A Night Dive To A Shipwreck
“It’s a whole new perspective of the underwater world.”
– Hassan Nazeeh (10/05/2021) –
Night scuba diving is a wonderful experience and a relatively hidden gem of activity at Meeru Island, which most divers can enjoy. The dive team selects different locations around Meeru for night dives, and I had the opportunity to explore a shallow shipwreck.
The dive spot for the day was the shipwreck, conveniently located 15 minutes boat ride from the island. 10 May 2021 was a beautiful evening when we set sail from the Meeru jetty into the direction of the sunset while the sun was still blazing down the ocean and illuminating the water. Our dive instructor Marc Vermaas from Euro-Divers Meeru Island gave us a briefing on the dive during the boat ride.
The sun was about to set when the dive was planned out, and mandatory dive briefs complied. With much excitement, all the divers put on their dive gear with the help of the boat crew. We then jumped into the ocean with our torches switched on.
We jumped into the ocean, and our dive instructor Marc gave the signal to go down and guided the team to swim down towards the shipwreck. The shipwreck at night was even more awe-inspiring. I felt like being in a museum at night with all the history that is sunken with it.
Marc started to swim around and showed small yet magnificent marine life and mollusc, including the colourful nudibranchs, pufferfish, and parrotfish laying comfortably in the ship’s compartments, ready to dose off to sleep. Starting from the ship’s propellers to the cargo compartment, we explored the ship’s depths. Laying underneath the hull, we found parrotfish, lionfish, and eels.
Swiping the ship to the top of the mast took around 45 minutes of the total dive time, and the air on the tank was more than enough to do the safety stops of 3 minutes. The boat crew lit up additional lights from the boat into the sea, making it easy to find the spot to ascend to the surface.
While we were still undersea at a depth of the 5-meter safety stop, there was another underwater show that left us more in awe. All the divers had to turn off the torch lights and wave their hands in the water to stir it in the pitch-dark of the ocean. The hand movement caused the bio-luminous planktons to light up like stars and spiral around like the night sky lit up by a galaxy.
After the underwater starry-night show courtesy of plankton, we ascended to the surface to be greeted by the warm fresh, salty breeze and a star-studded night sky. The boat crew assisted us as we climbed up the boat’s ladder with the equipment. To warm up from the dive, we had hot tea, coffee, and fruit.
As the divers shared their experience of the night, Marc, our dive instructor, logged down our experiences, time, depth, and air left from the night dive while the boat started sailing back towards Meeru. To me, it was bliss lying on the ship, in the breeze, on a starry night. We watched the well-lit marina of Meeru and the warm lights from the Kakuni Bar – a welcoming sight as we drew near the island. The excursion team reached the island right in time for dinner.
Night Dive Tips:
🤿 The first step to prepare for the night dive is to check and assemble all the dive equipment on the boat before leaving for the dive spot. A ‘buddy’ check is also important at the start of the journey to ensure a safe and fun dive.
🤿 An essential part of diving is to always know the location and what to expect from the night dive. Before the dive commences, it is important to receive general information about the dive site. Night dives differ from day dives, where a torch is needed and where the underwater sign language is different.
|Parrotfish Fun Facts:
Every night, the Bicolor Parrotfish have often been seen envelope themselves in a transparent cocoon made of mucous secreted from an organ on their head. This secret bag masks their scent, making them harder for nocturnal predators, like moray eels, to find.
Night dive at Meeru is a guided dive by Euro-Divers Meeru.
The dive is USD 135* per person & is a 2-hour excursion.
Includes Single Dive, Full Diving Equipment, Underwater Torch, Single Boat Fee, Tea/Coffee, Fruits & Water on board.
Suitable for certified Open Water Diver and above with no previous night dive experience required.
Maximum: 8 persons. The minimum age is 12, and children must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.
Optional: Fluorescent night dive, Underwater Camera rental, Night snorkeling
*Prices are correct at the time of publication and subject to change.
Hassan Nazeeh is the Assistant Sales & Marketing Manager of Meeru Island Resort & Spa. A Maldivian, he has great respect and is awe-inspired by the ocean and the marine life of the Maldives. He is an avid diver and enjoys his time off at the resort diving, participating in reef cleaning, and monitoring the health of Meeru’s coral garden.
Photo Credit: Marc Vermaas, Euro-Divers and Euro-Divers Meeru Island
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