Viewing post #108471 by HollyAnnS

You are viewing a single post made by HollyAnnS in the thread called My Life on the Water.
Mar 8, 2010 6:24 PM CST
Name: Holly
South Central Pa
Here is my Night Diving Story
The Wonders of Night Diving
As a newbie to the group they were all very welcoming and supportive. Jim took me under his wing or “fin’s” for my first night dive also my first shore dive. I had a rough start but with a little encouragement from Jim I returned from this encounter with a thirst for more.
The plan: Meet at 5:30 gear up, swim out to the marker buoy then submerge and head out to the wall. Earlier Jim, Kathy & I went over the basic dive plan. Length of dive, direction, & depth, proper method for giving hand signs at night and night dive etiquette. “Don’t shine your dive light in anyone’s face, don’t totally blind the sea creatures with your light and let parrot fish in their bubble nests alone”
The problems: 5:30 being feasting time for the mosquitoes made gearing up something you didn’t want to linger over. The first 2 tanks I grabbed had bad O-rings. By the time I finally hooked up for the 3rd time and got all my gear in place everyone was on their way to the buoy. Except for Jim who was patiently waiting by the shoreline. Feeling slightly stressed I headed out into the growing darkness. I seemed to be exerting myself more than I expected and taking in water through my snorkel. It took me a minute to realize that I had a leak in my snorkel and if you want to swim on top of the water it helps if you remember to put some air in your BC. With some calm encouragement from Jim I finally got my act together and made it out to the Buoy. The other divers were grouping up and catching their breath after the swim out.
The dive: I have been planning to try night diving for a while but wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I’m use to diving in the Bahamas with good visibility and wasn’t sure if I’d like not being able to see very far in the dark. All doubts were gone the instant we submerged. As our lights spread out across the sandy ocean floor I got a look at a new version of a familiar landscape. A sense of peace descended over me and I was ready for a new adventure. First we had to pass the guardians of the deep. Standing like a one-armed sentinel and turning to face us with his one good arm raised was a large crab. Then just as we hit the cleft in the wall where we would drop over the edge. A slowly & silently moving shark glided in from out of the deep. Paying us no attention at all he went about his nightly business. Getting my first look at the wall I realized that night diving isn’t really about the dark it’s about the colors. The orange, yellows, reds & purple of the coral wall and the fish tucked into the crevices just stunned me. There were lots of parrot fish tucked into their nest for the night, a very large hog fish, an ocean triggerfish, a couple of spotted moray eels & some spotted drum. We found 3 octopuses that evening and even though I know they change colors to camouflage themselves actually seeing them go from a beautiful pearly blue to a multi hued brown in seconds was a surprise. We happened upon a napping turtle that moved on to quieter quarters. There was so much to see that I can hardly remember everything. It was certainly not a dark and empty place. As we headed back into shallower waters we started turning off our dive lights. The light of a full moon shining down reflected through the water and I was surprised at how much you could see without light. Little sparks of Bio luminescence trailed from the fins of my dive partner. I turned over on my back looking up as my bubbles rose sparkling in the reflections from the moon. As we all came out of the water and on to the beach I asked, ”Can we do that again tomorrow”?

Life is Great! Holly
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