Night diving is a must for any diver wishing to experience all the thrills that you can gain underwater. There is, however, a way to take it to even more extremes that will have you amazed at the sheer beauty the underwater world can bring.
Night diving brought to an all new level!
If you think you have seen it all? Try going for a UV night dive. It will take you into a world reminiscent of the night scenes in Avatar. You start the dive the same way you would a normal night dive. Getting geared up just before dusk, so that you are entering the water just as it gets dark, often you still take a normal dive light with you to start the dive off (helps you to not freak out just dropping down into the dark!). Switch that light off, plunge yourself into darkness and then turn on the UV light and see the eerie creatures of the reef in a whole new way as they light up with bio-fluorescence. A great UV Dive image!
So, how does UV Diving work?
Although it is commonly referred to as UV night diving, it is not actually a UV light (or black light for our American friends) it is a special light taken down that emits a blue light specifically designed to generate the maximum amount bio-fluorescence, along with a yellow filter placed over your mask for the dive. We wear the filter as blue light is not invisible to the naked eye so without it we would not see the effects we are intending. Certain marine life will absorb part of this blue light and emit a different colour light in return, this effect is what we call fluorescence; not the same as bio-luminescence (light emitted by the organism itself). By doing this we allow there to be a vibrant range of colours that show up from all different types of marine organisms, including neon greens, oranges, yellows, pinks and purples! The reason as to why corals fluoresce is still unclear, some think it may be as a form of protection from harmful sun rays, but this is still not proven. It is also still a mystery as to why some other forms of marine animals do this as well. This is what a mantis shrimp looks like during a UV Dive For those of you who have tried almost all types of diving and those that like to experience new things that not many other people have, then this is definitely one for you! Basically you experience this everywhere but of course the better the corals are, the better it will be. In our opinion, the best places are in Australia on the Great Barrier Reef. The fantastic Lizard Island Resort offers now the possibility to try UV Diving. Of course there is also the possibility to have a go where it all started, in Indonesia; in Wakatobi to be precise. Wakatobi Dive Resort is not only one of our favourite places on earth, it also has the best coral formations, ideal for UV diving. But it is just for those aiming for the best...
Have you been UV diving? If so, post a comment and tell us about it? If you want to go UV diving, get in touch!