Scuba-diving stories

Ode to Rob Crawford

night
My second dive was my first night-dive. Something just a year ago I thought I would never do- afterall night is when the sharks come out to feed. Mostly.
So, we kitted up for what was also my first shore-dive – walking into the sea from the beach. We´d waited until 8.30pm when it was completely dark, and slowly, in we went.
Our route was following a breakwater wall, out to sea and then round to the right and back again. The depth was only around 9m, and you could make out the lights from the land on the water above you.
Looking out to sea, underwater, just looked black. Thoughts of Great White Sharks suddenly appearting from the dark started to trouble me and I realised that this was actually more scary that I´d anticipated.
Friendly marine-life was a welcome distraction. First up were some very friendly Cuttlefish. These normally burst away at high speed if you get too close, but for some reason tonight we were able to touch them and one even followed us like a dog for a few meters.
There were a lot less fish than i´d anticipated – less than during the day. Those we did see looked kind of strange – just floating in mid-air so it seemed.
Santiago pointed out a few craters in the sand, about 15cm deep. They looked strange and I wasnt sure of their significance. After the dive he informed me that they were made by a sting ray, resting there during the day.
When we later found said Sting Ray – hiding in some rocks – I had to wonder why it left the sea-bed and hid in the rocks at night? They mostly come at night… mostly.
On we went and found a blue Moray Eel about a foot and a half in length. This was the first time i´d seen more than an eel´s head poking out of some rocks – and seeing its full body was really cool. It looked a little cute.
Later we saw a large octopus with tentacles that looked about a foot long. It darted out of view but we still got to see it briefly and it looked very impressive. When I see Octopus I always remember my marine-biologist ex telling me how intelligent they are. How they need to be given toys to keep themselves entertained and intellectually challenged when they´re kept in aquariums. And how they often manage to break out of their tanks. Really cool creatures and a shame to eat them I think.
Our dive concluded in a very chilled manner with us crouching on the sand (still underwater) and turning our torches off to witness ´bio luminessance´. As we waved our hands and arms around they seemed to give off tiny luminous sparks – like something out of Harry Potter. This effect is caused by tiny bacteria colliding in the water and looks really cool.
We emerged from the sea, thrilled and shared a high-five. Santiago confided in me that whereas he isn´t usually afraid during night dives for some reason sharks were on his mind this night and so he purposefully wasn´t looking out into the deep during the dive. (ed. sorry, that´s not very confidential now Santiago!)
A smart move since they do mostly come out at night, mostly.
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