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My first night dive was back in 1972 or '73 (that far back it starts to
blur).  We "borrowed" a friend's dad's boat and took it out on Lake
Washington.  We anchored in about 50ffw, on a dark cloudy night and dropped
over the side following the anchor line down.  The plan was to stop at about
30ffw and my buddy would turn off his light (the only one we had) for a few
minutes, so we could see what true darkness was.  It was fun for about the
first minute, then it started to get spooky as I waited for him to turn the
light back on.  What I didn't know was that he'd dropped the light as soon
as he turned it off, then let go of the anchor line to grab the light and
missed.  Then he started to flail around in the dark, my first indication of
this, is when he clamped a hold my ankle.  I almost fouled my wetsuit as I
kicked him in the head a couple of times before I realized what was going
on.
I didn't do another night dive for quite a few years.
To answer the inevitable question, No Night Diving wasn't covered in my O/W
class and to the best of my recollection, the only other continuing
education class offered was photography.

Ed Graves
Puget Sound, Washington USA
http://www.emeraldseadiveclub.org/


>From: "Huntzinger, Hugh A [AMSTA-AR-CCL-B]" <[log in to unmask]>
>Reply-To: Scuba diving discussion list <[log in to unmask]>
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: Night Diving
>Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 16:32:37 -0400
>
>Birdo writes:
>
> > When I trained, there was the offer of a night dive with my Instructor
> > leading a group of about 6.  However at this stage, I had not mastered
>the
> > art of buoyancy control...I don't recall seeing much on that first night
>dive.
>
>FWIW, I have a description of my first night dive at URL:
>http://www.webspan.net/~hummer/night.html
>
>
> > About a year later...
> > Once in the water we followed the mooring line down to the
> > sand and made our way to the coral with torches in hand.  The
> > underwater viz was outstanding and the moonlight caused outlines
> > and shapes to be easily recognized. Off in the distance we could
> > see the glow of torches from another group.  Looking back at
> > the vessel we could easily see the glow of about 6 cylume
> > sticks that were lowered down on a weighted line, for reference.
> >
> > Having the light of the full moon took a lot of the "blackness"
> > out of the water I think it was this eerie glow that made this
> > particular dive seem so dreamlike.
>
>
>I also enjoy doing a night dive with a full moon.  I suspect that
>its probably also a good way to start, as the "blackness" can also
>trigger claustrophobia if you're at all inclined and the moonlight
>will help to reduce this tendency some, particularly over an open
>sandy area.  I'd have to check the dates/etc, but I suspect that
>my first night dive was probably on the night of a full moon.
>
>
>FWIW, another 'eerie' sight that I've seen is the marker strobe
>that's too far away and/or behind a coral head to be seen directly;
>it silhouettes coral heads or just the inky darkness, reminiscent
>of those distant, silent flashes of heat lightning on a hot summer night.
>
>
>-hh




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