OK, so we’d seen the photos – loads of iridescent fish and coral glowing bright underwater in an array of fluoro colours - but would the exclusive fluoro diving live up to the expectation? Or had these spectacular images perhaps been photo-shopped slightly?
It was time to find out for ourselves. After a speedy trip out to the Outer Great Barrier Reef and having already completed a full day of diving, we had transferred over to our liveaboard vessel OceanQuest where we would spend the night on the reef. OceanQuest had already impressed, with it’s large cabins, en-suite facilities, twin beds (nope not even bunk beds!) and televisions in each room; not that we’d had a chance to watch anything on it as we were too busy, you know, exploring the Great Barrier Reef.......
As the sun went down we geared up under the lighting of the dive deck. The anticipation before a night dive makes it different to any other dive. Jumping in to black water, having the vision of only a torch light in the dark, it’s an eerie but exciting moment.
Unlike any other night dive I’d done before, this time we had yellow mask filters clipped on to the front of our mask and were equipped with a specialist blue torch, like a UV torch. We’d already had an informative introduction to fluoro diving from the guide explaining the science behind the phenomenon, fascinating.
Then we were off. The differences between a fluoro dive and a standard night dive were immediately noticeable – sediments in the water were suddenly glowing, a passing reef shark lurked with bright iridescent eyes, the outline of the reef below us glowed faintly as we made our descent.
As we explored our first bommie, everything suddenly became amazing. The smallest tiniest shapes in the sand started to light up in the brightest yellow imaginable. Our guide began pointing out tiny crabs moving around within the bommie and starfish. The coral itself glowed as bright as a lamp moving with the water, it was nothing short of incredible. The reef itself is already a whole new world, but fluoro diving takes it up again yet another notch. At one point I removed the yellow mask filter to see the difference, everything suddenly became dull and dark with just the light from my torch. I put the filter back on and BAM! The reef was lit up glowing the brightest fluorescent colours yet again, and every detail suddenly became fascinating, again.
I am looking to invest in my own mask filter and specialist torch, because I just don’t know how I’m going to go back to standard night diving, now I know this exists…….
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