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Have you thought about a night dive but just weren’t sure? Here are some great reasons to get you in the water at night!
During a night dive, everything takes on a new look. Your focus changes as you move about the dive site, observing life around your dive light and seeing ambient light from the surface.
At dusk and again at dawn, nocturnal and diurnal species “trade places” on the dive site to seek food and engage in social activities. Rockfish seek out holes and ledges in the reef to sleep while other fish species, such as Ratfish, become more active. Our famous Giant pacific octopus is also more active at night, sometimes venturing out of their dens to hunt for food. Harbor seals are especially enthusiastic, occasionally following divers around Puget Sound dive sites and hunting using diver’s lights to illuminate prey.
Even a familiar dive site can look completely different at night. Wrecks and small boats underwater become compelling and mysterious. Reefs light up with your dive light and display colors not seen in the daytime.
During the fall, billions of small microorganisms in Puget Sound become excited by water movement, which causes light emission in the microorganism. While on a dive safety stop, simply point your light down or towards you (for safety, do not turn your light off) and wave your free hand in the water. You’ll see thousands of light pinpoints, an amazing experience to end your dive.
The PADI Open Water Diver course taught us that colors degrade underwater, first starting on the red end of the spectrum. A dive light can bring back the “true” colors of fish, invertebrates, and corals. Vermilion rockfish (Sebastes miniatus) become a beautiful red, Stubby squid (Rossia pacifica) can turn red to deep purple, and California sea cucumber (Parastichopus californicus) reveal their deep reddish-orange to yellow colorings.
Go diving after work or even later in the day. Night diving is great way to squeeze in a dive after work or in the evening hours. We offer night dives every day of the week, and they can be scheduled anytime after sunset. A night dive is a perfect option for visitors to Seattle with a full daytime schedule of meetings, conferences, or even just sightseeing.
Here is a little bit about the Porteau Cove British Columbia dives from last week while I was up in British Columbia:
Dive One we just sort of went down the stairs and swam underwater to the artificial reef and poked around the tires and concrete stuff. Lots of shrimp, Dungeness crab, Decorator crab, and a shy Kelp Greenling. We looked around for an hour or so and headed back for a surface interval and to change cylinders.
Dive Two we did a surface swim out to the buoy marking the Granthall wreck, then dropped down the line. Viz opened up to 40′ below the algae layer on top. Lots of Plumose Anemone, Copper Rockfish, and some very large Lingcod. Also saw Moon jelly, Sea blubber, California Sea Cucumber plus another type that I haven’t seen before, and a single Orange Sea Pen.
Dive site is pretty shallow, don’t think we got below 50″ and the tide was going out. Both dives were lots of fun, I plan to go back soon and take some more pictures. Check out the photographs from this trip on the Porteau Cove, BC Facebook album.