Sunday, August 21, 2005

Night Dive - fear or fascination

Diving at night seems to be one of those things that people either love or hate. I know of divers who absolutely love diving at night and I know of other divers who would have a serious panic attack if they had to go into the water after dark.

A good way to get students accustomed to being in the water at night is to schedule the night dive for when there is a full moon and to start the dive at dusk. The students enter the water and can see fairly well with the available light. Once submerged, the divers become comfortable with the familiar feelings of being underwater. Eventually it becomes dark and most students do not even realize the gradual change from dusk to darkness. Often students are surprised by how well they can see underwater after dark.

A comprehensive dive briefing and orientation helps to calm the more nervous students. Post dive debriefs also helps students process the night dive and enables you to clear up any uncertainties.      

3 comments:

Jen B said...

Right before I did my first night dive, my dive instructor did a "practice dive" with me in her swimming pool at night with all the lights out. She even put little plastic fish in there so I would have something to look at and so I could get used to using my light. It put any anxiety I had to rest.

That weekend when we did my first night dive in Cozumel there was a full moon (which helped)......it was awesome! As we descended a 6ft. nurse shark swam underneath us. I saw my first (of eight that evening) octopus.....I was hooked on night diving!

BWRAF said...

Wow - seems like you had a great time. Thanks for the idea. I think we might try that as well. I like the idea of being in the pool with the lights turned off. It will give the students the idea of being in the dark, yet being in a safe environment.

Willy Volk said...

Although I've been on several rewarding night dives (inc. one in Bonaire), I *generally* feel night diving is more work than it's worth. However, I would like to dive at night among substantial bioluminescence -- I think I might change my tune.