Muck diving is defined as a muddy environment, diving in a place with more sediments than found on a reef. It can also be a composition of man-made garbage or what we call ‘artificial reef’.
For some history, the term was first used by Bob Halstead when diving of the coast of Milne Bay (PNG) to describe the diving on black sandy bottom.
People like “muck” diving because of the unusual, magical and juvenile creatures that live in its environment. As the sediment and detritus environment is different from the reef, the marine life is indeed as different and restricted to that environment. Colourful creatures like nudibranch, anglerfish (frogfish), ghost pipefish, crab and shrimp can be found as well as rare creatures like blue-ringed or mimic octopus and weedy scorpion fish.
If you like underwater photography, then “muck” diving is definitely good for you as most of the creatures are staying still, trying to stay camouflaged or just posing for you.
The first time you will go for a muck dive, you might think what are you doing here. Visibility, due to sendiment can be lower than one the reef, there is very little coral and it feels a bit empty.
But after few minutes, your eyes will start to discover things like a squat lobster on the back of a feather star putting up his claws as you are getting closer. In that same feather star will be hiding on a perfect camoflage an ornate ghost pipefish.
Next to it on the sand it will be some yellowish sea weed but looking at it from closer you will discover a weedy scorpionfish in the exact same color as the sea weed.
Few fin kicks away you will first see a sponge that will become sudenly to have eyes and a mouth and you will realise that is a frog fish. And it will go on this way all the dive, this is the magic of 'muck' diving
Tasi Tolu, Roda Reef and Pertamina Pier are amazing “muck” dive sites where Dive Timor Lorosae instructors will love to take you diving. Come and join us to discover the weird and wonderful of “muck” diving of Timor Leste.