Top 6 tips for night diving

It may surprise you to know that a lot of experienced scuba divers not only recommend night diving but prefer it over diving during the day. Novice divers often think that diving in the dark would be a miserable experience because it's difficult to see, making visibility and navigation a chore. However, night diving offers some of the most tranquil diving you'll experience. Below, you'll find 6 tips to use when venturing out into the night.


Tip #1: Stick by the boat

You don't need to stray far from the boat in order to have an incredible diving experience. Everything looks different when illuminated by the beam of your light. Rather than taking in the entire ocean floor, you're concentrating on small sections. So, stay nearby your boat.

Tip #2: Start early

Just because it's called "night diving" doesn't mean you have to wait until it's pitch black outside. When the sun is falling behind the horizon, very little natural light is able to penetrate the surface. Start a little early and take in a bit of "dusk diving."

Tip #3: Got a light?

Unless you plan to wear a miner's helmet, you'll need to invest in a dive light. Remember, everything you see underneath the surface will be illuminated by your light. So, buy a primary light that's large enough and bright enough to do the job. Also, it's a good idea to invest in a backup light. It should be much smaller and fit into one of the pockets on your wet suit. If the primary goes out, you'll have the backup ready to pick up the slack.

Tip #4: More light isn't always netter

This tip is related to the previous tip. While you may think that more light than less is better at night, you don't need a spotlight down there. In fact, you'll notice a lot of experienced divers have smaller primary lights. Buy a primary light that has a powerful beam but isn't bulky. When in groups, you'll find that other divers' lights will often illuminate much of your area.

Tip #5: Learn to communicate

Before venturing out on your night dive with your diving partner, make sure you both understand the signals you'll use while underwater. Some divers use their lights to communicate. Others prefer using their hands and shining their lights on them when necessary. If you become separated from your partner, get into a vertical position and rotate your light 360 degrees parallel to the ocean's surface. One of you is bound to see the other.

Tip #6: Light the shore

If you're launching from shore (that is, you're not using a boat), put 2 lights on the entry point (which also serves as your exit point). When it's dark, the lights will help you navigate back home. Here's a bonus tip: ask someone on the shore to watch the lights. Occasionally, someone will notice the lights sitting attended and simply take them, leaving you to find your own way back to shore.

Getting involved with night diving

If you haven't been on a night dive before, you owe it to yourself to experience it. As mentioned, things underwater look very different at night. Plus, there's a tranquility about diving a night that is unmatched during the day. Use the tips above to plan your night dive. Once you've gone under the water's surface at night, you may find you prefer it to dive during the day.

More information