Are you afraid of night diving? Do you believe that there is a huge monster lurking in the deep? Or do you think a big shark is waiting behind a coral pinnacle for you?
Dusk is the moment when one of the most fascinating events in the marine world occurs; the night creatures become hunters and the day creatures try to hide and sleep everyone is on a different mood.
Some species are nocturnal and can only be seen at night, and some animals you might see during the day display different behaviors such as hunting, feeding or just sleeping.
Night diving is a great way to take a dive site you know and see it in a completely different way. Using a dive light will force you to slow down and carefully observe small sections of the reef and all the critters within.
Night diving experiences will vary depending on where you’re diving but small shrimps, crabs and octopus are almost a guarantee if you are diving in Roatan!
Octopus often feed after dark and they seem to glide over the coral until they find a good spot, where they seem to balloon over an area and capture any food underneath them. Schools of squid can be seen hunting, usually as a sliver flash reflecting in the glow from a dive light.
Parrotfish are an interesting night dive find because they secrete a mucous bubble around themselves before going to sleep (think of it like a parrotfish sleeping bag). This protects them from predators because the bubble will break and wake them up if something touches it, alerting them to escape.
Eels are usually coiled back into the coral and we only see their heads, but at night they come out to hunt and divers can see their true length, they also use the flash light to hunt
Another unique night diving experience is seeing bioluminescence, or phosphorescent plankton. When tiny plankton are disturbed they emit a small spec of light, looking almost like glitter underwater. Comfortable night divers can turn off their flashlights and see the bioluminescence around them with every moment through the water.
If you want to see the coral eating close your flash light to a coral head you may see the coral eat the little tiny worm on your light.
IMPORTANT Respect the marine life, day, and night
As you can imagine, marine life can become disrupted by the bright artificial lights of divers. Nocturnal animals can easily be blinded and disoriented by bright strobes and torches, so avoid pointing the light beam at any animal.
In other words, be gentle, careful, and respectful, and don’t harass the marine life you encounter during a night dive. Observe from a distance so that you can take it all in without getting in the way of the natural cycle. No matter what, night diving can be magical. The adventure gets the adrenaline pumping and makes any daytime dive site even more astounding.
Enjoy your night dives! You never know what you might find after dark.