Having a partner while scuba diving is very important, it gives you that extra security when something goes wrong… And it also gives you peace of mind. While diving with a buddy is common practice, I still see some people scuba diving by themselves. And although it does involve a bit more risk, I decided that I want to see how that feels like to scuba dive by myself. And what better time to do it than during the night! Which, may I add, I had never done before either. So to help familiarize myself with that kind of dive, I decided to first do one with my buddy, and the second one by myself.
I set a date to do the dives on Friday night after work. I felt a little nervous about it, but at the same time I felt very excited to and was looking forward to the new experience!
When my work finished on Friday, I went home quickly to get ready, drove to pick up my buddy, stopped at the store to get the rental gear and off we went to Whytecliff Park where our diving adventure awaited! The parking lot was empty, probably due to the rainy weather we had had that day, which actually played in our favor as we were able to grab the closest spot to the trail that leads down towards the water. One thing that every scuba diver knows about dives in cold water is how tedious it is to walk to and from the diving sites with all the heavy gear!
We took our time while getting ready to allow the sun to go down, walked towards the water, swam out and submerged ourselves into the sea! The visibility that day was surprisingly really good. While everything was dark, my underwater flashlight illuminated everything under the sea really well. It was such a peaceful and surreal feeling being there. Words can hardly describe it. While some sea life was asleep – like some fish who were sleeping on the wall of the cliff – other sea life was wide awake! We went down the cliff-side to a depth of 100 feet (30 meters). We swam one way for a while, turned around and swam back gradually coming back up closer to the surface while observing different sea life underwater.
Ever since a few months ago, I started diving with a drysuit (the suit keeps the water out and keeps you dry inside, as opposed to the wetsuit). There are a few benefits to diving with a drysuit, one is that it’s much warmer, of course. But the only downside to it, which was a big disadvantage for me on this dive, is that you can’t pee in it (unless you want all your dry clothes to be soaked in pee lol). Prior to the dive, I have made a huge mistake by drinking a large cup of coffee, which in effect made me want to pee every 5 minutes. After about 5 toilet breaks, before putting all of my gear on, I was hoping that would be the last of it. But unfortunately, as we were going into the water, I was feeling a new batch brewing. The first half of the dive was fine, it didn’t affect my concentration. But towards the end of the dive, it felt like I was going to burst! When we came out, I had to move so quickly in order to get rid of my gear…. I almost failed to hold it in, it was a really close call… Never again will I drink large portions of coffee before diving.
The next dive was the solo dive. I was a little nervous about going in by myself, but I knew I had to do it. I changed the air tanks, got my gear ready, went in the water and dived in. At first, I was scared, being in the dark in the ocean alone can be quite daunting. But as soon as I was underwater, I felt much calmer. I was able to relax and enjoy the experience. I didn’t go too deep this time, I stayed at around 50 to 60 feet deep. The dive was relatively normal and nothing too crazy happened during it. I was on my way up and coming closer to the surface when I saw something pass by. It was murky near the surface so it created a ghost-like effect, I was trying to figure out what it was and I realised that it was a seal! It quickly swam by me a couple more times, still keeping its distance, then it disappeared. It was a really cool experience!
After that night, I fell in love with night diving, and I’m looking forward to do more night dives in future!