Diving is a major sport in Qatar and the experience of meeting the underwater Sea life is quite fascinating. Scuba Diving in Qatar is very special and you can enjoy both daytime and nighttime diving. Ramadan is a good chance to Night dive as most people in Qatar fast and life after sundown is more active during this period.
What makes night diving special is that, even a familiar dive site looks completely different at night. it is more like driving your car in daytime and nighttime. 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 the light you are carrying. This forces you to slow down and concentrate on that one area. also the torch light will bring back colors of fish and reef that you miss during day dive due to sunlight and water depth. At night you can also see different variety of fishes and marine life than the one in day dives.
Advice for night divers
1- Gear up and prepare when the sun is already low in the sky and start the dive when there is still a little light on the surface. That way it is safer and easier to find the starting point and 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.
2- 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.
3- You'll need a primary dive light and a backup light. The primary light should be the larger and brighter of the two. Now with the availability of LED lights, you can have a good light for a reasonable price. Get one with lanyard so it is in your hand all the time. Even if you drop it, most of the diving lights will float to the surface. You can also have glow sticks to mark divers by attaching it to their tanks for easy identification. However, always remember, if the primary light fails and you switch to your backup, it's time to end the dive.
4- Know the signals. You and your diving 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 that 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. Remember to never shine your light directly into another diver's eyes--you can ruin his night vision. 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.
5- 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.
6- 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 to the shore.
Making a night dive from a boat brings with it a different set of concerns. The boat should be marked with a flashing strobe to help you find your way back. When surfacing near the boat, shine your light toward the surface and watch carefully to avoid colliding with the hull.
7-Have fun and relax, 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. 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.
Blue Angelfish -Qatar. Pic by Khaled Zaki
Hermit crab -Qatar Pic by Khaled Zaki
Christmas Tree Coral Tube
Once you learn diving properly you can start your adventures by diving locally in Qatar or travel around the world to see different dive places with different marine life types. We would love to hear your experience of diving in Qatar or anywhere else in the world.
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