Night diving is an experience in itself for all divers. To do a night dive is to live something special and rather different than a normal day dive. There are many great destinations for night dives in the world. These different destinations will allow you to experience emotions like never before. Even if the idea of getting into the depths only by starlight can be stressful, just let this magical experience tempt you.
What are the benefits of night diving?
The discovery of another world.
When we do a night dive, we go to discover another world. The difference between a dive day and night can be colossal. Indeed, you can know your favorite spot on the fingertips, the very first time you dive at night, you will be lost, your missing landmarks and your sensations transformed. Diving at night is a different dive. One feels immersed in another world, a world full of surprises, where one discovers natural elements that one does not notice the day in normal times. Everything becomes a source of astonishment.
A changing aquatic landscape
Diving at night is an opportunity to observe nocturnal animals. As night falls, the landscape of the seabed changes. At night, the vast majority of fish that you are used to seeing are resting, sheltered, in the hollow of a rock or in a protective cocoon while other species take the opportunity to go hunting . These species: crustaceans such as crabs or langoustines, squid or cuttlefish. This is the opportunity to discover other fish in their natural environment.
These night dives also give the opportunity to witness an exceptional and fascinating phenomenon with the reproduction of corals which takes place more generally towards the spring. Fluorescent diving, also called “fluo diving”, is also a possibility offered by night diving. The principle of fluorescent diving: Using a UV lamp, navigate the seabed and let yourself be surprised by this landscape that explodes in sumptuous colors and reveals its hidden treasures.
The calm of night diving
Diving at night is the assurance of living an experience in all serenity, contrary to popular belief. Many divers show their apprehension before diving into the night. But once out of the water, they can only realize how calm there is during a dive like this. Night dives often give divers the impression of being alone on the site. It is therefore important to be vigilant and to know how to use the diving light correctly to avoid chance encounters.
Crédit Guillaume Ruoppolo
Practical tips for night diving
Planning a night dive is essential. At the site level, it is better to choose a site that you know well, you will be easier to navigate, easier to observe the changes and compare your impressions between day and night. Moreover, it is important to keep control of the situation at all times so choose a site where external factors current etc … are lower.
As for the equipment, make sure you have everything prepared beforehand, before dark, to make sure nothing is missing. In addition to the basic equipment of the self-respecting diver, use a powerful diving light and be sure to take a spare dive light. It is also recommended to have a chemical stick or a flasher on you, which is visible, in order to be easily identifiable by other divers. Also, always dive with at least one person. Also, be aware that the way to communicate during a night dive changes. So, imbue yourself well with signals in order to have clear and precise communication with your dive partner s. You can communicate, either by using the hand in front of the light beam or by using the lamp directly by making circular movements or from left to right.
Note that to dive at night you must have the Open Water Diver level and be at least 12 years old according to the prerequisites of the PADI, for the SSI, the prerequisites are the same except the age since one can dive at night from 10 years.
The top destinations for night diving
On the north coast of Bali, in Tulamben, is the site of Seraya, seen as the paradise of the macro diving. Phantom fish, harlequin shrimps, toad fish, seahorses and dragon flies roam. On this site, accessible to all levels, thanks to its shallow depth, animals are very rare. However, it is the night that the most exceptional species appears in the person of the Mandarin fish, this fish so difficult to see because it is hidden between coral branch thanks to its small size. It is also possible to find this fish in Pemuteran, a little further north of Bali.
In Maldives and Djibouti
In the Maldives, when the sun sets and the night finally falls on this beautiful archipelago, it is possible to cross one or more whale sharks. An experience totally out of the ordinary to see so close one of the biggest fish in the world to feast on plankton. It is also possible to live such an experience in Djibouti, on Tadjourah Bay and on Ghoubet.
On the coast of Kona on Big Island in Hawaiian waters, the mantas population is very important and growing. Every evening, you can attend the “ballet” of its giant stripes. Even if the dive is static, since it is a question of watching twenty mantas feed on plankton, the sensations are assured.
On Cocos Island
To meet the coral sharks, you have to go to Cocos Island, and more specifically to the sites of Manuelita Coral Garden or Chatham Bay. The coral shark often remains motionless during the day, but turns into a bitter predator in the evening. A boon for the most curious divers who wish to watch this fish hunt in packs.
In the Bahamas
On the Bahamas archipelago, there is a large population of spotted dolphins. Curious and very players, this species can be easily approached for the pleasure of divers. It is even sometimes possible to enjoy this species for several hours. But, it’s at night, when these dolphins gather to hunt that the experience becomes more interesting. One even observes how the little ones are educated.