Working as a paramedic, or in any hospitality/healthcare/service industry job, has its perks. For me, I only work 16 days a month (in a job I love no less) vs. a 9-5’er working 20. For my wife, among other perks, she gets to dive for free on her days off. One flip side to that, we work on holidays. As a college professor of mine once said about the hospitality industry, we work when everyone else is off. During the holidays, we sometimes work even more. My poor wife has been on 6 day, 13-14 hour work day weeks lately and it’s kicking her ass. With that kind of schedule, we had to find some time to dive and enjoy ourselves. Between Christmas and New Years we carved out an hour to dive before she had to be at work for her 6:45am shift. We got up at 5am, hustled down to a local shore dive less than 2 minutes away by car–where we had obtained 2 tanks the night before–and went for a sunrise dive.Diving during these off hours is great. First, there tend to be fewer people (or no people). Second, the marine life is so different. Sometimes you spot a parrot fish or turtle sleeping. Other times you see things you might not otherwise see, like coral spawning. On this dive we spotted a small school of baby squid, no larger than a thumbnail. My wife spotted them first–she has a propensity for finding teeny-tiny creatures during night dives and this one was no different. Most of the squid were scared off, but one was really inquisitive. He/she kept dancing into my wife’s flashlight (or torch if you’re not from the States!) You could almost hear the little guy’s buddies yelling out, “stay away from the light!” Having a baby squid play in a flashlight is something that would never happen during the day; it’s the darkness that enables us to spot creatures like this. Some people think night diving is crazy. For me, it’s one of my favorite things. Descending into the dark, under the stars–having no idea what you’ll find–is an experience few have had but one I would encourage everyone to pursue. It’s dives like this that open my eyes to all the less obvious creatures living on the reef that need our protection and help.