Saturday, May 19, 2012

Muck diving: A unique form of scuba diving in the South Pacific

When most people think about scuba diving and what you see underwater, they think of colorful reefs, crystal-clear water and plenty of fish swimming around. A growing number of divers have discovered a unique form of scuba known as "muck diving".

It's exactly what it sounds likes - diving in the "muck" or sand. According to "muck" enthusiast Jerry Cummins of J&D Scuba in Allegany, New York, "You can't fully appreciate 'muck diving' until you've done it. There is a diversity of marine life in the sand that most people don't take the time to appreciate."

During a recent trip to Atlantis Resort in Dumaguete, Philippines, Cummins and a group of dive professionals spent quite a bit of time in the "muck" and "sand" just off the shoreline. What did they see? Everything from colorful nudibranchs and shrimp to the elusive "flamboyant cuttlefish". The catch? Almost all of these creature would fit nicely on the top of a silver dollar.

"You have to take your time and look in places you might not normally look," Cummins said.

Muck Divers are an exclusive bunch that travel with large photo and video cameras, bright lights and have an eye for the "little critters". "There is a sense of accomplishment when you catch a photo of an animal you've been trying to see," said another member of the dive group. "Here in the South Pacific, you can see things that are nowhere else in the world. While they might be in the 'muck', they are there and it's great to be able to see them."

Thanks to Scott Jones from the Scuba Diving Examiner

Kathy Dowsett

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