Blackwater Diving is an exciting form of scuba diving that allows adventurous divers to dive into the open ocean at night, offering an otherworldly experience unlike any other underwater activity. Unlike traditional night dives along reefs or rocky shores, Blackwater Diving plunges divers into the deep (100 metres +) open sea, where the lack of light from the surface creates a backdrop as dark as the night sky. Here divers encounter an impressive variety of marine life that cannot be seen during daylight hours, making this type of diving a must for those looking for the unusual.

Blackwater diving Malta

History of blackwater diving:

Blackwater Diving originated in Kona, Hawaii, a location that remains popular for this activity because of its access to deep waters close to shore. Other popular locations include Palau, known for its clear waters and deep sea trenches, as well as various tropical and subtropical areas around the world such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Florida and Cozumel.

Unique marine life:

What makes Blackwater Diving so exciting is the opportunity to observe the day-vertical migration, the largest planned migration on Earth, when billions of microscopic and juvenile creatures rise from the depths to feed at night.

Divers can observe an astounding variety of marine life, including bioluminescent organisms, juvenile fish and larval stages of marine life, many of which are transparent or have mesmerising light capabilities.

Blackwater diving Malta

Preparation and Safety:

Preparation for Blackwater Diving includes a mandatory pre-dive briefing and familiarisation with additional safety equipment for night diving. Due to the lack of natural light sources, divers should have a primary and backup torches. Full face protection is recommended to protect against stinging organisms. Given the unique challenges of buoyancy control and navigating in open water without visual reference points, participants should carefully monitor their depth.

The thrill and challenges of blackwater diving:

The experience is often described as being in outer space, surrounded by a vast dark abyss where only the illuminated life around you gives you a sense of location. Despite the challenges, including potentially strong currents and the psychological adjustment to the vastness of open water, Blackwater Diving is considered safe when undertaken with experienced guides, equipment and proper training.

Blackwater diving Malta

Types of dives:

There are different types of black water dives, each offering a unique experience. Open ocean/sea diving involves swimming in the abyss, while reef diving explores the water column next to deep walls. Blackwater diving with a lantern, are considered the least dangerous.

Diving Equipment:

Required gear includes: 

  • a full length wetsuit for protection from stinging creatures
  • at least two torches (one main and one backup) for visibility.

An optional underwater camera with strobe light to apture the incredible views encountered during the dive.

Black water diving offers an unparalleled opportunity to explore the mysteries of the ocean at night. It requires respect for the marine environment and adherence to safety regulations. But for those who undertake it, the rewards are immense: the chance to see the unprecedented beauty of an underwater world inhabited by creatures as alien as they are mesmerising. Whether you’re drawn to the calm, clear waters of Kona or the biodiversity hotspots of South East Asia, Blackwater Diving off Malta will offer an adventure unlike any other.