Night Dive 6/22/12

I had the opportunity to go on a night dive this weekend with the shop.  We had 5 clients that we were taking out.  Our route was an A to B dive from firehouse to shark’s cove.  Night diving is something I’m starting to like more and more. 

Three of our clients had never been on a night dive and their enthusiasm was contagious.  I love when I get to see aprehension turn to excitement both in the water and out.  It’s an honor to be able to show people a whole new world in the water.  Any dive professional will tell you that they do it because they love to dive and they love to help others discover diving.  It’s a really good feeling and one that can’t be explained. 

Diving at night offers a totally different set of creatures to see.  Eels, octopus, nudibranchs, brittle stars and all kinds of crustations come out at night.  You can also see the bioluminescence if you turn off your light.  I was in the back of the pack on this dive and when I look at the people in front of me with my light off it looked as if the fins of the others were sparking, a pretty cool effect. 

The conditions were very good and there was not shortage of things to see.  We saw a yellow headed moray, a cusk eel, several crabs, slipper lobsters, a porcupine puffer, a couple of huge turtles and so much more.  The dive was different this time not only because of the route we took but because we saw all the above mentioned things.  The last time I saw a lot of nudibranchs and this time we didn’t see all that many.  Another thing we spent some time looking at was a cowree.  The creature inside had come out an wrapped itself around the outside of the shell.  It was black and had bumps on the outside.  That was really neat to see.  Toward the end of the dive we saw several small octopus also.

Unfortunately, my cheap little came doesn’t take good pictures at night.  So the experiment to see if it would was a failure.  At now I know not to bother trying to take pictures and just enjoy my dive. 

The first time I did a night dive back in March I hated it.  I couldn’t seem to stay with my buddy (my husband), my buoyancy was terrible, I lost a fin (temporarily), and the surge was tossing us around.  Now that I’m a more experienced diver, though, I have really started to enjoy it.  I think experience is the single biggest factor for me.  Now that I’m super comfortable during the day it’s easy to carry that over to night diving.  The training I have done during the day has made a huge difference.  Other factors that have made night diving more enjoyable are better buoyancy and being properly weighted.  Looking back, I probably should have waited until I was more experienced and more comfortable in the water before I explored night diving for the first time.


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