My verdict on the whole night diving thing: definitely not as scary as I had been imagining for the past 6 months. I’m pretty sure I was mostly hyping myself up about it – which Matt told me I was doing, but of course I wasn’t able to believe him until I actually bit the bullet and did the dive. What really helped is how many people we had going with us on the dive – our class was huge (about 20 people), we had a few different instructors, and a bunch of people even came as “tag-alongs” (Matt was one of them). In my opinion, there weren’t many things to see in the water compared to how many fish and other sea life we see on our dives during the day. I remember hardly seeing any fish at all, but to be fair,what we did see was pretty interesting. In general, I would say night diving is more about the actual experience than anything.
My “buddy” during our class was one of my best friends, Amanda,so staying together during the whole experience made both of us feel much more relaxed. We dropped down into the water somewhat still near the shore(this was at the Sunabe Sea Wall – a dive spot we’re both pretty familiar with) and swam out to the deeper area (only about 35 feet), where we dropped down onto our knees on the sand below. This area that instructors generally call “the classroom” is where Amanda and I (staying together) navigated a straight line and back again, using our compasses in the dark. After our skills were performed, our instructor Allan, who we feel very comfortable with as well, led the way around as we went deeper to about 60feet, looking for interesting night-life under the water. Amanda and I felt safe as we literally swam holding hands (so as not to lose each other!!)and stayed right behind Allan the whole time. I enjoyed that part the best, because Allan seemed to find all of the cool things and pointed them out to us – we saw glow-in the dark, neon sea slugs, sleeping Stone Fish,baby Puffer Fish, and a ton of shrimp with glowing red eyes!
Check out this video clip Matt took of all of the students under the water - including Amanda and I when we are getting ready to do our navigation:
This photo is making it look a little darker than it actually was, but this is pretty much how it looks - you can really only see where your light is!
Check out this video clip of a shrimp:
Check out this video clip of a large Hermit Crab: