Do you often wonder what aquatic creatures come out at night but are too afraid of the thought of swimming in the darkness? It’s true that even the thought of swimming underwater at night can be intimidating, especially for novice scuba divers. However, overcoming this fear can bring you some of the most wonderful scuba diving experiences of your life.
If you are Interested then why not look at taking the Night Adventure dive as part of your PADI Advanced Open Water course?
A few years back, whilst taking the PADI Advanced Open water course, I was introduced to the experience of night diving. As you look down from the boat, the water looks totally black and your mind starts to wander, wondering what lies below.
You descend down, only seeing what your underwater torch lights up. As you start to swim your senses are tuned in, out of your usual scuba diving comfort zone. There is nothing quite like it!
Why Go Night Diving?
Because the good things come out at night! You can dive the same site during day and it will look completely different. Quite literally, as soon as the sun goes down the dive site transforms; Barracudas come to the reef looking for dinner, Stingrays start to stretch their muscles and glide over the sand, hermit crabs scuttle around the coral.
Fish you see during the day that may seem dull but under torch light you can see the true brilliant colours come to life. As you swim you notice your movements have a slight glow around them. This is a phenomenon known as bioluminescence, which occurs as you disturb Plankton in the water. It is a pretty cool sight!
I recommend to all my PADI Advanced Open water student’s they take the Night Adventure dive as one of their 3 “elective” dives that are part of the course. I believe it is one of the best dives when scuba diving Koh Tao and the training dive is a very straightforward.
We review how to communicate using hand signals and a torch, we show you how to correctly use the underwater torch as well as the SPG and compass at night, and as it is your first experience underwater at night, we will ask you to conduct a small navigation exercise too! And that’s all….
The rest of the dive is just an adventure, swimming around and enjoying all the nocturnal life around you. An experience, I promise, you’ll never forget!
Become A Specialist
If you like night dives but are still a little unsure of going without a Divemaster, then take the PADI Night Diver speciality course. This 3 dive course will give you the confidence to navigate and the knowledge to identify marine life at night, as well as enforce the necessary safety aspects required at night.
By the time of your last dive, the onus will be on you to take control and lead the dive under supervision from your instructor. One of the most thrilling parts of the course is to turn your torch off and fully experience life under the sea at night.
Koh Tao Nightlife
The most popular night diving site on Koh Tao is White Rock, situated a 10 minute boat journey from Crystal Dive. Usually the boat sets off around 6.15pm so everyone can enjoy the sunset on our way to the dive site. White Rock, also one of the most popular sites during the day, takes on a different aura at night.
Turtles return from their daytime adventures to get some rest, feather stars bloom out of the coral gardens waking from their daytime sleep and trigger fish bunker themselves into their favourite holes to get some shut eye while cleaner shrimp give them a good clean.
Night diving gets the adrenaline pumping and makes any daytime dive site even more astounding!
What are your thoughts on night diving?
Author: Neil Davidson (PADI MSDT #294100)