“The suns going down. We’re standing excitedly on the beach with our torches on. This is our first night dive ever, and a great way to complete our Advanced PADI course. We wade slowly into the calm water and make our way to a nice spot were we descend into around 3-4 meters. There’s still light but it’s fading slowly away into night and I already begin to see how different a night dive is going to be.
We start to swim and strait away we are greeted by more than 100 little silver fish attracted by our lights. As we swim down the bank they lose interest and swim off out of view.
We are down to about 5 meters now and already I start to notice how colorful the corals really are when lit up by our torches. Our instructor signals us to look between the corals and I see something red moving around. I take a closer look and suddenly an octopus springs out from the corals and swims gracefully off into the distance. As he swims off something else comes into view, a family of squid displaying all their bio luminescent colors. They seem curious and float effortlessly beside us until all of a sudden with a single burst they disappear into the darkness.
Next we find a Moray Eel, not tucked into the rock like normal but swimming out and about uninterested in our presence. All in all we see at least 5 different types of Moray, each one very different from the last.
As we go a little deeper to around 10 meters we spot something on the rock that looks like a really colorful slug, orange, gold and white. I am later told that it’s a Nudibranch, one of more than 3000 different types. A wonderful creature!
As we move on we see many different shrimps, crabs, sting rays, frog fish, cuttlefish etc. All creature that you don’t normally see out and about during the daylight hours.
Then I suddenly spot a pair of wings on the floor. On closer inspection I see It’s a fish, a flying gurnard apparently. As we get closer it decides to glide off over the bank leaving us wondering in amazement.
The instructor has one last surprise for us. We stop, go down on the sand where we are instructed to turn off our lights. One by one the light go out. Then, our instructor starts moving his hand rapidly through the water and to our surprise hundreds of little planktons start to illuminate in front of our eyes. We sit there for a few minutes all thrashing around enjoying the amazing light show until it’s time to go up.
On our way up we meet the famous Spanish Dancer gracefully dancing it’s way through the water on it’s way to who knows where! It swims off beyond the reach of our dive lights and we make our way slowly to the surface and end an unforgettable experience.
One thing I did notice is how long the air seemed to last at night. I can only guess it’s due to the calm relaxing nature of a night dive”
Spanish Dancer Divers offers daily night dives on Nungwi Reefs.