What is Muck Diving?
Muck diving is a unique experience and to be honest divers can love it or not but what does it mean? Usually it is a dive site with a sandy or muddy bottom. Commonly seaweeds, seagrass, sponges, soft corals, anemones and/or artificial structures (or rubbish) host a variety of aquatic life. However, plenty of creatures may just hang out in the sand.
Normally divers may look for pristine reefs with vibrant colours or go where the big fish are. Perhaps they venture into the blue to find pelagic life or check out reef cleaning stations. If you think of diving propably you think more of fishes, nice soft and hard corals, clams and sponges. BUT there is so much more down there than that especially for anyone with a good eye for small things!
Really though why muck diving?
Surely a muddy bottom is not interesting? Well that is just not the case is some of East Timor’s muck dive sites (Tasi Tolu, La Casa, Roda Reef, even Dili Rock East and the Pertamina Pier). Most of the time these sites offfer an abundance of life both weird and wonderful!
Shrimps, Crabs, Squat lobsters, Nudibranchs, sea slugs, octopus, seahorses, pipefish, frogfish, dragonets and more. Additionally typical fish life hanging about includes groupers, sweetlips, lionfish, scorpionfish (including leaf scorpionfish), damselfish, cardinal fish, banner fish and the odd trevally…
So, the main point is muck diving is fascinating. Different to the reefs, where all the animals find a lot of space to hide for protection, the species here maybe easy visible thus use other strategies for protection; camouflage being key (and sometimes being poisonous) hence the weird shapes and colours you can see.
Another way of diving!
Attempting to find all these small and hidden creatures takes time. Rather than swimming along the reef enjoying the scenery you are scanning the bottom constantly. Checking every potential habitiat for life and almost guarenteed to find something living there. Many of these creatures don’t move too much either so it is great diving for photography practice!!
Also night dives on these kind of sites are just incredible and you can find so many difference species than during the day! So why not book a muck dive and a night dive at one of our local sites and check it out for your self!!!
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