Posted by: Sunchaser Scuba | May 1, 2012

Calm weather and diving at night!

So there is this one thing we just don’t agree about with sailors. Sailors love wind and we divers don’t! It makes the boat ride bumpy and the surface at the dive site choppy. Luckily it doesn’t really affect us too much underwater and there are so many dive sites in the area that we just pick the best one for the daily conditions. However the beginning of this month the weather gods were finally with us and we got no wind, at least for a couple of days.When it is crazy calm, it opens up a lot of dive sites to us and it gives us the chance to take even first time divers to sites where we would normally only take experienced divers.

 The Invisibles is one of those dive sites! The Invisibles are two underwater pinnacles just off Necker Island. They are called the Invisibles because no matter how rough the weather, the pinnacles will never break the surface, even though the top only sits about 5 feet underwater.  It is our closest dive site, about a 15 minute ride. Because it is a little bit more exposed and no land close by to protect us from the weather conditions, this dive site is prone to current and can get quit rough on the surface. When the weather does turn calm we take full advantage and get out there as often as we can.

During this beautiful coral dive you are most likely to see lobsters, the local turtle that loves to come and hang out with us. Plenty of barracuda, horse-eyed jacks and pompanos are some of the larger fish you can encounter. And then to finish your dive you will be greeted by schools of grunts and bar jacks swimming around you in the thousands! You can often find angelfish swimming by and at the end you fin under a beautiful rock formation! We like to call it “the wave” as the rock in this spot looks like a cresting wave where you can swim under.

It also allows us to venture out at night! You do have to be certified to come out on a night dive but if you haven’t done one yet, you should definitely give it a try! Diving at night almost feels as if you are in space! It is dark, although we do carry a flashlight, you feel weightlessness and also when you black out your light and wave around bioluminescence glows like green stars in the night.

One of our night dives brought us to Chromis Reef at Cooper Island with no less than 9 divers to join us on a dive in the dark! Some of them had never done a night dive before so the butterflies in the stomach were definitely present!
After enjoying a beautiful sunset we hopped in the water descending in the darkness! Suspended in the dark with our flashlights in our hands we saw lots of creatures that like to hide during the day! Blood worms which get attracted by our lights were swarming us, we saw little cleaner shrimps partying out on the sand flats, crabs came out of their crevices and most of the fish were getting ready for bed.
We had big tarpon come and check us out and squid were swimming the night away. After a while we all dimmed our lights to make it as dark as we could, when we started waving our hands around, the bioluminescence would light up like stars in the night.
As soon as our heads poked out of the water, the millions of stars in the sky mesmerized us! A beautiful finish for a beautiful night!

Our latest night dive at Coral Gardens was one to never forget! We headed out to Great Dog Island just after six to find an amazing calm dive site and what looked like amazing visibility, which was exactly what we needed as we had a boat load of night dive virgins!All of them entered the water very brave with just enough anxiety to make them giggle.
Once under we explored the coral heads, showing us sea urchins, brittle stars, little coral crabs coming to show their claws, little Spanish lobsters were having a wander around the reef. We slowly made our way back towards the boat to find a 4.5ft juvenile nurse shark swim past hunting for pray, followed immediately by an octopus free-swimming flashing his colors to try to scare us off! To finish the already amazing dive one of our divers and I found some soggy dollars lying in the sand good for a profit of $40 between us.

A pretty good ending if you ask me!

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