When the sun starts to set down, below the surface starts a frenzy, some rush to get a safe hidden place to spend the night without get eaten by random night hunters and others stretch their fins ready for the active darkness coming ahead.
The moment when you start descending with the last rays of the sun, we call a “Sunset dive”. It is then when you can see the frenzy, fish everywhere in a real state of activeness, unusual encounters and funny behaviors. Eventually ending up in a proper Night dives where only the nocturnal creatures will stay awake!
The scene changes as day creatures retire and nocturnal organisms emerge, a feeling of calmness floods up your body, even air consumption is reduced in some cases. Now there is no point to look further or into “the blue” as you are limited to see just as far as the glow of your torch allows .
See the reef in a completely different way
Even if you have seen this reef many times before, this time will be absolutely different.
Some animals will let you spot them only at night, like Bobtail Squid and Starry Night Octopus as they are very well camouflaged.
Many others will maybe around during day light but much more likely to see them because they hunt during night, like Two spots Lion Fish and Spanish Dancer. Cardinal fish and Rabbit fish freeze when you point them with your light making them easy prey for opportunist Barracudas. What you can definitely guarantee is an abundance of Crabs, Shrimps and Fluorescent Plankton.
The clever Parrotfish make a bubble of saliva around themselves when asleep, which hide their smell making them invisible for Morays patrolling around. That is why is so important to not disturb them so they can keep in their bubble and stay safe.
Preparation for night dives
Night Dives require a bit more detailed preparation, a good briefing and a different way to communicate underwater. Signs may change depending on your guide but one rule is always followed, DO NOT point your torch in the eyes of other divers or in the eyes of fish that is sleeping! As fish have not eyelids.
You should take a spare torch light in case of failure, some others will opt for light markers for the tanks straps but then you just look like a Christmas tree and too much light will also chase fish away! What you really want is to have good conditions, tricky dive sites with strong current should be avoided. It is best if you have already dived the site during the day and plan your depth shallower for a night dive than you would a day dive.
It is true that many divers dive only during day time and many of them have never even done a night immersion! Why? Many are victims of the myth that been an Open Water Diver level does not allow you to do one! FALSE!