After dark : Bermuda

Sometimes you discover a great dive spot by what I like to describe as a happy accident.
ÂÂÂÂ Such a site and one of my most memorable night-dive spots is Admiralty Cove, Bermuda. This sheltered bay is small, shallow and unassuming as a dive site and is practically unknown for what it can offer as a night dive.
ÂÂÂÂ Primarily the cove was used for novice training, as it is at the foot of a small hill that led up to the islands BSAC clubhouse.
ÂÂÂÂ During the period when I was a member, the club was very active. There was regular weekend diving and a programme of weekday night dives on surrounding reefs and wrecks. As well as being excellent social events, the prospect of diving in clear, warm waters and returning to the beach against the backdrop of a melodic tree-frog chorus was always a temptation at the end of a hot day at the office.
ÂÂÂÂ We would round off the evening with a few cold beers or, if there was a chill in the air, a flask of coffee laced with Baileys.
hspace=5 ÂÂÂÂ Novice training in the shallow waters of Admiralty Cove was for many divers their first taste of open water. Their dive would start with a giant stride from the stone jetty and then a short fin out to waters that were deep enough in which to carry out drills.
ÂÂÂÂ During one evenings training session I noticed that the calcified wormcasts on the jettys stones appeared to be inhabited by minuscule hermit crabs. This was nothing unusual and I didnt think any more of it until a few months later, when a small group of us ended up doing a night dive in the cove, our usual South Shore haunts having been blown out.
ÂÂÂÂ As I launched myself off the jetty, I remembered the hermit crabs and decided to take another look. In the light of the torch beam the wormcasts stood out more than they had in the day, offering a mosaic of bright green and orange patterns.
ÂÂÂÂ The hermit crabs had now ventured out of the recesses of their home and hung out of the entrance. Their mission now that the sun had set was to grab bits of food as it floated past. The greens and oranges were a shocking contrast against the bright purple and red patterns splashed across their shell and legs. Id never seen anything like these crabs before and havent since - perhaps they are endemic to Bermuda
hspace=5 ÂÂÂÂ On subsequent night visits to this site I found more small and unusual creatures only metres away from the jetty in depths of no more than 4m: translucent cleaner shrimps that jumped around in the arms of pink-tipped anemones , sharply contrasting nudibranchs and, for a few nights during the summer for a period of only five to 10 minutes, the rare phosphorescent mating ritual of the Bermuda fireworm - but thats another story.
ÂÂÂÂ Often the dive sites where you would least expect an outstanding experience are the ones that can offer precisely that. You simply need to look at them again from a fresh perspective.
ÂÂÂÂ I didnt ever exceed 5m in my numerous night-time visits to this location, nor did I venture much more than a few metres from the jetty. What reason did I have to do so Everything I needed from a night dive was on my doorstep, including the post-dive beers in the clubhouse or a flask full of Baileys coffee!


Start a Forum discussion on this topic