Black Water Diving

fish circeling a jellyfish with black background

Black water diving is a special type of night dive. Typically a night dive is close to shore, either on a reef or sandy slope. On a black water dive you will dive in deep open water and wait for platonic creatures to come floating past on the currents.

What’s Black Water Diving like?

This kind of night dive is a very specialist type of dive, usually attracting photographers. It involves hanging out under the boat, in the black water, and waiting to see what floats by. Marine life that scuba divers could see on a black water dive are usually very small. We are looking for planktonic creatures, most of them in their larval or juvenile stage of life.

Coralia Liveaboard offers black water diving. We usually suspend a bright light from the back of the boat. Divers will then enter the water and hang out at the back of the boat.

A purple, blue and yellow Squid photographed on a Black Water night dive with Coralia Liveaboard in Indonesia

Black Water Diving Skills & Procedures

Divers need to be feel comfortable in the dark and have good buoyancy skills. You will need a good torch to spot the critters. If you are taking photographs then you need a good focus light attached to your camera rig.

The light suspended from the boat will attract the tiny creatures. It also provides a visual reference to stay close to.

Pipefish spotted while Black Water Scuba Diving with Coralia Liveaboard

Creatures you might encounter during a Black Water Dive

The planktonic creatures that you might see spend the day in very deep water. At night they come to the surface to feed on the nutrients in shallow water. Some of the critters are planktonic their whole lives. Others will float around until it is time to settle onto the reefs or sandy slopes.

We might encounter anything from tiny fluorescent jellies to squid. If you see a jelly, look closer, there might be a little fish taking refuge. Some of the creatures observed during a black water dive are seen on the reefs, but they look nothing alike! We could see squid, lobsters, eels, pipefish, fish. However, they are usually all at the planktonic or larval level.

Black water diving is unpredictable, we never know what might pay us a visit. Be patient and keeping looking!

A fish inside a transparent Jellyfish encountered during Black Water Diving with Coralia Liveaboard in Indonesia

Join us on a Coralia Liveaboard cruise and ask your cruise directors about black water diving opportunities!

Other Interesting Marine Life Articles

Check out our other articles about marine life in Indonesia, big and small, on our Coralia blog: