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thedivelife News, Events and People of the Padi Diving Society

A Night
for Two
Natalie Chabierski and
Tim Hunt Live the Dream
by ta ra b ra d l ey

he sun is setting and divers are gath-
ered around PADI Course Director
Tim Hunt as he begins his briefing.
“One amazing site during the day
can become a colorful scene from Alice in
Wonderland during the night,” he begins.
“Some species of fish sleep while others
are waking up to feed. Look for polyps
and tentacles stretching out to catch drift-
ing food, and if you cross your light into

far left: courtesy Natalie Chabierski; left: Jim Watt

coat of many colors Left: Tim and
Natalie after a dive. Right: A squid puts on
a full display for night-diving visitors.

the shadows you might see the glowing instructing it. You could say it was love (from Spain) and Asbjorn (from Norway),
eyes of crustaceans.” at first dive. Tim ended up staying and get ready to jump into the black water, they
Tim talks about the creatures they will earning his PADI Divemaster certification. do their regular buddy checks with Tim
encounter with the enthusiasm of a trea- From then on, they have been traveling the and Natalie, grab their torches and start
sure hunter as his wife Natalie Chabierski world from Canada (his home) to Australia their descent. The international visitors are
grins looking on from the bow. She’s heard (hers), and even to Grand Cayman (where on their way to completing their PADI In-
his briefings before and each time he gets Tim became a PADI Course Director) — all structor Course, and the PADI Night Dive
more excited than the last. the while continuing their PADI education specialty is one step further. With navi-
For many newlyweds, the evening is while helping others with theirs. Today gation being a special challenge without
a time for walks along the beach and can- they are back where it all began: Chalook light, they almost feel as if they are getting
dlelit dinners. But for PADI Diving Society Baan Khow in Thailand, managing PADI two specialties at once.
members Natalie and Tim, a romantic eve- Five-Star Gold Palm Dive Center Sunshine Once beneath the surface, Tim senses
ning is a night dive. The two met in Thai- Divers. And ultimately doing what they the comfort in his students and signals to
land where he was completing his PADI love to do, instructing. them to turn off their dive lights. The dark
Rescue Diver course and she was the one As their most recent students, David becomes darker, but it is only a moment

20 May 2007 spor tdive m

sport diver DiveLife

before the divers’ eyes adapt and silhouettes Project Aware

of coral heads begin to appear. Tim then
moves his hand from side to side causing
the nearly microscopic animals in the water
The Heat Is On
Make your dives count toward conservation
column to phosphoresce in the wake.
By Tiffany Leite, Program Specialist, Proj ect AWARE Foun datio n
After Tim’s underwater disco, the
divers turn their lights back on and head
for the pinnacle where they uncover small
nudibranchs in a striking mix of blues
and yellows. Ironically, the beams of their
lights display more color on the reef than
the sun does during the day. And appar-
ently the new colors on the coral aren’t
the only pluses to diving at night. A timid

continuing education

Get your Night Diver specialty.

For more info, go to

porcupine puffer skirts the outside of the

light as Natalie signals the group to look
toward a large sleeping turtle. Not far
away, elbow crabs and small scorpion fish
wait motionlessly for their prey. Near the
edge of the light, a jet-like eagle ray grace-

jim watt
fully flies over the sand in its hunt for
food. After successfully navigating their

way back to the boat, the divers hit the t’s no longer a hot debate: Scientists all of coral bleaching and recovery. Divers can
surface where they’re greeted by a cloud- agree that climate change is happening, match the color of the coral with the cor-
less sky speckled with stars. The warm bringing with it rising ocean temperatures responding color on the chart and record
night air is quickly filled with words of that kill, or bleach, corals. information for reefs over time.
congratulations. Tim and Natalie’s enthu- When bleaching occurs, corals lose Data collected and entered online is
siasm is contagious, and it isn’t any won- symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae), which live analyzed by coral scientists to help answer
der they have permanent grins on their inside coral tissue and supply the coral questions critical to coral survival. Using
faces — they do what they love. with energy. This loss leaves coral trans- this online database, volunteer groups can
“There is nothing more satisfying parent and reveals the white coral skeleton track the health of their dive sites over time
for an instructor than to witness her/his underneath. This potentially fatal process and compare them to the condition of reefs
student divers getting reintroduced to the yields the “bleached” appearance. in different regions of the world.
passion of diving through a specialty such Coral reefs are essential to ecosystems, Project AWARE aims to implement 200
as night diving,” says Tim. And with the human health and coastal economies, but new monitoring sites in the United States, the
suntanned smile of a passionate diver and new research discussed at the U.S. Coral Reef Caribbean and Latin America by 2008, and
a happy newlywed, Natalie agrees. Task Force meeting in St. Thomas, USVI, indi- we’re well on our way. Divers can get involved
cates that more than half the world’s coral reefs by searching the list of Project AWARE Coral-
could die in less than 25 years — with climate Watch Dive Operators conducting regular
Top 10 Night Dives change and human activities taking blame. monitoring programs at or
by e-mailing
» Manta Ray Night Dive, Hawaii
Make Your Dives Count; for a free Coral Health Chart.
»P  rince Albert, Roatan
» Coral spawning in Curaçao (Aug 31-Sept Monitor Coral Reefs
6 and again Sept 29-Oct 5) Many questions remain regarding bleaching
» Diving with whitetip reef sharks off and recovery patterns, and the severity and Show Your Support
Manuelita Island, Cocos duration of bleaching events. for Coral Reefs
» The Coral Queen wreck and its colony The Project AWARE Foundation and Join the Project AWARE Foundation and
of flashlight fish, PNG know that your gift helps protect fragile reef
CoralWatch are seeking answers by joining
» Frederiksted Pier, St. Croix environments. Your donation of $25 can
» Coral spawning, Texas Flower Gardens forces with divers and snorkelers to imple- help Project AWARE establish one new coral
» Town Pier, Bonaire ment a large-scale monitoring program using reef monitoring site, providing monitoring
» Columbia Shallows Drift Dive, Cozumel simple, noninvasive techniques. tools and education to volunteer divers. Join
» SS Yongala, Great Barrier Reef Project AWARE online at
CoralWatch monitoring charts display and make a lasting difference today.
a series of colors representing different stages

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