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Thread: night dive with an OW?

  1. #1
    Grouper
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    night dive with an OW?

    Probably another dumb question but... I'm headed to Hawii in a few days and would like to take a night dive. I'm only OW cert and will get my AWO this sumer when it warms up a bit. The hotel offers dives thru their desk. Already got some other good info from Zenagirl on Hawii (thanks!) and said the night dive would be neat.

  2. #2
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    Vercingetorix's Avatar
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    First, there are no scuba police. Second, your profile indicates that you have over 25 dives, so you're still a very new diver, but comfortable in the water. Third, there are many divers without AOW who have done night dives when led by a far more experienced diver (I assume the hotel dives include a DM).

    That said, it all depends upon how YOU feel. If you look at a body of water at night and think, "Oh! sh**!", then it's not for you yet. If it's a shallow dive in non-difficult conditions (warm, little or no current), then you might feel more confident.

    For myself, with only 50+ dives in quarries and lakes, a deep night in ocean currents for me is totally out of the question.
    rick

  3. #3
    Megalodon
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    IMHO, a night dive does not necessarily have to be out of the question. What it would take to do so safely and enjoyably would be to talk with the group that is doing the dives, find out what their requirements are and what it would take. Then, hopefully either find someone who has the night diving manual for your certifying agency or purchase it and read what is involved to night dive safely.

    I'm not a complete fan of "Trust me dives" but with a little on site training with a good dive charter, it is possible to have an enjoyable and more importantly, safe night dive without completing the class.

    ETA: And what Vercingetorix said.

    I once saved a man in Wichita just to watch him dive...(inventor)

  4. #4
    At 25-50 dives, night diving won't be a problem. Read up about it since there are some special considerations.

    What is Night Diving?

    seems to do a decent job of covering it. Main thing I'd emphasize is that you should be totally familiar with your equipment and not attemt any big dives- start out easy. It's a huge advantage to have already dived the site during the day. Lot's of charters are set up this way: one dive before dusk and the second dive at night on the same site.

  5. #5
    Barracuda
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    bring at least 2 lights I would recommend 3 if you do it. Also a chemical light stick zip tied onto the back of your tank or 1st stage is not a bad idea it lets divers know where you are. I would say if you feel comfortable go for it.
    When you turn your air on does it return the favor?!
    "I'd rather die while im living, than live while I'm dead!" -Jimmy Buffett

  6. #6
    Grouper
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    Thanks, Already read the AOW manual, my brother gave me his copy. I tried to call the Sheraton desk earlier but didn't get an answer. Then realized it's probably the middle of the night there. I feel like my bouyncey skills are adequate. I haven't been crashing into reefs, shooting to the surface. I've done a couple drift dives in Cozemel and Caymens so kinda used to currents. I wouldn"t think of attempting it w/o a DM. I'll call and see if they have requirements.

  7. #7
    Any chance you could do the night diving specialty course while you are on vacation? I know some of the courses can be a lot of fun, but don't know about the night diving one. Might be a kill two birds with one stone situation. Night dive, knock off a specialty and move a bit closer to AOW cert.

  8. #8
    Grouper
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    Thanks everyone. I got ahold of the hotel desk and she told me there night dives were guided by an instructor and fairly shallow 25'-40' and currents were normally mild. I'll check on the specialty course idea. I'll still think on it a bit but right now it sounds like a great opportunity. I also scheduled a double tank dive to the Cathedrals. Thanks for all your suggestions.

  9. #9
    Barracuda
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    I would say go for it sounds like it should be an awesome time, I love night dives and find them very relaxing, and not all that difficult either 25-40 ft with mild current sounds like relatively benign conditions too! Just stay with your buddy and carry a couple lights and you should do fine. If you can practice during the day at a local dive site or even in the pool diving with your eyes closed and doing drills that way so you can get better prepared for it.
    When you turn your air on does it return the favor?!
    "I'd rather die while im living, than live while I'm dead!" -Jimmy Buffett

  10. #10
    Barracuda
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    I did night dives in Bonaire with an experienced night diving buddy. I had less dives than you at the time, but I am also very comfortable uw. The night aspect wasn't going to freak me out, so to speak. If you have swam in a large body of water in the dark (okay - skinny dipped in ocean or large lake) you should be okay with a good torch.*

    A few things I would recommend,

    1) each have at least 2 flashlights. At least 1 should be a really bright one. You can probably rent one from the resort dive shop, I did. You'll see more with a bright light.

    2) Don't use the chemical glowsticks that Rox suggested (please!) They are chemical and emit a substance into the water. Plus, they are only good for one use and then you have to toss it. For a very small fee you can invest in a tank glow stick that is battery operated.

    3) This one is very KEY: Make sure you and / or your buddy can see your compass underwater! My buddy was the navigator and half way through the dive we had to do a safety stop and then poke our heads up out of the water like prairie dogs because she a) couldn't read her compass, and b) it was on her wrist and had problems with the flashlight and holding her compass wrist properly. If you haven't nav'd uw at night yet, test out how well your compass is illuminated in flashlight conditions. Is there a glare for example?

    4) Wouldn't hurt to stay within a set distance of any long-lines underwater. We followed the long-line from the pier out to the mooring ball and hung out there.

    5) The best night dives are not always at midnight. Dusk, when the critters change guard is just as exciting.

    6) I learned you don't have to go deep to see an incredible array of sea life. We were never more than 100 yards from the pier and in water no deeper than 25 feet.

    7) For Goodness Sake - bring a camera and strobe on the dive. Rent one if necessary. My biggest regret is not having a camera for night photography on my night dive.

    8) If you are not going to suit up directly under a light (like on a pier or dock), organize and put your gear together before dark sets in, so you are not doing this by tactile feel. Anything you can do in advance of the dark is a good idea if lighting will be limited.

    *Postscript - personally, if you can get into water in the dark (no light) and swim around, you should be okay for the mental challenge. The rest is diving. I can't stress enough to check your gear for viewing by flashlight. I moved some of my gear around for the night dive so I could hold it in a different angle with the flashlight. You will be surprised how little the backlight helps in the dark and that some lights can cause a glare against the face of the computer. My small flashlight creates a glare, but the larger LED light does not.
    Last edited by gNats; 02-16-2009 at 13:34.
    No one has ever retold valiant stories of logic - for all good stories are driven by emotion and the spirit.

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