The reef comes alive with a whole different cast of characters at night. Most of the fish you see during the day hide away to sleep at night and many that can't be found during the day can be seen all over the reef. Night-time is the best time to see crabs, lobsters, and shrimp going about their business. Octopi come out and swim freely alongside hunting sharks and barracuda creating an amazing show. But it doesn't stop there, one of the most spectacular parts of night diving is watching the coral feeding. Coral blooms after dark, absorbing nutrients from the water around it and looks truly beautiful. Of course, an incredible occurrence that can only be seen at night with all lights turned off is bioluminescence, amazing organisms that glow in the dark!
|Photo by/ Ahmed F.Gad - Copyright © 2010|
It's different down there at night. The first time you descend into the darkness you'll realize that it's almost a completely different world at night. Even though it sounds a little scary, you'll find that there's nothing to worry about and that night diving is usually much more relaxing that diving during the day.
|Feather Duster Worm ( Sabellastarte indica ) Photo by/ Ahmed F.Gad - Copyright © 2010|
|one of the most spectacular parts of night diving is watching the coral feeding. Coral blooms after dark, absorbing nutrients from the water around it and looks truly beautiful - Photo by/ Ahmed F.Gad - Copyright © 2010|
|Gorgonian Hydroid ( Solanderia ) Photo by/ Ahmed F.Gad - Copyright © 2010|
|Thorny sea star ( Formia nodosa ) - Photo by/ Ahmed F.Gad - Copyright © 2010|
It's advisable not use new gear for the first time at night as it's important to know how it operates and feel comfortable with it first. The same goes for a dive buddy. Because of the need to stick closer together at night and the increased difficulty signaling each other it's best to dive with a buddy you already know and feel comfortable with.
You'll want to set up your equipment in a well lit area. It may sound basic, but many divers are used to setting up their gear on the boat on the way to the site during the day and find that there may not be enough light to do this at night. You should also check both your primary and backup dive light to ensure that they're working properly before leaving shore.
|The Spanish dancer (Hexabranchus sanguineus) - Photo by/ Ahmed F.Gad - Copyright © 2010|
|Hermit Crab Anemone ( Clliactis Polypus ) Photo by/ Ahmed F.Gad - Copyright © 2010|
|Red sea fire urchin ( Asthenosoma marisrubri ) - Photo by/ Ahmed F.Gad - Copyright © 2010|
Diving always presents some risks, and night diving is no exception. To begin, you should never make a night dive at a location were you have not been diving during the day.
Some of the risks in night diving include the possibility of getting lost underwater, as well as the difficulty of assisting a buddy who is having a problem underwater. To help avoid getting lost underwater, you must be well trained in underwater navigation and the use of a compass, which you will learn in your underwater navigation course.
You should only make a night dive with a person with whom you are familiar. You need to know where all of their equipment is located and must practice your emergency skills together.
It's possible to do a night dive as part of the Advanced Open Water course and it's also possible to do a more detailed Night Diving specialty course. While there is no formal qualification for night diving, it is recommended, and may be insisted upon by some dive operators, that you complete your first night dive under the supervision of a dive instructor.