Night invites storytelling. On the way to the dive site everybody seems to have something scary to share: divers left on the reef for the night by a careless operator, giant shark skulking in the shadows, losing one’s bearings simply by swimming upside down (watch the bubbles! says the captain). The stories get taller as the sun sinks closer to the horizon.
Night dive turns out to be absolutely magical. We enter water at dusk and it gets progressively darker until one dives in blackness punctuated by torch beams and glowing tank markers.
Fish look huge, the wreck slowly reveals itself below, we are searching for an octopus known to lurk beneath submerged decks.
Why dive at night apart from the thrill of overcoming the fear of darkness? Colors look natural in the beam of torch light as the red is minimally absorbed by water at a close range. Some creatures like lobsters, crabs or eels are more active at night venturing into open space from their hideouts. Others like parrotfish get somnolent and instead of darting about simply stay in place.
At the end of the dive we switch the lights off and see the dots of luminescence emitted by tiny creatures excited by our movements.
I am hooked and want to dive every night. Despite scaring myself to death when my buddy swims away as I realize I am low on air. But at night stories get taller.