A new Scuba Diving experience: GLOW Diving in the Cayman Islands
(DiverWire) Scuba Divers are always looking for something different. One truly unique scuba diving opportunity is “GLOW Diving” in the Cayman Islands. “GLOW diving” is where scuba divers have the opportunity to dive with specialized Ultra Violet dive lights at night to experience up-close how coral reefs fluoresce. Particular marine life and corals that are abundant inside the East End Lagoon can be observed in a way that can only be described as magical.
Inspired by an article in National Geographic, Stephen Broadbelt from Ocean Frontiers, had been searching for a reliable underwater Ultra Violet light system for over two years and finally found it in January 2011. A light that he thought would work came in to production by a company called ‘Glow Dive’, a company started by an old friend and former Cayman Divemaster, Carlos Villoch.
Ocean Frontiers purchased the first box off the production line and have been running a sold-out ‘Glow Dive’ every Thursday night for the last few months. “We have had 100% positive feedback, even from the most experienced divers and those who were a little skeptical about the idea”, states Broadbelt.
Ocean Frontiers tested a prototype of the UV Glow Lights on a number of different sites – including a reef in Little Cayman, Iron Shore Gardens and off the wall at The Maze in East End. Impressed with the results but still feeling that the Glow Lights had more to offer, they started exploring inside the East End lagoon and uncovered the full potential of diving with Ultra Violet Lights. Their most glaring finding was the fluorescence of the Sea Anemones which blanket the lagoon reefs by the hundreds. “It’s the closest thing to the movie Avatar you will see in real life. It is like someone has hooked all the anemones and corals up to a power supply and flipped on the switch”, remarked Broadbelt.
Ocean Frontiers’ dive staff and customers continue to explore the shallow lagoon reefs of East End every week looking to find what glows; Fire-worms, Lizard Fish, Anemones, Finger Corals, Star Corals, Lettuce Corals and…? There is much to learn about Coral Fluorescence, with potential links to coral spawning indicators and theories that corals with more fluorescent pigments having greater resiliency to coral bleaching events.
The ‘Glow Dive’ is becoming a signature dive trip that has become one of the most memorable night dives Ocean Frontiers customers have ever had. To find out more and sign up for a ‘Glow Dive’, visit: http://www.oceanfrontiers.com/what-to-see/night-diving