Our first stop was an amazing deep (and therefore short) dive aptly named the Blue Hole. This is a pretty well known dive out here. It's right off a peninsula of the navy base and you can only access it by boat because of the several-hundred-foot cliffs that jet into the water beside it. From the top of the water, it literally looks like a hole in the ocean floor. I have to wonder who was the first person to decide, "Hey, that looks like a cool place to go swimming." I'm glad they took the risk because this turned out to be a pretty amazing 14 minutes.
The hole starts at about 50 feet. Once inside, I used my dive light to highlight the intricacies of the hole itself. This isn't one of those dives you do to see cool wildlife, although there certainly was some. It's more of a "Holy crap! I'm sinking through a hole in the ocean" kind of dive.
After several quick minutes of sinking into said hole, which was indeed very blue, we found the exit, right at 131 feet as our dive site reviewers informed us. It was crazy how fast we sank those 80 feet. At that depth, the visibility is absolutely incredible. It is hands down the clearest water I have ever seen out here. The only caveat is that at 130 feet, I was experiencing what the dive books call nitrogen narcosis, or in diver terms, "narc-ing out." When you get that deep, nitrogen levels are so high in your body, you start to feel a euphoric high, where everything is sooo beautiful and the world just feels good. People who don't realize they're narc-ing might become oblivious to reality and keep swimming deeper. Not really a risk when you recognize what's going on (I was expecting it). Once we returned up to 100 ft., the sensation went away. We poked around looking at the gorgeous fish along the ocean ridges, then returned to the surface.
We took our time heading to our next dive spot, Dadi Beach. Once there, we got our gear set up, ate a snack, and waited for it to get good and dark. I'd say we watched the sunset, but it was blocked by the thunderstorm in the distance (yeah... we could see lightning but couldn't hear thunder, so pretty sure we were safe... uhhhh). We jumped in and hung out under water for an hour.
Night dives are pretty awesome because you are completely surrounded by pitch black water and can only see what you're shining your dive light on. The corals are much more vibrant looking, the fish don't scare off as easily, and there is generally more wildlife out and about. There weren't a whole lot of new things to see, but Nick got these fabulous macro shots. He's becoming quite the underwater photographer (which means I luck out because I get to be the diver model in his awesome pictures, like the gem at the top of the page).