SDI SPECIALTIES… Night / Limited Vis


Let’s start by answering an obvious question: Since diving is an activity where the visual impact is a huge draw, why dive in the dark or when the visibility is poor?
The simplest answer is that diving at night is fun if you know how to approach it. For example, diving on a reef at night opens up a completely different world and a completely different cast of characters compared to diving in daylight.
Diving in limited visibility – which is defined as not being able to see beyond two metres or about six or seven feet – is a little more difficult to explain. One potential reason to dive in poor visibility is to recover lost objects; for example fishing gear, anchors, a lost watch or ring. These things rarely seem to drop off the dock or side of a boat in crystal-clear water. Another reason is that some dive destinations do not have perfect vis and although the water clarity may not limit a diver’s field of vision to the limit defined in the course outline, having experience and the techniques to manage less than optimal conditions is a great boost to a diver’s logbook and confidence.
In fact, the techniques and skills that make up this SDI specialty will help any diver, especially relatively new divers, gain confidence and extend the conditions in which they are able to conduct diving activities.
At the core of this program is learning some of the tricks and nuances of underwater navigation. Graduates from this course will have put in some thought and time to working on a dive plan that includes working with and learning to depend on good natural and compass navigation techniques. They will also have been introduced to some dive equipment and accessories that are not used by “ordinary” open water divers.
During this SDI specialty course, divers will be asked to use natural “landmarks and waypoints” as well as run tasks such as triangulation using a dive compass. The complexity of the tasks will depend a little on local conditions and what works best in those conditions, but every dive will be a learning experience.
Other skills and drills will included using marker buoys, lights, buddy lines, and overcoming the challenges of communicating in conditions where the conventional hand signals may not cut it!
All in all, SDI’s Night and Limited Visibility Specialty will help a diver to build confidence, gain new skills as well as hone existing ones, and will broaden their menu of options when it comes to dive sites and the length of your “dive say.”
FIND OUT MORE BY VISITING YOUR LOCAL SDI DIVE FACILITY or speak to an SDI instructor as our booth at these upcoming dive shows: Our World Underwater, NEC Birmingham, LIDS London, Beneath the Sea, ScubaFest, and Others.


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