About the resort
The dive schedule at Atlantis Dive Resort, Dumaguete, is great if all you want to do is go diving. The boat runs out to the dive sites are short and the boats leave every 2.5 hours, with an extra hour off for lunch. It helps that the dive sites are shallow so repetitive diving within very conservative no deco limits is possible. The schedule gives a surface interval of just over an hour between 60 minute dives and means 4 dives a day is easy. And after the four day dives…night diving!
About the dive
I’m normally not a huge fan of night diving. If I’m going to hang out in the ocean with a bunch of creatures, I like to be able to see them coming. On tropical trips I get tempted into it by warm water and the chance for creatures not normally seen during the day. Dumaguete is a very relaxed location for night diving. With so much of the dive being over sand you don’t have to worry about the current carrying you into a sea urchin. The treasure hunt mentality of looking for tiny critters from the day dives gets a bit easier at night with eyeballs reflecting in the torchlight. And there’s a whole new set of creatures to look out for.
About the photo
On this particular night dive I had just finished strobing a shrimp, half buried in the sand and was casually swimming along in the shallows. Ahead and to my left I spotted this beautiful little jewel of fish. The guy up top is a bobtail squid. He looks like a cuttlefish but doesn’t have the same internal skeleton that cuttlefish do. He was also only an inch or two long and sitting quietly on the sand. These guys are nocturnal and can be hard to spot (although with that luminescent skin I’m not sure why). He watched me for a minute while I got down low on the sand for this shot. Then I switched to video, and he dug himself a hidey hole and disappeared underground.
The second shot is of a bug-eyed squat lobster. Again, you can see these guys during the day but they really come out of their holes at night. Between the eyeballs and the glowing hair on their legs they are pretty ridiculous looking. They were good fun to observe as my torch light brought in tiny sea lice which they would snatch from the water around them.