A Magical Nighttime Scuba Dive

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Gili Trawangan

We boated to Halik, a dive site Emma and I had not visited, just as the sun was setting. The water was calm, the air was warm, and the sky entertained us with bright pinks and oranges as the sun disappeared behind the horizon. By the time we arrived to the sight, the sun was gone, and the sky was dark. We had already completed the taxonomy dive, and the photography dive (where the photos in this post are from), and this was the third dive in our Advanced Dive course, the night dive. Emma and I were beside ourselves with excitement!

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The night dive

We set up our BCs, did our buddy checks, each chose a flashlight, and did our backwards roll off the side of the boat, into the water. Our descent was eerie, with only our flashlights illuminating our surroundings. We were told to point the lights down, so we could see where we were going. We reached our diving depth and I looked around; it was pitch black. Without the flashlights, you’d have absolutely no idea where you were in regards to the ocean bottom, or even the surface!

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Sea life

We each carried our own flashlight, six in total, and the lights brought the coral to life. Some divers couldn’t contain their excitement and flung their lights all over the place. I held up the rear, and scanned my light slowly and steadily over the reef below so I wouldn’t miss anything. Big sea slugs, a colossal sea cucumber, a blue and yellow moray eel, a huge lobster, even a sea turtle hanging out in a little cavern. We were instructed to not shine our lights on the sea life for too long, as to not blind them and lower their defences.

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Up ahead, I saw our dive instructor’s light waving excitedly up into the open water. I looked up to where his torch was shining, and there was a shark! A nurse shark with white tips on its fin, maybe two metres long, swam over the reef, and as quickly as it arrived, disappeared into the black water. COOL! We continued along the reef. With my light in front, illuminating the way, I looked behind me into the total pitch blackness. Whoa. The ocean is a big place. Who knows what’s out there? I brought my light around to look behind me and illuminate the black. There, following curiously behind the group, a few metres away, the nurse shark! I jumped and screamed into my mask! I was startled. Being followed by a shark would do that to anyone!  

The magic underwater

We settled down on a huge field of broken torches and our instructor had us turn our torches off. I deflated my BC completely and came to rest on my stomach. Emma effortlessly came down to rest next to me. All the lights were out, and you couldn’t see a darn thing — not even your own hand in front of your face! Then, next to me a burst of colour and light. Our instructor waved his hand in front of us, and tiny phosphorescent organisms illuminated the field. It was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. We waved our hands, kicked our legs, and were enthralled by the explosions of light. I lay on my back to look up at my flippers, kicking up the colours. I laughed, and a big bubble came out of my mask. The air moved quick enough that it stirred the water. I breathed out again, colour and light, sparkles and magic. I was euphoric. Tears filled my eyes as I kicked and danced in the water, surrounding myself with the splendour.

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We arrived back at the boat, I passed my BC up to the team aboard, and climbed up to the deck. I lay down on the roof of the boat, next to Emma, staring up at a sky chalk-full of stars, and cried.

 

Read about some of the Indonesian adventures I had on dry land! Check this out!

 

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1 comments on “A Magical Nighttime Scuba Dive”

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