I’ll never forget my first night dive. I was a new diver with maybe twenty pages filled in my logbook. I was very wary of night diving and could not understand why everyone was so into it. A more-experienced diving friend, Karin, encouraged me to try a night adventure dive. Not wanting to admit I was afraid, I made pathetic excuses like “um, I’m tired and I have a full stomach and it’s Tuesday.”
She stared me down and said, “We’re going. I’ll hold your hand if you really want.”
Ten years and dozens of night dives later, I am at the opposite end of the spectrum, “Night diving is fun! It’s not scary at all, and sometimes you wave your hand around and the phosphorescence makes things all sparkly and you feel like Harry Potter!”
So when I heard about fluorescence diving I had to know more. All of the mystery, intrigue and magic of night diving is intensified with that added spark of glow-in-the-dark magic. Dude, now I really feel like I’m in Avatar.
Fluorescence night diving is also referred to as fluo diving or glow diving. Fluorescence absorbs high-energy light and re-emits it as low-energy light. This is different from phosphorescence which has the capability to store light and re-emit it over a longer period of time.
When glow diving, UV flashlights and lens filters for your mask enhance the stunning colors and unbelievable beauty of the underwater world. All of the critters and corals that you swam past earlier will be worth a second look as they glow in hues of pink, green or blue.
This special type of diving requires divers to be comfortable with night diving and the particular skills that are needed for such dives. While the glow illuminates the surrounding area and divers have flashlights, there are still many safety concerns that divers need to be prepared for before taking the plunge. Talk to your local PADI dive shop or resort about the PADI Night Diver specialty certification.
See the glow for yourself in Cambodia, Koh Tao, Thailand, the Red Sea, areas of The Philippines, Maldives and Indonesia, the islands of Bonaire and Grenada in the Caribbean. Fluorescence diving is an experience you won’t soon forget.