Night Diving

Ao Nang Travel Blog

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Sun setting from the longtail

Late last week Pam had asked offhand if anyone was interested in taking part in a night dive.  I was but figured that the with the time it would take to set things up I would have departed the project by the point any dive took place.  So it was with much surprise that on Monday night before we departed for the Full Moon Party that Pam tried to gauge interest in a night dive on Thursday March 12.  Interested - absolutely.  It would cost 1500 Baht for the dive (this tagged with the Full Moon Party costs meant I spent more extra money in the past few days than I probably had in the past month total) but the opportunity was too good to pass up and 9 other of the volunteers agreed.

During the day we actually were on a standard dive day.

Night dive briefing
  We dove at some local islands and I worked with Patrik on fish ID and teaching him the various families and species of fish in the area like I had been taught  by Pam, Marie and other volunteers 5 weeks ago after I finished my training.  Since we were diving local today we were back home by around 1:00-1:30 PM and had time to rest before heading back to the dive boat at 6:00 PM.

We returned to the beach and took the longtail back to the dive boat.  On the boat we received a briefing on how to use our underwater torches (flashlights) and how to communicate and keep in contact in the dark water.  We decided that we would try to maintain one large group underwater with Pam at one end leading and Marie at the other keeping the group intact.

A contemplative Allison and Andrea
  Kontiki also had a few other divers along for the dive and they would be in a separate group with their own divemasters.

We were at Koh Si and entered the water together and descended.  It was completely different from a regular day dive.  Without the sunlight streaming through the water we were left to the light from our torches.  As we swam along we encountered two huge jellyfish in our path that everyone made sure to keep lit up until everyone had successfully swam by.  We saw more grouper out and about than we typically did during the day.  And tiny shrimp, smaller than a fingernail could be seen delving from the coral.  Another fantastic opportunity was to smother your light against your wetsuit and then swirl the water around you.

A bird shape in the clouds
  The sea is full of bio-luminescent plankton that light up as you swirl them around in the water.  A fantastic view.

As we swam around I realized that we didn't have all 12 torches in the water with us.  I saw Marie for a while but eventually lost her as well.  There were four lights in the general area that I could see (mine, Patrik, Mia, and Allison).  Patrik gestured to me and we knew that we were coming up on the dive time limit of 50 minutes.  I motioned to Allison, Patrik motioned to Mia, and we began a slow ascent to the surface.  Since we were only diving around 8 meters there was no need for a decompression stop at 5 meters so we just slowly made our way to the surface.  As we came through we saw that there were at least 3 separate groups from our original group (one with Marie, one with Pam, and the four of us).  Apparently our briefing didn't do us much good.  But everyone was fine.  A fantastic experience.  But there was to be one more interesting dive story on my last dive day tomorrow.

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Sun setting from the longtail
Sun setting from the longtail
Night dive briefing
Night dive briefing
A contemplative Allison and Andrea
A contemplative Allison and Andrea
A bird shape in the clouds
A bird shape in the clouds
Allison on the longtail
Allison on the longtail
Esmee, Pam, and Andrea on the long…
Esmee, Pam, and Andrea on the lon…
Marie
Marie
Lek
Lek
Sun setting from the longtail
Sun setting from the longtail
Just after sunset
Just after sunset
Relaxing at dusk on theboat
Relaxing at dusk on theboat
Last light on the horizon
Last light on the horizon
Last light on the horizon
Last light on the horizon
Last light on the horizon
Last light on the horizon
Ao Nang
photo by: findmeabeach