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  • Writer's pictureRobin Bateman

It's Kind of Mucky Down There ....

I have to admit - when I was first told we were going to go "muck diving" I was less than ecstatic ... It sounded boring ... I felt like I was going to miss out on seeing something great by not being out on the reef ... plus they mentioned tires, and bicycles, and cars....

I was so excited I think I was hyperventilating

Suffice it to say - I am now one of the most AVID muck divers you will ever meet.... yes I have been converted. Recently, we were in Ambon, Indonesia - muck diving! Honestly on our first dive I was so excited I think I was hyperventilating - I couldn't take pictures fast enough! Sooo many unusual, small, camouflaged, colorful critters! You could have stayed in one place for the entire dive and probably wouldn't have seen all of the critters - soooo amazing.

Yes there was brown muck, and there was trash, and we were only about 6 feet from shore in 30 feet of water. But there was marine life that is rarely seen and is uniquely stunning in every way - size, shape and color. Sometimes I felt like I was back in time - with miniature versions of the types of creatures that lived with the dinosaurs.

I wonder ... should we clean up the muck?

We spent the entire day muck diving in the same location in Ambon. Can you blame us? There were juvenile scorpion fish as small as a golf ball, so many cuttlefish I gave up counting, mimic octopus, purple rhinopias, trillions of nudibranch, ghost pipefish, harlequin shrimp, eels ... we all checked off a lot of things on our "to do" list of fish!

We did see a lot of rubbish like the ^^medicine bottle^^, next to the purple rhinopias, as well as some tires, baskets and the like, and it made me think - as part of Ocean Conservation efforts we are working to clean up beaches and near-shore areas. So if we clean up muck diving sites, even just our offshore waters where there is trash from hurricanes and floods - will we be eliminating habitat for all of these creatures and fish that seem to be able to adjust and make homes alongside the rubbish? Perhaps we could clear out the smaller bits and new pieces of trash, and leave some of the older habitats? What do you think?

Till next time ~ Safe Travels



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