Monday, March 21, 2011

Muck Diving

It sounds awful.  I thought so too before I'd done it, but is absolutely thrilling.  Muck Diving is basically diving along or around a barren sea floor (as opposed to a coral reef) where your main focus is all the weird little creatures that make their home in the sand (and mud in some instances).  Several of the dives I have done on a regular bases here include an area of muck diving.  My favorite is called Bantigue, where I have had one of the best dives of my short diving career and where I have seen the most interesting things. My absolute favorite thing to spot is a frog fish.  They are so cute!  They usually are very hard to find and even harder to spot.  Once I sat and stared at one for awhile not sure if it was a rock or a fish, I later was told it was a frog fish. While on a dive at Bantigue I found my first one all by myself.  He was a white one nestled in some fishing debris just being cute.  Another time while assisting an instructor on an Open Water course, which is the first class you take when you want to become a diver, a big orange one just came bumbling by.  It was so funny to watch him with his short front legs just bopping along the sand in a very haphazard way trying to make it to his new hiding spot.  I had a hard time focusing on the student with him walking past!

Another very frequent site while muck diving is nudi branches.  The best way to describe them is a very colorful and small slug.  I have seen beautiful bright purple ones, blue ones with orange stripes, black ones with green and orange, and so many more.  Some are bumpy some are long with strange spouts coming out of their heads, others are just small and simple with two eyes that come in and out of their heads as they walk, just like a slugs.  I think SE Asia is where they reside because I have never seen them anywhere else.  Or maybe I wasn't looking close enough.  

Another really crazy and neat critter I've seen is the Spiny Devil Fish.  They are poisonous and very small.  If you could hold them, the ones I've seen would fit in the palm of your hand.  I just love how them blend in and look so messy and grumpy!

The sea moth was one of the very first really exotic, totally different creature I saw here and I immediately thought it looked like a wounded baby bird and fell in love with it.  I often do a morning shark dive and there is a certain spot where one of these little guys always is.  I love going to look for him and finding him still within his 5 by 5 meter area just putting around.  He scoots along the sea bottom with no obvious destination just as cute as can be. 

I see so many beautiful tropical fish in the reefs, but I really do love finding all these animals.  Its like a treasure hunt and you get the prize almost every time.

(FYI... I didn't take any of these photos.  I don't carry a camera while diving so I rely on the internet or others.  So thanks to everyone who does take a camera!)


  1. i was totally going to comment on what good pics you were taking : ) Glad you finished and loved it. Those slugs are sooo pretty- I wish our slugs could be that pretty.

  2. PNG muck diving is one of a kind experience. I want to go muck diving around the world.