You heard us right! Muck is another name for dirt, rubbish or garbage, but don’t worry we are not talking about dumpster diving. A few days ago we were doing some night diving in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Halifax, NS Canada and something interesting happened.
For those that have never dived in the cold Atlantic, as some people might put it, it is an acquired taste. The water is cold, the visibility is limited and the marine life is very few and sparse. During this night dive, we came across something very special.
Hiding between the rocks was a baby wolf eel. This was quiet an excitement for us as we don’t really get to see anything special on night dives here other than lobsters. Finding this beautiful creature in between the rocks reminded us of muck diving.
By now you are wondering what on earth is muck diving. Some divers move very quickly underwater while others could spend hours in one small area. This is exactly the difference between regular diving and muck diving.
Muck diving is something that experienced divers, adventure seekers and photographers go crazy about. Muck diving happens in areas where the bottom is silty or sandy. There are typically mild currents and fresh water inflows. Volcanic areas as well as areas with lots of sea grass vegetation are prime spots for muck diving. These are places where there are no colourful corals or fish present with limited visibility.
So now you are thinking, who on earth wants to dive there. The answer lies in what you discover in areas with muck diving. There are some incredible, wonderful and wierd creatures living in these waters. You just have to keep your face a few inches from the bottom to see them.
Indonesia is considered the top muck diving destination in the world, with various incredible dive sites. Our favourite is the Lembeh Strait. You can dive there for weeks. There are over 30 sites easily accessible and filled with strangest of the strange. Nudibranchs are a all over the place, along with the Mandarinfish, Ghost Pipefish, Pygmy Seahorse, Weedy Scorpionfish, Stonefish, Devilfish and the Banggai Cardinal fish, which is endemic to the area. The night diving in Lembeh is second to none and not to be missed.
The Phillipines is another great location for muck diving. The best and most secret dive site is Secret Bay, also known as Mainit Muck. Here you can find countless gobies, shrimp, including the Mantis Shrimp, pipefish, frogfish, scorpionfish, nudibranchs, squid, cuttlefish, seahorses, the Wonderpus Octopus and Bobbit Worms.
Borneo Malaysia is a heaven for muck divers. Most of the muck diving sites are right off the shore giving access to even snorkellers. In Borneo you will find ribbon eels, cuttlefish, sea moths, baby Lionfishes, Mandarinfish, shrimps of every shape and size, Decorator crabs, nudibranchs galore, Pigmy Seahorses, frogfish, and the list does not end!
Now lets not forget Milne Bay in Papua New Guinea. Back in the 1980s a group of divers on a liveaboard decided to just jump in the water when their boat anchored. They were curious to see what they could find. They were advised against diving the shallow because of the silty bottom, but what they found started the whole craze of muck diving that still continues today. You’ll find every type of wonderous creatures here in Papua New Guinea.
If you have not tried muck diving yet, you are missing something incredible. The world is full of incredible diving. Don’t limit yourself to the same diving every year and get out there. Unravel the mysteries that our seas and oceans have to offer. Check out our Indonesia trip which is a great way to discover muck diving. CLICK HERE!