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MAURITIUS EXPLORE
» 01 Sep 2015
EXPLORE

“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” – Jacques Yves Cousteau
A friend of ours shared this quote with us along with his adventures diving around the island and we simply had to share his experience with our valued readers so here goes….

One of, if not The most, exhilarating dive I have experienced is one I did at night. Torch in hand, you are required to take a drop into the pitch-blackness on which the boat is floating. Queuing up behind my fellow divers, I kept asking to myself why on earth was I doing this. Not wanting to chicken out and delay the people behind me, I took a huge breath that made me feel like my heart had risen well up into my throat! Before I knew it, I was in the water and once everybody else had jumped, it was time to descend. Another big inhale and I started deflating my buoyancy control device. It was like something I’d never felt before. It resembled being trapped in a dark room, submerged with water while still being able to breathe and the only thing you heard were the bubbles of air you were blowing out.

The dive master had instructed us to gather at 5 meters deep to ensure everything was fine prior to starting our deeper exploration of the sur surrounding coral gardens. So there we were, kneeling on a sand bank, adjusting our torches and taking in the imposing beauty of obscurity. Looking right and left was absolutely spine chilling. It did take me a few minutes to settle down and come to terms with the fact that I could only see as far as the beam of light would extend. And then, we took off for a most spectacular adventure. The marine life at night is a mind boggling world. Once the sun sets the vibrant colors of the daylight dives go with it, and the colorful fish somehow manage to disappear from view. Instead the ocean is filled with a variety of creatures that exit their daytime hiding places in search of their night time feasts.

Since the divers are using torches and tend to get closer to the marine life a lot more detail is visible. Creatures on the sea floor that may appear dark or black during the day, but under the beam of the torch they are revealed as having stunning, rich coloration. I was familiar with the dive site but its residents and the colors looked so different. I recall how by flicking my light under my fins, I noticed a gorgeous turtle right beneath peacefully gliding away. Spanish dancers were twirling upwards at the glare of our lights while multicolored moray eels were curiously getting out of their holes to have a peek at the weird looking gigantic intruders that we were!

Night-diving, however requires one to be a fairly experienced diver. An introductory course is given to all first timers prior to taking the big plunge in the ocean. However one can become a certified diver after clocking in four ocean dives, a few pool / shallow water exercises and a theoretical examination. The first level as a qualified diver would allow one to go down to 18 meters. The advanced level would require 5 additional technical dives and some more page flicking. Completing this level, would allow one down to 30 meters. Next time you want to cut off from civilization, get on a boat, take that leap into the unknown and let yourself
be enchanted by the sea.

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