides of Christmas Trees- they were Chrinoid Stars extending their tentacles for the night's meal. A light show that was amazing. Drifted along for 20 minutes in the Moonlight.

    Feed the fish with your light. Learn how the critters will use your illumination. Yes, some apex predators will hunt with your light. Large Jacks and Rays are very interested in what you are looking at or attracting in the water column.

    When people ask me about Night Life at a dive destination, night diving is all I can reference :wink:
    farsidefan1, ktkt and CT-Rich like this.
  3. timhack

    timhack Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Brooklyn, NY
    You will see things that make you really appreciate that you are alive and that you get to be there and see what most people just get to see in pictures. If you happen to be diving during a full moon, you can cover your light and see the reef as though you were taking a walk on the beach. I would highly recommend it to any diver.
  4. cnar

    cnar Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Barbados

    Not on the night dive I did on February 1st. It was my first night dive and there was a good set of persons on the boat. At least 2 of us were on our first night dive.
  5. giffenk

    giffenk Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: toronto
    Fewer divers, different fish. As noted you are more likely to see things like crabs, lobsters and octopus that are rarely seen during the day.

    But there are many sea creatures out at night that you will never see during the day. I am always thrilled to see basket stars fully extended at the edge of a wall. Most corals only extend their polyp tentacles after dark and take on a much different appearance at night. Decorator crabs absent by day can be found in abundance. Banded tube anemones are captivating - just don't shine your light on them for more than a second or two.

    Even the annoyance of blood worms attracted by your light gives you the chance to exact your revenge by feeding them to the coral and basket stars.

    It's a different world at night.
  6. RTee

    RTee Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Ottawa, ON
    Night diving. Not necessarily in order of importance:

    1) it seems all your other senses become heigthened as your visual cues diminish in terms of range and peripheral vision. You become much more aware of your breathing
    2) fauna and flora: day to night transition, nite life and night to day transition. Three distinct phases with their own particularities.
    3) More vibrant colors (when using lights) of reefs, anemones, etc.
    4) eerie-type scenery: group diving - non-stop light beams movement, different color chem/strobe lights (some steady, some flashing), the multitude of LED-like copper/orange reflections appearing out of reefs I could barely see with my dive light (shrimp eyes) on a night dive in the Bahamas, being ''escorted'' by tarpons which are using your light as homing device to their potential preys and are zooming by in very close proximity (inches).
    5) Divers: group dives conducted with experienced and well known divers are extremely enjoyable as they tend to be done in an organized manner. On the other hand, you can easily end up all bunched up with divers bumping into each other, especially if something decent is spotted.
    6) Lighting: I will normally dive one main, one back-up and (if part of a group) one tank mounted color strobe light that can also be attached to a SMB (have three different color to choose from) were I to launch one from the depth.
    7) Night dives also tend to slow down divers which make them spot more unusual critters as well. At exotic places, they also tend to be done shallower. If conducted as part of a boat dives, navigation back to the boat can be assisted with having a steady or strobe light attached to the mooring line in addition to the boat lighting itself. For drift dives, it becomes very easy for the captain and crew to follow the group of divers (unless diving in murky water) with or without a lit SMB just by tagging nearby the underwater <<ball of lights>>.
  7. reo

    reo Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Port Saint John, Florida
    A lot of my dives have been night dives. I've seen animals at night I never see during the day.

    On a night dive at Cozumel, I got to see octopuses hunting, which was really cool. On the same dive I saw huge crabs that only come out at night. I also had a squid come to me to check out the light I was using. On night dives here in Puget Sound, I've seen Giant Pacific Octopuses out of their dens. I've also seen lots of bioluminescent creatures when I cover my light and wave my hand through the water.

    I think that photography is easier, with the only light coming from your strobe or light.

    I really enjoy night dives.

  8. fjpatrum

    fjpatrum Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: DC area
    I will dare say there were far less boats out than there would have been during the day, though. That's the point I was making... on a given boat, sure, there might be as many divers (some won't go out unless they have a minimum number) but there won't be as many boats.
  9. Parsons

    Parsons Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Edwardsburg, Michigan
    This summer I got the chance to dive Isle Royale, Lake Superior for four days. One of are first dives on the trip we got to dive "The America", which I enjoyed greatly. Are last dive of the trip we did a night dive on the same wreck "The America". And what a dive it was, the fisrt time this wreck felt very busy with items and artifacts everywhere. The night dive brought out great detailing that I had missed on the first dive. With all those things to see during the day, then at night it was like BOOM there that is. It was like this the whole dive. Something I wont forget. DP
  10. MrNatural

    MrNatural Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Yucaipa
    I love.night dives for all the reasons already stated..and...I often work 7 days a week so its my only time to dive....

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