What is Muck Diving?
Muck diving in Lombok is not that famous. When people hear about muck diving, people will think about Lembeh Strait and Bali in Indonesia or the Philippines. But Lombok has amazing muck dives sites. But what is muck diving and why is the diving so different comparing to “normal” scuba diving?
The term Muck Diving actually takes its name from the sediment that lies on the bottom. This can be a mix of sand, silt, and all kind of debris. The dive sites have large patches of rich volcanic black sand with small patches of life on it. It is not a reef full of coral with lots of reef fish.
What kind of marine life?
Muck dive site are most of the times located in sheltered bays, places where the current cannot affect the eco system. The creatures and critters are interacting with the black volcanic sand and the thrifty coral bommies and are hiding from predators. Most likely divers can spot at these dive sites all kind of Frogfish, Shrimps, Nudibranch, Pipefish, and strange critters that are found nowhere else.
Different kind of diving
After entering the water it will takes the eyes of the divers to adjust to the environment. Divers dont see reefs and reef fish, but volcanic sand where the creatures are hiding.
Scuba diver should swim slowly and closely to the bottom searching for all these interesting creatures. The divers can use the “frog kick”. This is a way of kicking where the divers displace less as sand as possible. Buoyancy is the most important skill of diving on muck dive sites. Divers don’t want to ruin the visibility of their buddies, but also not of their own dive.
Most likely if the divers are underwater photographers they want to go back to the dive site to make more pictures of all these special creatures.
Muck Diving around the Gili Islands
Kecinan (Frogfish Bay)
Kecinan is one of the most popular muck dive sites in Lombok. It is just 20 minutes away from the dive centre. Seahorse Bay or Kecinan is a sheltered bay with a sandy slope where mooring blocks and barrels can be found.
The shallow part of the dive site is a coral restoration dive site. The local community tries to recover the reefs by artificial reefs.
Kecinan is a paradise for seahorse lovers. Seahorses can be spotted in the sea grass area and on the sand patches. The Common Seahorse, the Zebra-Snout Seahorse and the Thorny Seahorse have made their territory there.
Frogfish are most of the time around the barrels, mooring lines and on the artificial reefs. Kecinan has Griant Frogfish, Painted Frogfish, Warty Frogfish and Hairy Frogfish.
Teluk Nare (Magic Pier)
Teluk Nare is dive site around jetties. The main jettie is still operating for the speedboats to the Gili Islands. The other jettie is broken and can be found on the sea bottom next to the existing operational jetty.
Teluk Nare is famous for the silt bottom. Having good buoyancy is a must for every diver who will visit this place. On both of the jetties the divers can find lots of different nudibranch.
The dive site is full of rubbish. Rivers in Lombok are the biggest contributors of the rubbish. But also divers will see also rubbish from fisher boats and boat maintenance. The combination rubbish and pier constructions creates an unique diving environment.
Harbor Gili Air (Oceans 5 House Reef)
A few steps out of the dive shop lays the Oceans 5 House Reef: a sandy bottom that slopes down to 18 meters. A large pinnacle forms the middle point of the reef. The dive site is a combination of coral reefs and sandy patches. And has 3 sunken wooden boats, which attacks a lot of different fish.
Oceans 5 House Reef is famous for the Mandarin fish, Frogfish and all kind of Pipefishes.
Oceans 5 Gili Air
PADI Career Development Centre Oceans 5 Gili Air is specialised in the muck diving around the Gili Islands. Regulary they will visit these divesites with photographers and divers who are interested in small creatures. One thing is for sure. Divers don’t have to go to Lembeh Street to spot them. Special creatures can be found in Lombok!