See your dive in a new light at night!
If you’re looking for an exciting, new way to explore a familiar dive site, why not make your next dive experience a night dive? After the sun sets over Gili Trawangan you can take a few short steps across the beach to our house reef, Biorocks, turn your torch on, and prepare to see the incredible underwater world in a whole new light. Here’s a rundown of the top five things you can expect to see on your night dive adventure. Written by Lauren Aston.
These adorable cephalopods are sometimes referred to as dumpling squid due to their spherical shape and petite size, growing to a maximum length of 6cm. You can usually find them burying themselves in the sand, but when they’re out swimming these masters of disguise have a biological invisibility cloak to prevent predators seeing them from below.
You might be familiar with hermit crabs, but have you ever heard of a decorator crab? These guys take whatever they can find to camouflage themselves against the underwater environment – so if you see a coral or sponge skittering along suspiciously, have a look underneath for crab legs!
During the daytime you might see cuttlefish out and about, but by night their smaller cousins like to explore. They have the ability to rapidly change colour, used for mating and for sneaking up on prey, so if you’re lucky you might see a light show from these chameleon-like creatures. They also have the ability to shoot out jets of water to uncover prey hiding in the sand.
It’s not just the small critters which creep out in the evenings; lots of the ocean’s predators like to do their hunting under the cloak of darkness. You can expect to see lionfish, moray eels, and perhaps even some white tip reef sharks tracking down their dinner. You may even inadvertently help them out – morays have poor eyesight, so if you catch a smaller fish in the beam of your torch it could become their next snack!
By day you probably use your safety stops as an opportunity to perfect your bubble ring skills, but by night it’s a chance to play with one of the coolest things you can see on a night dive. You’ll shield your torch against yourself and briefly be plunged into the darkness, then start to wave your arms around and be hypnotised by a glowing, starry sea. Bioluminescent phytoplankton in the ocean creates a chemical reaction and lights up when it’s moved around, resulting in a luminous firefly-like effect glimmering all around you. Not your typical creature sighting, and most definitely something every diver should add to their bucket list.
So what are you waiting for? Whether it’s as a fun dive, perhaps as one of your dives towards completing your Advanced Open Water Course, or even completing a Night Diver Specialty, come and join us on the dark side!