Scuba divers are much like children, I imagine, to dive-resort owners: They are almost always wonderful to have, but at night, it’s best if they are safely in their beds.
This thought popped into my head at the end of a night dive, off the southern shore of the Honduran island of Roatán in December. As the sun set, four of us had waded into the dark waters that lay only yards from the Reef House Resort, and swam down the side of a steep underwater cliff, holding flashlights to illuminate trumpet fish, lobsters, brain coral, sea fans and the other marine life that call this part of the nearly 700-mile Mesoamerican Reef home. Night dives were new to me: The inky darkness was exhilarating, mysterious, alive and more than a little frightening.
After 45 minutes of underwater wonderment, I safely ascended and surfaced while Aaren, my travel partner, and our new scuba buddies, Will and Kris, stayed just below, taking one last photograph. But instead of emerging to silence and milky white stars, I saw a figure with a flashlight standing on the nearby jetty, shouting.
“Follow my light! Do you hear my voice? Swim to me,” called Davey Byrne, a co-owner of the Reef House, our home for three nights over the Christmas holiday.