The Pier is a must see night dive. The columns and pillars of
the new and old pier make for ideal shelter for resting animals,
and with the vertical access to sunlight, there is a wild array
of colors that just make night diving even more spectacular than
diving the pier by day. Definitely a dive to do twice (once by
day and once by night).
As mentioned earlier, The Pier is one of the 7 Jewels of the
Caribbean. Known for its pillars stretching into the light,
corals, sponges, and a dazzling array of colors – a host of
wildlife finds sanctuary in this gothic hallway.
With a maximum depth of 40 feet, we get a chance to see
everything from Seahorses, Turtles, Pufferfish/Porcupine Fish,
Lobster, sleeping Parrot Fish in their bubble nests, brittle
starfish, and so much more.
Night diving is something to be experienced.
walk out at sunset and jump in the water while it is still
familiar. Within minutes of diving, the water changes from
grey-blue to black. The lights from your flashlight
illuminate a dazzling array of colors that you don't see even in
the best of daytime-dives. Red, orange, yellow, purple,
green -- they all are bright and penetrating colors that'll
change your perspective on diving.
take the cart to the edge of the platform, jump into 10-12' of
water, and along the wall search for 1-7 seahorses that make
this area home. As we wrap around the corner of the
seawall and see the pillars of The Pier we look for juvenile
French Angelfish. Barry Barracuda normally hangs out in
the first three sets of pylons and has call this area home for
years. We push further into the dive and get 13-18 pylons down
The Pier and take a look for Peek-a-Boo turtle. She's shy
and is only there about half the time. We might take a
look over the edge of the area where the cruise ships come in
and use their bow-thrusters to push themselves towards The Pier.
These bow-thrusters dislodge the sand and carve out a dent that
drops form 20' to an instant 38' deep. This artificial
current picks up the sand and shows bottles and plates that have
been buried since this 1600-1800s! We don't always make it
this far, but if we do, wow. All along the way we look for
nocturnal animals (such as the octopus) that claim The Pier as
home. They are typically just bigger than your hand and
maybe twice the size of your hand. They change color and
want to hide -- so if you see one, you're lucky! As we
wrap up the dive and head towards shore, we like to visit the
remaining portions of the old pier with ~50 years of growth.
Amazingly colorful. Near this point it is the darkest part
of the dive and if conditions are right, you may have already
noticed the water glows with small pops of green. Your
fingers and fins stir up the natural bioluminescence.
Truly a sight to behold.
Caution: Be careful not to touch The Pier. A simple finger
pushing off the pillars can kill the corals & sponges. There are
also sharp barnacles, spiky sea urchin, fire coral, and bearded
fireworms (they look like caterpillars). While not poisonous,
these can all ruin a vacation and sting quite a bit and leave a
mark for days (like having a lot of mosquito bites). And
touching a turtle is a large fine (they are endangered).