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Looking for a more advanced dive? Blackwater diving is a unique night dive which will take you miles offshore where you will hang, suspended from a 60ft tether, over 4000ft of water to watch open ocean, or pelagic, animals drift by. You’ll have the opportunity to see animals ranging from perfectly clear larval fish and invertebrates to siphonophores, and even cephalopods out in the deep. If you want to observe something you have never seen before, this is the dive for you. Our divemasters are still surprised by new and exciting creatures in the deep.
- This dive is for a confident diver that has excellent buoyancy skills and is self-reliant
- You must have at least 50 logged dives to join us on this adventurous dive
- You must have been diving within the last 6 months (pool refreshers do not qualify)
- 18 or older – under 18 considered with a JOW Rescue Diver Certification
- You must be in good health and have NO heart conditions
- You must be able to converse in English
- You must remember there are other guests on board that are looking for a premium experience so our standards MUST be met. Kindly be a responsible and considerate diver and respect these standards.
What to bring?
- Seasickness and anti-nausea medication is highly recommended for this dive due to the higher than normal motion as well as lack of objects to help coordinate motion.
- A full wetsuit with a hood will help protect the body from jellies floating by
- A BCD with a bladder. This will better allow you to achieve the neutral buoyancy necessary to hover effortlessly among the pelagic critters leading to a longer lasting and more enjoyable dive.
- For photographers: A macro lens (50-60mm for crop sensor and 90mm for full frame)
Listen to Experiences You Should Have Podcast to learn more about the Black Water dive!
“I’m told I’m first. The dude says “GO” and I suddenly see my fins flip over my head, quickly followed by a beam of light, and SPLASH, I hit the water and begin to sink into the abyss. It’s just about 8:30 pm and the only thing between me and the bottom of the ocean is a water column of 3000 feet. There is no reef. It’s pitch black, save for my dive light, and the only point of reference is a nylon cord tied to the boat with a weight hanging off it at 45 feet. I am tethered to this line by another 3 foot tether so I don’t sink to the bottom….I watch my bubbles rise in a shaft of light as I adjust my buoyance to neutral so I can float around 25 feet below the boat. I wrestle with my dive light, camera, inflator hose, depth gage, octo, and tether, trying to keep them from tangling in each other while slowing my breathing down to the pace of a zen buddha master, and clearing my ears at the same time. It’s a lot to keep track of in the total darkness of the Pacific. My dive torch immediately attracts plankton and soon out of the murky depths bioluminescence creatures appear to feast upon said plankton. This is the coolest thing I have ever done. We see Boliopis Vitrex, Cestum Vererus, Nanmia CF Bijuga, Club Hooked and Purple Beaked Flying Squid, and Pelagic Sea Horses. Its hard to describe the sensation of this dive, watching Sea Horses the size of my pinky float by, or watching neon blinking gelatinous creatures pulsate in and out of view, or watching color-changing squid leave trails of ink in their wake. The pictures can’t begin to relate the 1000 words needed to explain what I have seen. Amazing, Out of this World, Rad, Creepy…. Oh the weird and wonderful! After 63 minutes I surface and have problems communicating with human life after seeing all the glow in the dark alien creatures. 6 excited divers shared photo’s on the ride back to shore and the knowledge that we are the few in the world to experience these creatures in their natural environment. Our Dive Guide Jeff Milisen literally wrote the book for this kind of Blackwater Diving and we bought an autographed copy as a souvenir. I can’t recommend the team at Kona Honu Divers enough! They are both professional and fun. The dive briefings were outstanding. If they were doing another Blackwater Dive during the time of my trip I’d gladly jump on board!”– Beth Castroll, May 30, 2021
Directions to the Boat
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Blackwater Dive?
The ‘Blackwater Dive’ was developed in Hawaii. It requires the diver to be out at night in deep water. The deeper the water the better. This enables the diver to see the largest migration of animals on the planet. Every night billions of animals from the ocean depths move to the shallows. This means that while the bottom of the ocean may be incredibly deep the diver only has to be near the surface to experience the majesty of what this dive brings to the surface.
In our blackwater dives we secure the diver to the boat with a tether that allows the diver to drift securely with the boat and venture from to surface to 60 feet (20 meters) deep while observing some really interesting and often strange-looking creatures.
What can you see on a Blackwater dive?
Strange and unique creatures are the highlight of this dive. Pelagic, or open ocean, critters including squid, larval animals from the reef, and jelly-like creatures that drift with the current.
The most common animals spotted can be:
- Jelly-like animals (Salps, comb jellies, siphonophores)
- Cephalopods (squid and octopus)
- Larval Fish
While rare it’s possible to spot a large animals such as dolphins, sharks, or even billfish! Only the luckiest of divers has seen the elusive cookie cutter shark. Some of the cutest critters often spotted include the bobtail squid (pictured above), baby Thornback Cowfish, and the endemic Pelagic Seahorse.