Diving in Similan Islands – Tips On Night Diving
Night diving in Similan Islands – scary, or sublime? Perhaps a little of both, but definitely worth overcoming any nerves you may have about taking the plunge into the dark.
The vast majority of local liveaboard boats will offer the opportunity to try night diving in Similan Islands, and it’s certainly something you’ll want to experience. The Similan Islands are famous for the sheer diversity and abundance of marine life, some of which can only be seen once the sun’s gone down.
For those of you who haven’t night dived before, there are few small technical differences you’ll need to be aware of in how we dive when diving at night. With this in mind, here are our top four tips to help you get the most out of night diving in Similan Islands:
Space…. the final frontier
The key to an enjoyable night dive is space. Believe me, whilst underwater in the pitch black with only a tiny ray of light to illuminate your path, the last thing you want is to be rammed into from behind. Is it a shark, is it an angry barracuda… nope, it’s your feckless dive buddy… but by the time you’ve realised this you’ll have already guzzled half your air in sheer panic. So back off, give your buddy some space, and you’ll both find the dive far more pleasurable.
Full beam ahead
Whilst you’re at it, it’s probably best to keep your diving torch pointing down whenever possible during the dive. Diving in the dark can be disorientating enough without the addition of a torch full beam in the eyes. If you need your buddy’s attention during the dive, cross your beam repeatedly over theirs, rather than shining your torch directly at them.
Switch up your position
You’ll also want to modify your usual diving position when night diving in Similan Islands. Try diving with your head down and your feet slightly raised behind you as you’ll find this works much better for ensuring you don’t inadvertently damage the reef or disturb any sleeping marine life. Shifting your weights around to the front should help you get into this position pretty easily.
Just to add to the adventure, we like to do a few things slightly backwards whilst night diving in Similan Islands. If you’re sensible, you’re probably normally diving with your computer on your right wrist (so that you can adjust your buoyancy and watch your depth simultaneously) – however, in the dark we need to change things around a little. Chances are you’ll be carrying your torch in your right hand – which makes checking your computer a little tricky. So for your night dive, I’d highly recommend switching your computer over to the left wrist. Similarly, when entering the water, swap your hands around here too. Move your left hand to your mask, and your right hand (complete with torch) to your weight belt. This avoids inadvertently knocking yourself out or smashing your mask with your torch on the way in.