I was always curious and at the same time a little afraid to think about the sea at night. The first time I did a night dive was in Mexico. I got on the boat at sunset, just before it gets dark. When we reached the diving point, the night reached us and there was no more light left than the stars.
I entered the waters of the Caribbean with breath in a hurry and the lantern firmly attached to my hand. The image of each person with a light in his hand floating on the bottom of the dark sea gave the idea of expedition and increased the adrenaline. At first I could not see anything, but, as I descended, my eyes became accustomed to the darkness of the sea and I found an incredible place.
I knew that reef but at night it seemed like a new place. Thecolors are better appreciated with the flashlight because they are not lost with the blue of the ocean but contrast with the dark. There are small algae and animals that are attracted to light and remain unimpeded. After repeating the experience several times I confirmed that at night everything has a different perspective.
It’s amazing how the behaviors of animals change. When the sun goes down, like us, some fish sleep and rest but others are active because it is time to hunt. You can see the crabs moving from side to side with their tongs open looking for something to eat.
Finding an octopus is a great nightly show. It is amazing to see them crawling with their 8 tentacles and even more if they are found hunting or feeding on crustaceans. They are animals that generally take refuge during the day in their caves.
The most magical of the ocean at night is bioluminescence, when fluorescent lights appear. During a dive this happens when we all turn off the lanterns in some place of sand, we kneel and begin to move our arms to shake microscopic marine algae that produce their own light.
The ocean looks black and begins to be illuminated by sparks of light that dance alone. Some say that the image could resemble an aurora borealis but in the sea. Bioluminescence is a natural phenomenon that can occur also in other places, for example lakes, and with some terrestrial organisms such as fungi or fireflies.
The full moon from the sea is also something great. It can be seen how the rays of moonlight cross the water and illuminate the bottom. If the eyes get used, we may not need the flashlight (although you always have to have it just in case).
The peace that is felt at night is greater than that of the day. There are no boat engine noises around and you get lost in the silence of the sea. The nicest thing is when the dive ends, not only because of the smile we came out with after discovering that nocturnal world, but because we also float looking at the stars from the surface of the ocean, waiting for the boat to come looking for us.