At midsummer, with nearly 24 hrs of startling daylight, it is simply impossible to build a night dive into the dive schedule. But, as the summer progresses and dusk arrives earlier, the options to night dive at a more sociable

time of day become very compelling. This darkness often coincides with seasonal plankton blooms which trigger incredible night-time phosphorescence, and a frenzy of marine behaviour, to make a night dive an extremely rewarding experience.  

Our suggestion to night dive is often met with sheer disbelief, a look of suspected madness! Stay out the pub, get kitted all over again and jump off a boat in the dark! No way, ……. Why? ….. Well, OK maybe, convince me! 

Let us tell you how we do our night dives and explain why it really is worth it. 


The first and obvious question about night diving from a boat is will I get lost? How will you see me to pick me up? Actually; it is ridiculously hard not to see you, and in fact your torchlight beaming through the sea and into the night sky, alerts most of the neighbourhood of our strange ventures at sea, … again! Seeing and picking you up is easy. But the first thing we do is tell the Coastguard, to avoid them sending out a search party.  


Next, and as always, we make a plan and dive that plan. To reduce potential anxiety, we dive the same site during the day, that we then plan to dive at night. In doing so, it makes the experience a bit more familiar, and removes one of the ‘unknowns’. None-the-less there is always an air of slightly anxious anticipation on the boat while we kit up. A sense of adventure, of pushing the comfort zone. Intrigue laced with apprehension, as participants are clearly questioning their own madness, ………. until the SPLASH, and entry back into that familiar underwater wonderland immediately fascinates.


Our favourite night dive site is a 10 min boat ride from the dive centre, sheltered within the local loch, a clearly defined site.  A pinnacle which rises from the seabed at 25m, to its top at 6m, marked by a shot line to the surface. A connection; seabed to surface and boat, is very reassuring!  Descending the shot to the top of the pinnacle at 6m, makes a nice shallow platform to settle and prepare yourself, carry out buddy checks before progressing over the edge into adventure. Being a defined structure protruding from the seabed, it is easy to follow, to know your position relative to the boat and for the assured ascent back to the shot line. It is also carved with loads of nooks and crannies, wee caves and ledges to explore and it’s teeming with life, ………… that is why we do this in the first place! 


Underwater life seems so different at night. In part, because in the dark, we slow down and focus on what is in our torch beam. We look more closely, see so much more, notice the colour and details. The habitat appears totally different. Some creatures feed more, some feed less. The sun influences some marine cycles while others respond to the moon, it is a complex and fascinating symbiosis. There is an altogether different spectrum of behaviour and ecosystem functions happening at night, and one which is inspirational to experience. If you think about it, why would you only seek to witness the daylight sea experience and miss all the wonder of the dark-side of the ocean, when the vibrant colours shine even more brightly? We would miss half the story! 

The largest migration on the planet happens every day, right beneath the ocean surface. As the sun sets, fishes, squids, shrimps and zooplankton make massive migrations from the dark ocean depths upward to near the ocean’s surface. Despite the small size of some (no bigger than our famous midges), these creatures can travel hundreds of meters in just a few hours. Under the protection of darkness, they feast on phytoplankton that grew during the day at the surface and on other animals eating the phytoplankton. Then, when the sun comes out and there is again enough light for predators to see them, the migrators return to the deep darkness. A daytime, night-time cycle that happens every day. 

So, when you descend the shot line, your torchlight will pick up shining beady eyes, everywhere, a myriad of crustacean, and fish gorging on this nighttime ocean fest. Dancing feather stars, stalking starfish, free-swimming, slinky octopus and congers, carefree crustacean crawling free of their rocky crevice, shoaling fish shimmering in your torch light and your buddies’ eyes huge in awe.  


………. And when you ascend, and think the story is finished, you lie back and relax, only then to notice the stars, an incomprehensibly vast mass of twinkling light in the canopy above! It is simply mind-blowing. 

Once back aboard, hot chocolate in hand, your excited chatter can be heard ashore in the calm night air, by those that only had the pub as their evening’s entertainment. They don’t know what they missed! 

………… and afterall there’s really no need to choose, there’ll be time for a wee dram too 😉

A night dive on Skye is a truly magical, memory making, once in a lifetime experience!