Night diving can be an exciting and unique experience for scuba divers. Even a dive site you’ve been to before is different at night. To help new scuba divers make the most of their night dive experiences, I’ve put together a list of 5 night diving tips.
Dive with a buddy
It should go without saying but it’s always important to dive with a buddy. When doing a night dive though, you need to make sure you not only have a buddy but that you both understand the dive plan and the buddy separation procedure. It’s also important to know what your buddy’s tank light looks like because once it’s dark, it’s too late to figure that out. Remember, visibility will be limited so focus first on staying close to your buddy and second on everything else.
Check your equipment
Make sure your gear is functioning properly before the dive. Double-check all of your gear as you are suiting up. Make sure that everything is in its proper place. In the water at night you won’t be able to see your light clipped to your BCD, you may have to find it by feel. Making sure it is where it always makes a huge difference.
Start the dive before sunset
This allows you to get used to the dark gradually as the sun sets and makes the transition to total darkness less jarring.
Sunset dives are absolutely beautiful. I dove an old tugboat wreck just as the sun went down and it was beautiful to see the scene change as the light changed.
The exception to this is if you’ve booked a “black water” dive. Black water dives are a different experience but well worth it.
Double check your dive lights
A good dive light is critical for a good night dive. However, it’s only one-half of the solution. You want to make sure that you have 2 working dive lights, a primary, and a backup. Most dives don’t buy 2 of the same light as primary and backup. Most divers will invest in a good primary and a lesser, but still serviceable backup. Whatever your lights are, make sure you have 2. If your dive light dies midway through the dive, you won’t be able to see anything. Worse than that, it makes it difficult for your buddy to find you and possibly difficult for the boat to find you and pick you up.
You need a third light, a tank light. They aren’t expensive and I recommend you not only get a good one but get a rechargeable one.
For more information about dive lights, subscribe to Uncle Cal’s Dive Club Newsletter. We’ve got an entire edition dedicated to them.
Be aware of your surroundings
Pay attention to your depth, and location, and keep an eye out for any underwater life. Be respectful of the nocturnal creatures that may be out and about. This means do not shine your light into the eyes of a sleeping fish or turtle. Shine it just below them and let the light wash over them. This way they can continue to sleep while you look.
Every dive site is a different dive site at night. Whether it’s your favorite quarry, Area 51 off the cost of Jupiter, or a shore dive like the beautiful Blue Heron Bridge. Remembering these night diving tips will help you enjoy your night dives. It will help you dive confidently.
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