by Robert Trosset
Life After Dark
Have you ever experienced a dive after dark? With all the excellent weather we have had in the lower keys this month Finz has been able to get out after the sun goes down for multiple dives at night.
Many divers are surprised to discover how amazing the reef becomes at night. Most reef inhabitants tend to be nocturnal and will come out to forage for food after dark, making the reef an exciting place to be. Coral polyps expand and start to filter the water. Fish and lobster move from their homes in search of food and mates. As a result the entire reef will take on a completely different look.
Personally, the thing I enjoy most about night dives is bringing our own light source into the water. Under normal daylight circumstances we experience selective filtration, colors are not visible as the water filters out the sunlight. At night the reef shows it’s true vibrant colors, the only light source we have is extremely close to what we want to see and as a result our perspective changes.I was on a night dive not too long ago and came across a parrot fish that had made it’s cocoon for the night inside a small cave in the reef. Some species of parrot fish excrete a mucus membrane at night that acts as an early warning system incase predators try to attack them. It was amazing to see the defense mechanism of this fish and how it works in the wild.
My favorite dive ever was at night on a full moon in August a few years ago we decided to go out to the Vandenberg wreck. The moon came up early as we were just getting ready to descend to the wreck. I pulled myself down the mooring line to the deck of the Vandenberg. The entire ship was lit up because of the moon light; so I decided to turn my light off for a few minutes. When my eyes adjusted the bioluminescence looked like a discotec underwater. The current was moving over the many handrails and satellite dishes on the wreck lighting it up like a Christmas tree. The amazing part was I didn’t have to turn the light on until I was going back to the boat. It was an unforgettable dive.
Interested in trying a night dive for yourself? Our experienced staff can make it an exceptional adventure.