|Every diver loves to go for a dive during a warm sunny day, but what about at night? For the slightly more advanced diver, a night dive is a great way to enjoy diving from a whole new perspective.
Meeting at the shop, the start to any dive trip. Allowing for everyone to get sorted with gear rental and a head count. In typical night dive fashion, organization is key and making sure not to forget torches. Always remembering backups!
During the 1.5 hour drive north of Auckland as the sun is setting, the excitement in the car can almost be felt. Finally getting to Matheson’s bay, a big stretch typically accompanied with a yawn is had after jumping out of the van. Everyone lends a hand unpacking the gear, making sure to keep organized as it’s about to get a lot harder to see in the reserve. A briefing is then given explaining the route of the dive as well as assigning dive buddies while the sun is nearly set in the background. At Matheson’s there is a reef that runs perpendicular to the shore line, starting 20m from shore.
Then comes everyone’s favourite part. Getting geared up in the dark and not so warm weather. If you weren’t so distracted by the sunset, which is amazing at Matheson’s Bay with orange and pink hues in the sky, you may have been lucky to avoid this step and gear up as the briefing was being given.
Once everyone is suited up and ready to go, it’s a final check over by the instructor.
The go ahead is given when you are given a glow stick bracelet that is placed around your cylinder. Whoever is geared up first gets dibs on what colour they and their buddy group will receive. These will be a colourful visual aid for other divers to help identify one another in the dark water.
The group heads down to the beach. Swimming into the water, only having the light of your torch and the moon to guide you. Night dives are typically planned around a full moon at Dive HQ. The surface swim at Matheson’s to get out to the reef is probably the least fun part of the dive. At night however, it is made almost magical as you swim on your front, snorkel in mouth, shining your torch into the dark water looking at sea life hunting as you make your way to the reef. Forgetting about the distance of the swim, having an exciting snorkel on the way to the dive site.
It is so rewarding being able to see the ocean come alive at night. Being able to direct your total focus on where you are shining your torch. With many underwater species being nocturnal, diving at night not only allows you to see elusive daytime species, it allows you to see our favourite species be more active in their environment. At Matheson’s, octopus and rays can be seen hunting around the reef. Swimming about as opposed to how they are typically found camouflaging in their surroundings during the day.
In certain spots if you are lucky, as we are up in Matheson’s Bay, it’s a must to view the bioluminescent algae at the end of every dive. Underwater all together the buddies all come together in one big group. Using the signal of covering the hand over their torch, the instructor signals to the group to turn off all torches. It is pitch black under water. You swing your hands about and the ocean once again comes to life looking like an underwater night sky. The water is filled with tiny specs of fading glimmering algae. A pretty amazing sight to see.
Once the dive is over, it’s another magical swim back under the stars. Once packed up and headed back down to Auckland, everyone is reminiscing about the amazing experience on the drive back.
Night dives are a different and fun way to enjoy the ocean from a whole new perspective. Night diving is just one example of some of the amazing dive trips dive HQ westhaven offers. Join us and follow us to be able to sign up for our next night dive trip!
The most exciting part of any PADI Open Water Course for sure has to be going out and diving in the ocean for the first time! After the confined pool sessions have been completed, and all skills are mastered by the diver, it is time to put those newly learnt skills to the test.
At Dive HQ most of our ocean visits are scheduled at either Matheson’s Bay or TI Point both past leigh marine reserve. Both locations are great spots for beginner recreational divers. A surface dive to Matheson’s to view an expansive reef. And TI point starts out right when you come in around the wharf.
The first day of the open water ocean dives includes 2 dives. During these two dives the skills you learned in the pool will be done in the ocean.
Going into the water with all your gear on for the first time in the ocean can be a bit nerve wracking. The instructors at Dive HQ are not only professional, but are there for you every step of the way. Ensuring safety and guidance to make the experience as enjoyable as possible for their students.
Put all your hard work, both practical and theoretical to the test.