Connect with us

Thai Life

Phuket Diving: Rhythm of the night

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Watching the sun set behind Koh Doc Mai from the top deck of Sea Bees Excalibur II, an adventurous thrill creeps through me – I’m going on a night dive, and it’s been ages.

When was the last time you went night diving? For most of us it was probably part of our advance diver training, and maybe we gave it a go one or two more times – then it was off the slate.

We don’t even notice that we’ve logged 20 dives, 40 dives, 150 plus dives and they all have been during the day. The essence of diving is exploration, whether exploring Kata Reef at eight meters, in hopes of finding the elusive mimic octopus that is rumored there, or searching the Krabi coastline for new underwater cave systems. But the vast majority of us halt our explorations at sunset, the very moment an entirely different world is exposed.

Many of us on the boat had already booked three dives for the day, as part of the Super Sunday package, so the plan for the night dive was to stay shallow, around 15 meters for about 45 minutes – I was stoked.

As we are suiting up my dive buddy continues to whistle the 1993 Corona classic, “This is the rhythm of the night”. An acoustic remake of the song had been playing on the top deck as we reviewed signals for night dives as part of our briefing.

Even without my buddy’s whistling, the song’s lyrics were looping in my head, “This is the rhythm of the night, the night, oh yeah. The rhythm of the night. I know you wanna sing it: This is the rhythm of my life, my life…

It’s dusk, and everything deepens into a dark blue, as if we were already 30 meters down when we jump.

The light quickly fades as we drop down. Elusive critters that stay holed up during the day are heading out, on the hunt.

Night diving is all about one thing at a time. My torch spotlights a single half meter off the massive wall. Directly around me everything is black, no distractions. Several meters in either direction the lights from other torches bob up and down the wall, the invisible figures behind them searching for sea life.

In front of me, the thick stubby groves of orange and green cup coral are in “bloom”, their tiny tentacles covered with nematocyst cells are outstretched, like the limbs of a Dr Seuss shrubbery. This spectacular and common coral species, vibrant at night, is usually only noticed during the day at the edge of underwater caves.

Even the feather stars, so often rolled up tight, hanging onto crinoids, or sea fans, were open and putting on a burlesque show.

Despite the beauty of the corals, which seem to have a radioactive glow to them under our lights, the crustacean crowd wasn’t to be out done. I examine a single small colony of corals – hiding within are four or five different species of shrimp, crab and lobster: striped and dubam hinge-beak shrimp, squat lobster and conical spider crab.

Just up current from me one of the divers in our group, having gotten my attention, is circling a spot on the wall with his torch. I fin back to him. There, in a tiny bed of sand piled into part of the wall is the tiniest scorpion fish – hardly bigger than my thumb nail.

After our safety stop, Andrea Filippozzi, our instructor, puts his light against his chest and we do the same with ours.

It goes dark. Then we move, and the water bursts into color, like a hundred microscopic fireflies have just jumped from our arms.

My smile is so big that a little water starts to leak into my mask. I remember the fist time I played with phosphorescence – I felt like Peter Pan shaking Tinker Bell – and still do.

Arms crossed and thumbs up, we close a stunning dive, and I make a quick vow not to let so much time pass before I make another date with the dark side, and once again feel the rhythm of the night.

— Isaac Stone Simonelli


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

20 year old arrested for online alternative vaccine scam

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

Delta variant now the predominant strain, 78% of Thai infections

Coronavirus (Covid-19)9 hours ago

Controversial food delivery only rule faces criticism

Sponsored17 hours ago

Tour Phuket’s Islands with 5 Star Marine

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Drugs11 hours ago

Expat arrested on drug charges allegedly claims to be a local “Robin Hood”

Thailand11 hours ago

Thai Airways selling 10 properties to raise capital

Best of11 hours ago

The 5 Best Cafes in Koh Samui

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand12 hours ago

Thailand News Today | record Covid deaths, ban on ‘mass gatherings’ | August 4

Coronavirus (Covid-19)12 hours ago

Vaccine updates for expats; hospital extends hours to accelerate vaccinations

Guides13 hours ago

8 things to do correctly in Thailand

Best of13 hours ago

Thailand’s 5 most absolutely luxurious hotels

Myanmar14 hours ago

Myanmar envoy updated to Brunei’s 2nd Foreign Affairs Minister

Thailand15 hours ago

Thailand’s national parks ban the use of some sunscreens containing particular chemicals

Coronavirus (Covid-19)15 hours ago

Wednesday Covid Update: 20,200 new cases, provincial totals

Guides15 hours ago

Visa Exemption Rule – 56 countries to enter Thailand without a visa

Coronavirus (Covid-19)16 hours ago

Third phase testing successful for Vietnam Covid-19 vaccine

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8