Night Briefing : Your First Night Dive!
1. Analyze beach conditions:
Safe to dive or call dive due to conditions; surf, visibility, fog, weather, etc.
2. Pre-dive planning:
Formalize your communication with your dive buddy; out of air, ear problems, etc.
Know in advance what your buddy separation procedures are; if you lose your buddy, cover light and look for glow of his light. Look around for a minute or so and if you can not locate your buddy you should surface, meet up and decide if you want to continue your dive.
Discuss with your buddy how you are going to communicate your remaining air supply, i.e., hold light on your chest and signal.
Discuss how close you want to stay to each other while diving.
Know your buddy signals. For instance, you may want to have 3 standard signals. One, making a circle means ok, Two, waving your light side to side calls for your buddy’s attention and Three, waving your light up and down calls for assistance.
Plan for emergency ascent, if you need to get to surface, do not hang on to your weights.
Slates make communications easier.
Do not forget to plan for safety stop.
Plan to surface with at least 500 psi.
3. Getting through the surf zone:
Timing is everything. Sets are groups of big waves followed by groups of smaller waves called lulls. Wait for at least two full sets of waves to get an idea of how much time you have during lulls to get through the surf zone.
Identify a light on shore to guide you back to the beach. Use this to take a compass heading.
You will need 2 lights, a primary and a back-up. Check each to make sure they work prior to entering water. Bring extra batteries for each light.
Bring chemical lights or a strobe for tank. Some divers or buddy teams use 2 chem lights to distinguish themselves from others.
Remember…do not blind your buddy by shinning light in his eyes. If you need to check his gear or hand signals, shine your light on his/her chest or mid-section.
If you are trying to get your buddy’s attention, flash your light in a side-to-side motion if front on him on the ocean bottom or across their chest. Never in their face. It takes several minutes to regain your night vision once you lose it.
5. Other required equipment:
Mask, fins, snorkel, boots, hood, gloves, knife, bcd, depth and pressure gauges, regulator, alternative air source, whistle and compass.