The majority of recreational diving around the world is conducted during the day. There are many scuba divers that are apprehensive about diving at night or in low light environments. And some divers just find night dives creepy. And that is perfectly acceptable.
I enjoy nights dive on reefs that are filled with nocturnal activity. Night dives are unique experiences that I find extremely intriguing. Reefs that are filled with marine life during the day are also filled with marine life during the night. Typical marine animals that you would observe on a normal day dive find places to rest for the night and a new set of nocturnal marine animals appear on a reef.
In the two underwater videos below I observed an Eel hunting on the house reef of the Divi Beach Resort in Bonaire and Spiny Lobster taking advantage of my video lights and eating tiny sea flies/louse in Honduras – (Thanks to the guides at West End Divers).
Many dive operator / shops take divers out as soon as the sun sets. I prefer to wait a few hours to allow all of the underwater day animals to find resting places and nocturnal animals to slowly appear.
I also enjoy a good dawn dive when the nocturnal marine creatures are scramming to find their last meal of the day and final resting place for the morning. It’s an amazing experience to dive underwater in the complete darkness and slowly watch the reef get brighter or more visible as the sun rises. I definitely recommend trying a dawn dive if a diver has an apprehensions about night diving. But you have to wake up earlier to take advantage of this window of opportunity.
Night dives along sandy bottoms can also present unique opportunities to observed marine life. In the Bahamas, around the Exuma Islands we observed this Channel Clinging Crab.
Night Diving Tips:
- Try to dive the site during the day to identify landmarks. This helps navigation tremendously at night. Learning the layout of a site helps reduces the chances of becoming disoriented.
- Bring a backup light if possible. Attached it to you just in case it is knocked away.
- Follow your dive plan and adhere to the buddy system. Communication with buddy is not the same as during the day.
- Don’t shine your light on day animals.
- Find a good guide. Most of the time they know where the interesting creatures live.