Night diving is a whole new dive experience without the need for a lot of extra scuba gear. At first, it can be a little scary, but there are so many new things to encounter in the dark underwater world while night scuba diving.
Apart from your normal diving gear, getting a dive light for scuba diving at night is the main priority. There are a couple of new signals and skills to learn, but ultimately everyone should try a night scuba dive!
The Ultimate Night Diving Guide For Beginners
If you’re planning on completing a night scuba dive specialty course or want to explore the deep blue during the hours of darkness on your next dive trip, there are some things you need to know.
We’ve put together a quick guide on night scuba diving and answers to the most common questions such as why you need a strobe on your dive light or a scuba tank light and, also some underwater flashlight maintenance tips to keep you going!
How Is Night Diving Different From Day Diving?
Night scuba diving is a specialty so you will need to take a night diving course. In a course, you will familiarize yourself with how to use the specialized gear and practice dive skills specifically for the dark environments on your night dives.
Examples of the skills are diving with a strobe on your dive light, underwater communication in the dark and how to move in minimal visibility. Many of the dive skills that you learn in a course are to mentally prepare you for underwater situations where you cannot see far ahead.
All this training is worth the beauty that you see and the adrenaline that you feel while night scuba diving. The coral and fish light up differently under your dive light. You will also get to see the sea creatures that are only active once the sun goes down. Here’s a short video on how to communicate during these dives.
Tips for Night Diving
What makes this so thrilling is the limited visibility. In some ways, the colors of marine life stand out more against the darkness but the darkness also affects your sense of control during the dive. Maintain your cool during your new experience by doing the proper preparations and altering your dive habits.
If you are nervous about unfamiliar spaces then take a daytime dive in the same area. This way, it is easier for you to navigate when you have less visibility at night.
Also, limited visibility means you should stick to a smaller area. Look for a dive spot with recognizable features that you can use to mentally visualize where you are, even though you see less.
Some divers experience vertigo when they enter the water headfirst. It takes a few moments for your body to orientate itself in the dark water. Instead of the traditional backward drop into the water, enter the water feet first. This way you are more aware of what is up and down.
One of the most important of these scuba tips is to stay close to your dive buddy. It is much easier to lose your dive buddy in the dark.
How To Use Light To Enhance Night Diving
Control over your night dive light sources is the most important aspect. Here are a few different ways on how to use light to your advantage.
Make sure that your entry and exit points are clear and easy to find. Attaching a strobe to a rope hanging under the dive boat is good guidance. You can also place a strobe on the shore with an angle that is still visible underwater.
Also, make sure that your dive light has a strobe. This is not only a precautionary step but you can also use it for communication with your dive buddy.
Have several light sources on you. This includes a primary light and backup light (with the batteries checked). If you want then you can also attach locator lights onto your BCD.
Psssttt… Don’t have a light? Here are our 3 most popular dive light picks:
Human eyes have more difficulty adjusting to the darkness. Let your eyes adjust to the darkness gradually by going for a sunset dive. This way you have time to familiarize yourself with the area and then enjoy the change in the marine activity once the sun is completely gone.
Finally, don’t let the fear of darkness make you miss out on all the beautiful colors and nighttime marine activity. You can practice diving with minimal visibility which also improves your skill as a daytime diver.
Plus, you do not need a lot of extra gear so it is not a major investment either. Excited to try night diving? These are the most beautiful spots for a night dive in the world.
Frequently asked questions
We hope that this guide has helped you on your way to go night diving safely and enjoyably. Below we will answer some of the questions that people new to night diving have to help you further.
Are night dives scary?
People may find the thought of night dives scary, but are they really? As long as you have done your preparation and planning there really is nothing to be scared of. Except for your own imagination.
Once you have experienced the deep dark ocean in a whole different light you will be amazed at the wonders that you see. With the marine life offering a whole new wondrous experience, trust us you will be hooked.
Can open water divers do night dives?
Open water divers can do night dives, but a dive plan and your preparation are extremely important. The ocean is a whole new and mysterious world during the hours of darkness and you must be prepared.
Ideally, the first nighttime dive you do, you should be accompanied by a DM or at least a dive buddy that is experienced in the process. If you have never experienced night diving then it is well worth looking into doing one of the night diving courses that are available.
Can you see underwater at night?
A dive light will enable you to see underwater at night, but that’s it. It is therefore advisable to attach your light with a lanyard or similar. You should always have a backup light source with you in case your primary light fails or you accidentally lose it to the ocean bottom.