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Chris White // February 1, 2019

10 Tips for Night Dives at Moalboal: Well known dive Spot in Cebu

Adapted from an article by John Brumm of Sport Diver magazine

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Night diving is special because even a familiar site looks different at night. When you make a day dive, you normally scan the entire dive site looking at your surroundings. At night, you see only the area of the dive site that is lit by your light. This forces you to slow down and concentrate on that one area.

Tip #1
Stay close and shallow. Night dives tend to be shallow, so you’ll have plenty of bottom time to go slow and take it all in. Colours, for example, are much more vivid on a night dive than they are during the day. It’s simple dive physics. If you’re making a daytime dive in 66 feet of water, sunlight gets absorbed, stealing away the colours. On a night dive, your light source is never more than five or 10 feet away, so the water doesn’t take away any of the light spectrum.

Tip #2
Redefine “night.” When the sun is low in the sky, very little light penetrates the surface, making it pretty dark underwater, even when there is still a fair amount of light above. Diving at dusk is a good way to start your night-diving career. You have the convenience of gearing up when it is relatively light, but get the full effect of making a night dive. On ocean dusk dives, you also have the added benefit of watching the reef creatures migrate through a kind of “shift change” as the day animals disappear and the night animals come out to play.

Tip #3
Get the right gear. You’ll need a primary dive light and a backup light. The primary light should be the larger and brighter of the two. How large and how bright? That’s up to you, and your choice may vary depending on the clarity of the water. When shopping for a light, try out several as some have different grips and handles to suit your personal preferences. Your backup – or pocket – light should be small enough to stow easily, yet bright enough to help you find your way back home. Most lights designed for this purpose are smaller and typically shaped more like a traditional flashlight. Remember, though, that if the primary light fails and you switch to your backup, it’s time to end the dive. We are reviewing dive lights later this year, but for our 2012 Editor’s Pick for Best Dive light, read about the Sola Dive 500 

Tip #4
Tie one on. Most dive lights come with a way to attach a lanyard or wrist strap. Get one. It’s cheap insurance against dropping and losing your primary source of illumination. Most dive lights are negatively buoyant; if you drop one in deep water it may be gone forever.

Tip #5
Know the signals. If there’s one aspect of night diving that is more complicated than day diving, it's communication. You and your buddy should review hand signals before entering the water and agree on the ones you'll use. You have two options: One is to shine the light on your hands so your buddy can see what you’re saying. The other is to make signals using your light. You can signal “OK” and “Yes” or “No” by moving your light in a circle, or up and down, or side to side. You can even get your buddy’s attention by circling or “lassoing” his light beam and then pulling it toward you. If you’ve practiced this beforehand, your buddy will know what you’re doing.

Should you become separated from your buddy, get vertical and shine your light outward while turning a full circle. Your buddy should do the same and chances are you’ll spot each other. If you surface far from the dive boat, point your light at the boat until you get the crew’s attention, then shine it down on your head so the crew can see you clearly.

Tip #6
Aim carefully. On any night dive, you should treat your light like a loaded gun. Never shine your light directly into another diver’s eyes — you can ruin his night vision.

Tip #7
Go easy on the light. First-time night divers tend to buy the biggest, brightest beam they can find and cling to it like a security blanket. As you gain experience diving at night and get comfortable, you’ll find smaller primary dive lights do just as well, particularly in clear water. On some night dives, lights of other divers, the boat and the moon can provide so much ambient light that you may leave your torch off for much of the dive.

If you do need a light, you may not need its full power. Some LEDs have a half-power setting you can use to dial back the brightness. Or try dimming your light by cupping your fingers over it. In any case, you’ll see more natural behaviours if you use the edge of the pool of light, not the hot spot, to pick out fish and critters.

One of the unique things about night diving in the ocean is bioluminescence. Some varieties of single-celled plankton give off light when they are disturbed underwater. Your fin kicks or a wave of your hand can create an explosion of undersea sparks, but you’ll miss the show in anything but dark conditions.

Tip #8
Do reconnaissance. Before you make your first night dive on a site, you should dive it during the day. This allows you to learn the layout of the site and get comfortable with it. 

Tip #9
Mark the way home. If you’re diving from shore, rather than from a boat, you should also place lights on the beach. It's a good idea to have two lights close together at your entry/exit point and then a third farther away. This gives you something to swim for after the dive when you're swimming back in.

Making a night dive from a boat brings with it a different set of concerns. The boat should be marked with a flashing strobe you can use to find your way back. When surfacing near the boat, shine your light toward the surface and watch carefully to avoid colliding with the hull.

Tip #10
Have fun! Most important, relax and enjoy the dive. It’s natural to be a little anxious before stepping in the dark void of an unlit ocean or lake, but it’s also exciting. When you overcome your anxieties about night diving, you get another eight hours of each precious dive day to explore and create new and lasting dive memories.

What happens if you get separated from your buddy or the boat after finishing a night dive? There’s a reason why we recommend carrying at least two safety signalling devices when you are diving at night.

Night Dives at Turtle B ay Dive Resort

We recommend three great sites for night dives at Turtle  Bay Dive Resort:

  1. Our house reef - easy shore dive, lots of special stuff including Mandarin fish (just before dusk), electric clams and lots more;
  2. The Muck Dive Site by Moalboal Town pier - a lot of really unusual stuff you will not find anywhere else including star gazers; and
  3. Pescador island - beautiful coral and a chance to see sharks come up from the depths

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Featured Author // January 10, 2019

Turtle Bay is now a PADI 5 Star Dive Resort!

We are very pleased to announce that Turtle Bay Dive Resort has been awarded the status of PADI 5 Star Dive Resort! It is an honour to be recognised by the world's leading diver training organisation.

 

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To quote from PADI "PADI Five Star Dive Resorts excel in providing traveling scuba divers with memorable scuba diving experiences by providing professional and outstanding service. These dive operations are progressive PADI Resorts that offer the full range of PADI scuba programs, have a good equipment selection and offer dive activities that promote aquatic environmental responsibility. PADI Five Star Dive Resorts are committed to providing quality diver training and continuing education programs that include dive experiences and environmental awareness. These dive businesses often cater to the traveling diver, but are also active in the local community promoting the benefits of recreational scuba diving and snorkeling."

As many of you know, Turtle Bay was founded by a family of divers and since the start, the anthem of our business is to share this passion for diving to others. Our partnership with PADI enabled us to realise this and we will continue working with them as we bring people into the wonderful world diving. Not only creating diving enthusiasts, but also ocean ambassadors.

Many thanks to all who are involved in keeping our mission alive: To make great diving easily accessible to foreign and local guests whilst they enjoy excellent service in a well-maintained surrounding. 

If you're planning for your next diving trip or your first dive experience, get in touch with us! 

Ask about Diving

Featured Author // November 7, 2018

Is Scuba Diving Safe?

by Megan Denny

 

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Scuba diving is enjoyed by thousands of people around the world every day and is considered a low-risk activity compared to many other outdoor and sporting activities – even such widespread activities as swimming, jogging and all-terrain vehicle riding have higher reported fatality rates than diving.

How likely are you to be injured while diving?

The most common medical issues associated with scuba diving are sunburn, seasickness and dehydration (all of which are preventable). There are actually few injuries requiring any sort of medical attention associated with diving. On average, there are only 1092 scuba-related emergency room admissions in the US each year.

Compared to other popular sporting activities, average annual ER admissions in the US are:

Diving – 1,092/year

Snowboarding – 4,438/year

Bowling – 19,802/year

Volleyball – 57,303/year

Fishing – 170,216/year

Source: NCBI

What about sharks?

Dogs, snakes, crocodiles and even hippos kill more people every year than sharks. Just in Australia there are 20 horse-related deaths each year compared to 1.7 shark-related fatalities: Horse Week, anyone? Most divers love sharks and are ambassadors for this greatly misunderstood animal.

Will I run out of air?

Your dive gear includes a display that tells you how much air you have in your cylinder — think of it like the gas gauge on your car. You’ll learn to check this gauge regularly, so it’s unlikely you’ll run out of air while scuba diving. If you do run out for some reason, your buddy has an extra mouthpiece (regulator) so you can share your buddy’s air while you swim to the surface. Some divers also choose to dive with a small backup supply of air.

Do people die scuba diving?

Unfortunately, yes. Like any activity in the natural environment, there are inherent risks in diving that can never be fully eliminated. However, with proper training and when following sound diving practices, the likelihood of a fatal accident is low – in the US there were only 50 diver fatalities reported in 2014 (the last year for which data are available). With a diver population estimated at 3 million, the diver fatality study for 2014, as published by Divers Alert Network (DAN), reported an approximate 2 per 100,000 participants fatality rate, which “appears to be relatively stable over time.” This compares favorably with other common sports:

-Jogging (13 per 100,000 participants)

– Swimming (6 per 100,000 participants)

– Horseback riding (est. 128 deaths per 100,000 participants)

Considering diving fatalities further, about 45 percent of dive fatalities are precipitated by a health-related event, and about 25 percent are associated with a cardiac event, mostly in older divers. DAN’s most recent Annual Diving Report* states, “Older, heavier divers with pre-existing heart or blood-pressure conditions are at elevated risk of dying while scuba diving, compared with younger, healthier divers. Fifty-three percent of male and 54 percent of female victims were 50 years old or more.”

* Divers Alert Network® (DAN) publishes the DAN Annual Diving Report each year. It includes data and analysis on dive incidents, injuries and fatalities for a given year.

 

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Photo: Tod Warren

Proper Training and Following the Rules are Key

The majority of scuba diving injuries and deaths are the result of diver error. So it’s important to get proper training and always follow the rules and procedures you learned in class.

In the PADI Open Water Diver course, you’ll learn important skills and safety concepts and practice them in a pool (or pool-like environment) before moving on to the ocean, lake or other large body of water. If you’re not sure if an open water certification is for you, ask your local PADI Dive Center or Resort about a Discover Scuba Diving experience. You’ll get a chance to try on scuba gear, breathe off a scuba tank, have some fun with friends and find out if scuba diving is for you.

PADI Instructors are held to diving’s highest standards. All PADI programs fall under strict educational standards monitored for worldwide consistency and quality. PADI randomly surveys PADI Divers to confirm their courses meet PADI’s high standards as well as the divers’ expectations. No other diver training organization works to maintain this level of professional reliability and integrity.

We hope this article has helped put your mind at ease about scuba diving. If you have additional questions, contact your local PADI Dive Center or Resort, or reach out to our community of divers on Facebook.

Source: https://www2.padi.com/blog/2017/07/17/scuba-diving-safe/ 

 

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