Surf mysids in the shallows on a night dive

FAQ: What’s it like on a night dive?

Clare took this short clip on a night dive we did in February at Long Beach. There were seven divers, and you can see that – contrary to what you might expect – there’s quite a lot of light to see by. The frantically waving torch you can see at one point was me signalling to Clare to come and have a look at a doublesash butterflyfish we’d found. The visibility on this dive was about 5 metres.

This dive was part of JP’s Advanced course and Corne’s Divemaster training; the other divers just came along for fun. You can elect to do a night dive as one of your three dive choices on the Advanced course (you have to do a deep dive and a navigation dive), and you can even do an entire Night Diving Specialty if that’s what floats your boat. Divemasters are expected to be familiar with night diving in order to be certified.

Night diving is excellent training for low visibility diving in general. Divers each carry a torch (preferably two), and we use strobes and cyalumes attached to each diver’s cylinder to keep track of everyone. At the beginning of the dive we cover our lights and allow our eyes to acclimatise to the gloom. It’s surprising how much ambient light there is, specially if there’s a full moon.

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Scuba diver, teacher, gadget man, racing driver, boat skipper, photographer, and collector of stray animals

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