Best Structure Night Dives
When it comes to structure diving, piers and jetties may not always be the first things that come to mind, but they often have something unique and exciting to offer. Amplify that excitement by diving these structures at night. Keep your eyes peeled for macro critters at these destinations— the weirder the better!
Raja Ampat, Indonesia
The soft corals of Arborek Jetty rival any daytime garden.
Deep in the Coral Triangle in the Raja Ampat region of Indonesia, Arborek Jetty is a magnet for liveaboards such as Arenui hoping to show their guests some incredible structure diving. As the sun drops below the horizon, the operators drop their divers at the base of the ramshackle pier, where soft corals in a rainbow of colors adorn the tall pilings, creating safe harbor for countless variety of tropical fish schooling in large numbers. And each piling is a microcosm of oddities, from wild pipefish to pygmy seahorses, exotic crabs, bizarre shrimp, crocodilefish and beyond. “Arborek Jetty at night completely transforms,” says Arenui cruise director and photographer Debbie Arriaga. “Instead of looking up, you are looking down in the hunt for super-special critters such as blue-ringed octopuses, juvenile pinnate batfish, frogfish and harlequin shrimp. Among the jetty’s posts, listen for the calls of toadfish echoing underwater, and look out for green eyes — that just could be a walking shark.” By moving slowly and keeping your torch trained on the nooks and crannies, there’s no telling what alien life-forms you might encounter. thearenui.com
Navy Pier, Exmouth, Western Australia
Locals have counted more than 200 fish species large and small living beneath this working industrial pier, so go with a local dive shop to ensure access.
Salt Pier, Bonaire
Still a working pier — divers who arrange permission through a local operator will find pilings decorated with corals and packed with cool marine life that you might not see anywhere else on the island.
Mala Warf, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii
The former commercial pier was destroyed by Hurricane Iniki in 1992, leaving a haven for macro critters and curious divers who can easily access the well-populated rubble from the shore.