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Night Diving Question

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by sdorn, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. sdorn

    sdorn Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Georgia
    I am a newly certified diver having completed OW certification about a month ago. Since becoming certified I have done two quarry dives with my buddy (my fiance who also just got certified). We did those dives on our own with no assistance or supervision from any dive master. We are going on a cruise this weekend in the Caribbean and will be stopping in the Bahamas for a day.

    We are signed up for a two tank dive with Stuart Cove's, and had to limit ourselves to the afternoon dive as our boat doesn't dock early enough for the morning dive. We would also have time to do their night dive, but I am not sure if that is something a newly certified diver should be doing. Their website only requires that you be a certified diver, not an advanced diver or even having taken the night diving class.

    My question is should we wait until we have more experience before doing a night dive, or is it ok to go ahead and do one? If so, should we ask about hiring an extra DM to accompany us on the dive? Is night diving in the Bahamas that much different from diving in the day other than having a light?
  2. Scott L

    Scott L Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: North Palm Beach, FL

    No advanced certification is required. There is no down-side to hiring an extra DM for the dive other than a few greenbacks. He will likely be able to guide you to the best areas of the dive within the confines of the dive plan (area). Carry two lights in case you drop one....
  3. Garrobo

    Garrobo Great White

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ohio
    On the night dives I've been on in the Upper Keys everyone wears a light stick. One color for the DM and another color for the other divers in the group. The boat hangs a light over the side so you can find it. This also attracts various critters. Lots of stuff comes out at night to feed which you won't see in the daytime and you can concentrate on a smaller area which will be much more colorful and vivid because of the lights you will be carrying. Gopher it.
  4. Brian Sharpe

    Brian Sharpe ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Ottawa, Canada
    I haven't had the pleasure of diving in the Bahamas yet but I'm inclined to suggest that as long as the dive itself is within your comfort and training levels it's probably something you're going to really enjoy.

    Check with the dive op to see how deep you'll be going, if it's one of the same sites that you'd dive during the day etc etc. I'm sure they get recently certified divers with the same questions/concerns on a regular basis.

    If you've already been diving in a quarry (presumably with limited visibility & cooler water) diving in warm clear water will be very enjoyable. If you have time between now and your travel dates I'd encourage you to get in a few more dives and, perhaps, you could even talk to your LDS about the Night Dive course to really bump up your comfort level (a night dive is something you'll need to do if you're planning on doing your AOW at some time in the future)
  5. sdorn

    sdorn Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Georgia
    We are definitely going towards our advanced diver certification, although SDI (the agency we trained under) doesn't require a night dive or a deep dive (unless you do the adventure diver program). They only require any four specialty classes (we are already signed up for buoyancy and will be doing nitrox next) and 25 dives in your log book.

    We had planned on doing additional diving before this trip, but other obligations kept us from doing so. We had also planned on the buoyancy class before this trip, but we (and the dive shop) had to keep rescheduling for one reason or another.

    The night dives at Stuart Cove's typically visit one of their ship wrecks according to the website, and I don't think those are in that deep of water for the most part. They have the James Bond movie site and some others.
  6. DCBC

    DCBC Banned

    With only two dives under your belt, I would first have to ask you about your buddy team's buoyancy control. Diving in warm Caribbean water can be deceiving, in-that divers tend to go deeper than they intend to. They see something that looks close and they just go over to it to check-it-out.

    You have to deal with your depth and monitor your air pressure. At night you have a hand busy holding your light. If you guys have good buoyancy control and are comfortable with ocean diving, I'd encourage you to go for it, but as always dive with caution.

    A DM would be a good investment for you. I'm sure you'll love it! The colors are fabulous because of your light source, it's easy to keep tabs on everyone and it's a blast. Have a great time!
  7. RonFrank

    RonFrank Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Conifer, CO
    Night dives are fun, but for the new diver they can be a bit intimidating. You may want to hire a guide or DM if they don't provide one.

    Good lights are nice to have. Make sure you each have a light, and that should provide some backup unless you don't tend to stay together. If that is the case, I would suggest carrying two each, and that is not a bad idea in any event.

    Go slow, look for critters as there are cool things about that are not out as much in the day like free swimming eels, sharks, and generally more lobster. Many fish also bed down, and you can find them generally under ledges and in nooks.

    Have fun, dive safe.
  8. DeputyDan

    DeputyDan Great White

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: North Carolina
    Do what RONFRANK said

    You will love night diving - but do it responsibly and safely so that you can do it again!
  9. Hoomi

    Hoomi Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Tucson
    My wife and I are still fairly new divers; certified only about a year, and with less than 25 dives still. A month ago, I went on my first night dive and had a blast. I expected to be a bit apprehensive the first time, thinking about how it would be only being able to see where the light was pointing, but once I got in the water, it was just peaceful and awesome. I do believe it helped a great deal diving with an experienced DM and a group for the first night dive.

    The trip we were on required some form of tank light, either electronic or chemical lightstick, a primary dive light, and a back-up. Particularly for us noobs, this is more important for safety than it might be for more experienced night divers. I was already equipped with a Glotoob tank light and the Underwater Kinetics eLED C8 dive light (a bit bulky, but terrific light), so all I had to do was borrow a back-up light, which was a more compact AA battery powered incandescent.

    I'd say go for it as well. It is a great experience, and from what you're describing, one of the best situations for your first night dive.
  10. idocsteve

    idocsteve Guest

    I'm night dive certified but I did several night dives before getting that certification, and I can tell you that you really don't learn anything that you didn't already know after doing a couple of night dives on your own.

    - Most dive ops do not care if you have a night dive certification or not
    - The main difference between day and night dives is that it's a lot darker at night
    - It's more creepy and you'll see stuff you don't usually see and you'll imagine you see stuff that isn't really there

    - Make sure you have at least 3 lights. Primary, backup, and a locater light usually mounted on your tank valve. I prefer a battery operated locater light not a glow stick light for environmental reasons.

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