Although it’s possible to experience night diving as part of the Advanced Open Water course, the PADI Night Diving Specialty course lets you gain more experience with three open water dives, enables navigation training during entire dives, practice identifying the rarer nocturnal aquatic life, and further training in specialist night diving procedures.
The most recent Night Diving Specialty graduate at Davy Jones Locker has been Laith, a recently qualified Rescue Diver, taking on the Master Scuba Diver challenge, with the Night Diver Specialty course. With ‘day time’ dive experience in the UAE and Koh Tao, Laith had never experienced night diving, so dive one saw us descending down onto the easy dive site of Sairee Reef. This enabled us to perfect the basic night diving procedures (use of gauges, lights, compasses, ascents, and decents) which differ from traditional day time diving in an easy night diving environment.
For dives two and three we chose sites of increasing depth and navigation difficulty to challenge Laith and his newly learned Underwater Navigation Specialist skills, with the popular White Rock for dive two, and Red Rock / Koh Nangyuan for dive three.
Throughout the course a range of different skills are practiced, including turning lights off to simulate light failure and remaining stationary for three minutes – feels much longer than it sounds in the pitch black! But luckily for bio-luminescence (flashes of chemical light emitted by microorganisms when disturbed by fast moving water from our hands) we could still light up the surrounding area to pass the time.
However, the most exciting part of night diving is identifying the nocturnal aquatic life. And exciting it was, where we managed to successfully identify basically all of the nocturnal creatures on the Fish ID slates! Including blue-spotted stingrays, porcupine fish, hermit crabs, feeding reef crabs, banded boxer shrimp, Jaan’s Pipefish, sleeping triggerfish, Yellowtail Barracuda feeding on numerous poor Rabbitfish, pairs of cuttlefish, white-eyed moray eels, and a special encounter with eel-catfish!
Congratulations to Laith on his new PADI Night Diver Specialty and achieving the Master Scuba Diver rating – PADI’s highest recreational diving certification.