Dingle is lauded for its beauty, with rolling green hills and multi-coloured buildings, accentuated by the sun of a lovely summers day. But it’s when the sun goes down that Dingle truly shines. The harbour buoys flash like fireflies in the distance, each unique in their own pattern, guiding visitors through the narrow channel. The water flat as glass. On a crisp summer night, two words are ringing through our heads. Night dive.
As the yachters are furling their sails for the day, we leave the marina for Cuas na Toirneach (Thunder Cove). The suspense among the passengers is only augmented by the five knot speed limit within the harbour. Finally we reach the cove, the bow of the boat slicing through the water like butter, and drop the anchor. Fungie takes a look to check that its secure, then gives us a short spy-hop to confirm its placement. We gear up and as the last rays of twilight shine, we jump in.
When we reach the bottom we signal “OK” with our torches to our fellow divers. We then navigate to a tunnel like swim-through, the walls of which are covered with pink Dahlia Anemones, yellow Beadlet Anemones, and a Jewel Anemone for every colour of the spectrum. Most fish are sleeping peacefully, so divers must careful not to disturb them, but the lobsters are hard at work, marching along the seabed. If you’re lucky you may spot an unusually fleshy rock, which, frightened by the bubbles, reveals itself to be an impeccably camouflaged octopus.
After perusing through the darkness, we follow a cuttlefish back to the boat and begin our ascent. Now, ask any diver, and they will tell you the best part of a night dive is reaching the surface, lying on your back, and staring up at the constellations. We shake off our gear and after a little stargazing we board the boat and head back to the twinkling lights of Dingle feeling satisfied and ready for bed.