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A Short Guide to Having an Adventurous Diving Experience in Komodo

When looking for a scuba diving adventure in Komodo, you usually A Short Guide to Having an Adventurous Diving Experience in Komodogo searching for the scuba diving package that offers the best ocean views and excitement in a shorter period of time. However, by doing so, you deprive yourself of a luxury experience that would have served you better if only you had done a little more research.

Choosing a Diving Experience

There are several pointers you should keep in mind when looking to have a good diving experience in Komodo.

Experienced Instructor

The reason why Uber Scuba is considered to be one of the best diving centers in Komodo is because our team of professionals is highly skilled in diving. The most important factor when you’re scuba diving is to remember that just because you’re a good swimmer, doesn’t mean you’ll also be a good diver. For that, it is important that you utilize the help of an experienced instructor so that you can train properly.

Safe Dive Sites

Komodo is ranked in the TOP 10 diving locations in the world, so you know that an exciting and challenging dive site awaits you. However, there are many places around Komodo that can be dangerous even for experienced divers. For that, it is important that you ask your diving instructor to show you the best diving sites that not only offer the best views but also the safest conditions.

Proper Gear

Safety is crucial when it comes to scuba diving. So when you choose to scuba dive with any instructor, make sure to check that the scuba gear is up-to-date. Old scuba diving equipment can be very dangerous when since you can’t always rely on it. This is why here at Uber Scuba; we ensure that all our scuba gear is tested and maintained.

Reasonable PricesReasonable Prices

When looking for a package that offers you the best dive sites for your leisure, don’t go with the most expensive ones. At Uber Scuba, the reason why our packages are considered as some of the best is because we offer a plethora of activities for a reasonable price tag. You can choose from 1, 2 or 3 dives a day in the waters of Komodo and navigate through the pink beaches and deserted islands as much as you want without worrying about the price.

Komodo offers the beauty of its oceans for all who want to watch manta rays, sharks and pygmy seahorses in their natural habitat. And by following these pointers, you can watch these creatures in action as you dive into the wonderful world of Komodo’s oceans.

5 things you need to know before you Go Scuba Diving

5 things you need to know before you Go Scuba DivingWhile scuba diving in Indonesia is a very popular water activity, there are still some who feel that perhaps donning a tank and a mask and diving into the ocean isn’t the thing for them. So to put your troubles at ease, we at Uber Scuba are going to provide you with some much-useful information to help put your scuba diving troubles at rest.

What You Should Know about Scuba Diving

1.     The Sharks Will NOT Get You

That wave of fear you feel when you step into the ocean for the first time after watching Jaws, don’t focus on it. While Hollywood may have used its sinister magic to make this sharp-toothed fish the villain of the movie, it did so without checking the factual records. Sharks do not attack divers when they witness any, so you can put your fears to rest. In fact, when sharks do encounter any divers, they swim away because our presence usually disturbs them.

2.     You are Fit enough to be a Diver

Diving is for everyone, so those of you who feel that perhaps the only people who can be divers are only those with ultra-fit bodies, think again. While competitive swimmers do make good divers because they are comfortable in the waters, this doesn’t mean that the water might turn unfriendly for the rest of us. Yes, diving is an active sport so you may have to be at least healthy enough to pass the basic endurance test. But remember; this test is to check your basic water skills and comfort in water, not your ability to resist a whole pizza when it’s sitting in front of you.

3.     Diving is not expensive

Diving is a unique water activity; so many people do think that perhaps it might be too expensive. However, with companies such as Uber Scuba providing scuba lessons for all, you only spend an average sum on scuba lessons that give an all-access pass to the ocean world. And by paying a highly affordable amount of money to get certified, you not only get a new activity that keeps you active, but you also save a lot by opting out of that gym membership you may not even use.

4.     Your Ears will not hurt if you descend properly

This is a common dilemma for people with sensitive ears. However, the pain in your ears depends on your diving ability. At Uber Scuba, we teach you the correct way to descend without hurting yourself and that is by equalizing the pressure in your ears so that you don’t get an earache. Known as the Valsalva maneuver, this process involves pinching your nose and blowing against your nostrils until you feel that faint pop and relief. But don’t worry; we’ll cover this when you start training.

5.     Not all medical conditions prevent you from diving

Gone are the days when conditions such as diabetes and asthma kept divers away from the wonderful world of ocean adventures. Nowadays, there are many ways through which potential divers can consult medical experts to know about their diving ability. Organizations such as Divers Alert Network and others help many understand the physical demands of diving and its effects on your health. So while your doctor might have dismissed your diving chances because you have a tooth ache, it won’t hurt to get an opinion from another doctor who has some experience in diving.

So if you feel like you are ready to take on this challenge of a new adventure, contact Uber Scuba now and dive right in to get the chance to experience Komodo’s beautiful ocean life at its finest.

Fascinating Facts About Manta Rays

Fascinating Facts About Manta Rays

A manta ray sighting is one of the most memorable experiences you can have while free-diving in the Komodo National Park. If you’re lucky enough, these enormous spell-bounding creatures can be seen effortlessly gliding through the ocean with remarkable grace.

We won’t be surprised if, after spotting your first manta, you want us to schedule your impending dives in or near the same region to see if you can witness another one. Mantas are mesmerizing creatures, and they seem to have an impressive resume too. Check out what makes Manta rays so fascinating.

  • The word ‘manta’ is derived from Spanish. It literally means ‘blanket’. Mantas floating on the surface of the ocean resemble large black blankets – hence the name.
  • From mating to birth, it takes baby mantas almost a year to pop out from their mothers. Baby mantas look more like miniature adults.
  • Mantas are intelligent! No kidding; having the highest brain to body weight ratio, they are smart enough to put an average dolphin to shame.
  • They may be huge, but these enormous creatures survive on tiny zooplankton. This mainly includes small crustaceans like prawns, and segmented worms.


  • Manta rays, just like leopard sharks, sport identifiable spots on their underbelly. In fact, these very spots are what visually set them apart from their cousins, the devil rays – of course there are other slight differences too.
  • Manta rays are native to Indonesian and other tropical, and subtropical waters; but they are also found in waters around Australia and New Zealand. Places where Mantas are in abundance include Fiji, Bahamas, Spain, Thailand, and Maldives.
  • This big fish likes to fly! That’s right – Manta rays have been seen leaping out of water. Although scientists are still working on this mysterious behavior; there are theories that link it to communication or mating rituals.
  • Mantas just can’t stay still. Moving forward swills out water over their gills. Therefore, this fish needs to continuously swim in order to stay alive.
  • When we say the Mantas are huge, we mean weighing up to 2 tons with a wing span of 7 meters! That’s the average size of a fully grown manta ray.
  • Manta rays have a mucus-like film covering their skin that protects it. Human touch can remove the protective layer – so no touching!
  • Lastly, and most importantly – these creatures may appear daunting, but they are absolutely HARMLESS! Isn’t that a relief?

While every dive into the Komodo does not guarantee a Manta sighting, but if you choose to go scuba-diving, or free-diving with us at Uber Scuba, you may just have the privilege of witnessing these amazing creatures in action.

Check out our liveaboard packages, or call +6281339619724 for more information.

Why Choose the Uber Scuba Komodo Liveaboard

12A liveaboard cruise is one of the most exciting and effective way of exploring the Komodo National Park. You get to spend your days and nights aboard a comfortable cruise boat, while simultaneously enjoying scenic beauty of the Indonesian islands and the spectacular diving opportunities.

UBER SCUBA’S KOMODO Liveaboard also gives you a chance to witness the glorious wildlife in the Komodo National Park. From spotting a Komodo Dragon on one of the shores, scuba diving with sharks and manta rays, to witnessing the thousands of fruit bats reigning the skies at night; the opportunity is one you just can’t miss out on.

This is not all. Uber Scuba’s Komodo Liveaboard allows you to explore and discover the natural wonders of the Rinca, Padar and Komodo Islands. The mangroves, the caves, the pink beaches, and the gorgeous sunsets -everything just adds up to the beauty and benefits of a liveaboard tour in the Komodo National Park.

What’s best? You can have the time of your life, and probably the best vacation ever, at highly affordable prices. Most dive centers offer liveaboard facilities at rates much lower than what you might end up spending at a hotel. At Uber Scuba, we offer liveabord trips on the KLM Amalia at great prices.

Why is the “Amalia” Special?

The Amalia is our liveaboard cruise boat. There are several dive centers in Labuan Bajo offering liveaboard facilities, but only few can compete what the Amalia has to offer you. Aboard the Amalia, you can expect:

  • An exceptional staff! Our crew is amiable, helpful, and highly professional. The multilingual dive instructors are local experts that have years of experience diving in the Komodo National Park.
  • An unmatched flavor of local culture: from traditional food and music, to a display of local customs, our staff will go beyond their way to make your experience memorable.
  • World class diving. All your diving expeditions will be conducted by expert guides and instructors who have a profound knowledge of the sport and the factors affecting it.
  • Cozy accommodation. The Amalia provides both comfort and luxury. We offer single beds in two in twin cabin, two en-suite cabins, and a friends and family cabin aboard the Amalia.

If you are looking for a reasonably priced liveaboard cruise, the Uber Scuba Amalia is a great choice! Of course the laidback atmosphere, fantastic diving, comfortable abode, scrumptious meals, picturesque landscapes, pristine Komodowildlife, and a taste of local culture make it all the more exciting.

Checkout our liveaboard packages, and contact us for bookings today!

Can you see sharks in Komodo

Do Sharks Spit or Swallow? – 10 Shark Facts To Shock You!

Are they the hunters, or the ones being hunted?? Few people realize that well over 100 million sharks die every year at the hands of humanity. This is largely as a result of the market for shark’s fins. Millions of others die as by-catch in nets intended for other species. These sharks are often tossed overboard as trash.

By comparison, there are usually fewer than 10 fatal shark attacks on humans recorded in an average year.

Surprised? Don’t be. Sharks are widely misrepresented, and misunderstood. Read on. We have 10 shark facts that we’re willing to bet you didn’t know. Let’s separate some of the fiction from the fishy facts….


1. She’s Older Than You Think…

Over 400 million years of evolution has refined shark species to be perfectly suited to the various aquatic environments in which they are found. Compare that to human history. The cave dwellers from which we descended only got up on two legs around 6 million years ago.


2. The Mighty Megalodon

Compared to the now extinct Megalodon, the Great White is a pussy cat. The largest shark that ever existed, they could grow up to 30 metres in length. A grown man could easily have stood up inside the open mouth of an adult Megalodon.


3. Jaws Spits, She Doesn’t Swallow

Sadly, the majestic Great White shark is still consider a mindless, murderous, killing machine by many people. There was a time not so long ago when humanity also feared predators at the top of the food chain that walked on land. Tigers, lions, polar bears were all slaughtered without a thought as to the effect that this would have on the ecosystems of which they were (and are) an important part. Slowly, they are becoming protected, instead of executed.

When a Great White takes a bite out of a swimmer, surfer, or his board, it is often a case of mistaken identity. Seen from below, a surfer on a board can look an awful lot like a big, fat, tasty seal. Great Whites are so highly evolved that when they bite into their prey, they get a sense for how much body fat the creature is carrying.

When they take a bite out of human, they often don’t bother to “finish the job”. We’re rather bony, not fat-filled and juicy like the seals. So they spit us out. Unfortunately, we are left with a rather nasty wound, often miles from shore….


4. You Can’t See Me….

Even when sharks cannot see you…they can still sense you. As sharks evolved they developed a “sixth sense”. Ampullae of Lorenzi may sound like an exotic Italian dish. It’s not. They are the receptors which sharks use to sense electromagnetic signals that go unnoticed by humans and other species.

It is said that sharks can “feel” how fast your heart is beating as they swim past you. Hammerheads have been observed hunting rays buried beneath the sand, using their ability to sense where their next potential meal hides. Once they have pinpointed the location, they (literally) nail down the ray beneath the sand using the two pronged hammer that is their head. Incapacitated, the unfortunate ray becomes lunch.

As they say, you can run, but you can’t hide…at least not from a hungry hammerhead!


5. Sharks Don’t Get Cancer

OK, not 100% true, but almost. Scientists have forced sharks to ingest known carcinogens and injected them with deadly toxins. Yet still there are fewer than 10 verified reports of sharks that developed malignant tumours. Humanity has much to gain by studying these fascinating fish, as opposed to slaughtering them.


6. Bad Tooth? Grow Some More!

If you have a cat you know how much hair they can shed. A similar phenomenon can be observed in many shark species. It is not surprising that they lose teeth while feeding or as they age. What is unusual is that they have the ability to grow more.


7. Is That a Shark in the Lake?

Bull sharks are one species of shark that has developed the ability to regulate the amount of water in their bodies, regardless of how much, or little, salt is in their aquatic environment. That means they can enter rivers, and even swim upstream into lakes in the search for food. Lake Nicaragua, and the Zambezi River in Africa are two spots where sharks are frequently reported quite comfortably cruising by.


8. You Stink. And You’re Noisy.

A shark’s sense of smell goes beyond anything we humans can imagine. Some species can sense blood in the water at a concentration of one part per 10 billion. That means a person with even an open scratch would be detected by any shark within a very wide radius, very quickly. Sharks can be found in pretty much every oceanic environment on earth. So can people. Swimming, fishing or diving. Yet there are relatively very few attacks on people.

Mindless, indiscriminate killers? I think not.

While a diver using a re-breather unit is relatively silent, conventional scuba gear is loud and noisy to those who live in the underwater world. This is part of the reason why it can be so difficult to spot and photograph sharks. To them, we sound like a truck roaring by, with our bubbles and noisy breathing.


9. We’ll Eat Anything

That depends. Tiger Sharks have earned themselves an especially infamous reputation as “opportunistic” feeders. Tires, baby whales, shoes and sailors. You name it, chances are it’s been found in the tummy of a Tiger.

That said, the gentle giants of the sea, and the biggest fish on earth are the Whale Sharks. They have no teeth. Being filter feeders, they strain plankton from the sea as they swim. They are gorgeous creatures who will tolerate snorkelers and (sometimes) divers swimming alongside them. Sadly, they are now endangered in many places where they once swam in healthy numbers.


10. Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid. No, Wait. Don’t Be…

Large sharks, like any wild animal that is a top predator and a carnivore, should be shown a healthy degree of respect. Especially when we divers suit up, take the leap into the sea, and essentially drop in (uninvited) to their homes. If a group of tigers fell through my roof unannounced, and proceeded to follow me around my house, it would make me a little nervous too.

Essentially, this is what we do when we enter the ocean. Sharks, like the earth’s other creatures, are not looking for a fight. They will obviously defend themselves if they are cornered or feel threatened. Show sharks the respect they deserve, and it is very likely that they will return the favour.


Thanks for reading, please share if you liked this through the buttons below. Love and bubbles from the Uber Scuba Komodo Dive Center team. 

Scuba Diving Tips for Men Divers

Uber Scuba Tips for Men

It doesn’t matter if you’ve done five dives, or five hundred.

Smart scuba aficionados know there is always room for improvement. There are new lessons to be learned, new experiences to be had, and new friends to meet. But there are a few tips that may make diving even more enjoyable for many men.

We’ve put together a few pointers that we hope make your dive experience with us at Uber Scuba Komodo even more magnificent.


Tips on What to Wear

There are men who have no problem strutting their stuff in a skimpy Speedo.

Then there are others who dread being caught dead in a fire engine red, shiny piece of material the size of a handkerchief. Sometimes less is more. Sometimes it’s not….

Many men choose to go with board shorts. While these are comfortable, and easy to get in and out of on the beach, they may present some problems on the dive boat. Shorts tend to bunch up underneath a wetsuit, and can lead to chaffing and skin problems. In a worst case scenario, bunched up shorts could restrict blood flow, especially to your legs.

If you’re still not sold on the Speedo, a good option would be bicycle shorts. They don’t bunch up underneath your wetsuit, and make getting in and out of it easier. While modern wetsuits generally have a lining that makes it easy to remove, the old timers likely remember when pantyhose were standard operating procedure.

You may get a few awkward stares, but you’ll slide in and out of your suit in a flash.


Or What Not to Wear….Going Komodo Commando?

It’s more common than you might think!

There is nothing wrong with leaving the swimsuit out of it all together. Just be sure you don’t forget you’ve only got your birthday suit hiding under the wetsuit when you climb back in the boat.

It has happened that following an especially exciting dive, a first time “Commando” diver got caught up in talking about a shark sighting at Batu Bolong.

So caught up that he forgot what he wasn’t wearing, and peeled off his suit as soon as he was out of the water. To the delight (and/or horror?) of the others on board….


Better Your Buoyancy

If you have hundreds of dives already under your belt, chances are good you’ve got no issues with buoyancy control. If, however, you are just starting out, or feel that you could be doing better, take a Peak Performance Buoyancy speciality course.

You’ll dive better, be more relaxed, and use less air. If you like wreck or cave diving, buoyancy control is critical for your safety, and that of those diving with you.

Other tips to keep neutrally buoyant include proper weighting, getting your BC inflation just right, and your body position in the water. Regular, relaxed breathing will help too. A perfectly neutral buoyant diver will spend more time enjoying all there is to see in the submarine world, and less time fiddling with the inflation hose, and crashing into the reef.


Slow Down and See More

Remember it’s not a race!

Obviously you need to stay with the pack, and be in close contact with your buddy. But too many divers (men and women) miss out on seeing the best creatures by speeding right past them. Divers with rebreathers are nearly silent, but most of us are still using conventional scuba equipment. Meaning that in the underwater world we, and our bubbles, are making a hell of a lot of noise.

Most marine life does not appreciate the disruption. Motoring into their backyard at top speed, bubbles billowing away, will make them even less likely to stick around.

Take your time.

You’ll see more, use less air, and you won’t piss off the photographers and other divers who may want to stop, not to smell the roses, but to admire the particularly unique and beautiful creatures across Komodo.

conserve air during a dive

Keep it to Yourself. Conserve Air on a Dive

You feel like you are just hitting your stride. The underwater environment around you is revealing itself in all its splendour. You flash a big OK to your buddy, and glance down to check your air.


Impossible! How can you be down to half a tank just as the going gets great? Maybe you choose not to signal your buddy “half tank”. You think ‘who wants to be the loser that may force a dive to end early?’ No one. A big no-no my friend!

So work on reducing your air consumption. Don’t approach it from the perspective that you are breathing less, just that you are breathing more efficiently. Here are some tips to try out when attenmpting to conserve air that will make your future dives last longer, be stress-free, and even more spectacular.than they are now.


Conserve Air Simply by Relaxing and Breathing

If you are stressed out as you descend your breathing is very likely to be rapid and you will lose a ton of air. Take a few deep breaths before you head down, equalize your ears at the surface, and relax. Let yourself sink slowly down. There is no need to kick furiously, and orient yourself head down towards the ocean floor on a descent. This is not a race. Take deep breaths, and make minor adjustments to achieve neutral buoyancy.

When you have reached the desired depth, concentrate on continuing with deep breaths that are exhaled slowly. Start your dive relaxed, and concentrate on staying relaxed throughout the dive. Don’t rush the breathing thing. You’ll end up burning through your air faster than you thought possible


Keeping Warm is a Great Way to Conserve Air on a Dive

Be sure and wear a wet suit that is suitable for the waters in which you are diving. Our bodies lose heat and energy quickly when we get cold. We also may breathe faster as our bodies attempt to create energy for warmth. Remember that a deep dive will mean lower temperatures. Sometimes less is more. Not so when it comes to keeping warm. You don’t need to drag out your dry suit, but make sure you have adequate protection. At Uber Scuba we offer 3mm long wetsuits to ensure you are nice and snug.


Conserve Air: Neutral Buoyancy Will Never Let You Down

A wonderful way to waste your precious air is to continuously be emptying it into your BCD, and then spewing it out in an effort to achieve neutral buoyancy. When you have reached the desired depth, take a moment to relax, and see if you can hover. If so, all is well and it is unlikely you will need to make many adjustments as you continue the dive.

As you get more experienced, you will find that you will be able to ascend and descend simply by regulating your breathing. When you are comfortable and relaxed, take a deep breath and hold it for a moment. What happens? You rise. Let that air our and the opposite will happen. You’ll also be lugging around less weight on your belt.

If you have buoyancy issues, consider taking the SSI Perfect Buoyancy Speciality course. The better you can control your buoyancy, the better your air consumption will be.


A Streamlined Diver Saves Air, Energy and the Environment

Cars and aircraft are designed to provide as little resistance as possible to the air flowing around them. This increases their fuel efficiency, and the ease with which they move across the earth, or through the air.

Ditto for a diver. If you can maintain a streamlined, compact shape as you move through the water you will save energy. Using less energy means needing less air. Keep your body horizontal, stream lined, and your depth and air gauges close to your body. You’ll save energy and air.

An added bonus? You are far less likely to harm the underwater world you have the privilege of being a part of. There are few things more annoying than a diver who doesn’t bother to pay attention to his or her impact on the marine environment. Dragging your gauges across the reef, and picking up every underwater object or creature that catches your eye is a fantastic way to mark yourself as a disrespectful amateur. You are underwater to admire the life here, not disturb and destroy it.


Go with the Flow

The stronger the current, the harder we must work to make our way against it. Use the direction, and depth, of the currents, and the underwater environment to your advantage. If you find yourself in a strong current, try dropping down a bit. You will find it is weaker close to the bottom. Also, you can sometimes find an underwater mount to swim behind. This shelters you from the current and results in an easier dive.

You may find yourself in an especially strong current, and feel the need to anchor yourself for a moment to collect yourself, or stay in contact with your buddy. Be careful where you place your hands! Look for a rock or a dead piece of coral. Never forget that even touching live coral will damage it and may kill it.

Relax, breathe and enjoy your dive!

Mating Manta Rays in Komodo National Park

Manta Mating Magic. One Mother’s Story

The boys that fly through the Komodo waters like it a little rough.

Nevertheless, after a racy chase and a bit of foreplay. I always end up on top.

Now don’t go judging me. I’m not easy, and I’m certainly no submarine slut.


The men make their move under my tummy. The act itself doesn’t last long, and every encounter inevitably turns out to be a one night stand.

I’m actually quite picky, and it is the boys that are beating down the door to my bedroom. But I’m hard-wired the same way as they are. We get the job done, and we swim our separate ways. No strings attached, no nursery niceties, no planned parenting. Thank you and good night.

It’s all part of the magical manta mating game.

I’m packing a mini manta in my belly right now, as a matter of fact.

Mind you that doesn’t stop the boys following me around.

We mate year round, so love is always in the air. Or the water, as is our case. If you are lucky enough to have been diving some of the spectacular sites out here in the Komodo Marine Park, you may have seen a manta train.


All Aboard the Manta Train

A manta train you ask? Yup. It’s pretty much as it sounds.

The one out in front is the female (that’s me). You could say, in the sexual manta marine world we ladies “drive” the trains. The long line of suitors following the females form the “cars” of the train.

Round and round the reef we go.

There could be 10, there may be 20. I lead them on quite a merry chase. My reward? Usually I end up with several bites on my wings, as the boys fail to contain their excitement. It nice to be the object of such desire. But I mean really, the love bites and resulting scars are a bit much.

Eventually, one of the boys proves to be the best, and he’s the one I want. He’ll sidle up next to me, sink his teeth into my left wing, and slide underneath me. I know as soon as we stop swimming we’ll sink like a rock to the ocean floor (as we are negatively buoyant). So I try to get as close to the surface as possible before the actual penetration occurs.


Moving on is the Manta Way

Belly to belly we roll in the water.

Me quite still, while my beau beats his wings like a bat out of hell. Copulation complete, he releases me, and we swim our separate ways.

My wee one grows inside me first as an egg in my uterus. As the birthing day approaches, my pup hatches on the inside, and feeds on my uterine milk. When I think she is ready to roll on her own, I’ll head to a shallow bay or lagoon. Often I will perform a series of spectacular jumps out of the water, that may help trigger the birth. As soon as my mini manta makes her way into the water, she knows how to swim. And she must learn on her own how to survive.

My job is done, and I am out the door. Back to the open seas where the boys, and the breeding ritual await repeat. The wee ones stay in the shallows where they have a much better chance of survival.


Manta Moms. You Can’t Live with Them, so You Learn to Live Without Them

I’ve heard that human females and their offspring often suffer from emotional issues.

It has never been a problem for us mantas. Mother/daughter dynamics, protective son syndrome? Nope. We’re an independent lot.

Remember what I told you, that every night is a one night stand? It is the many millions of years of evolution on mother earth that has made us mantas who we are. It may seem strange to you, but it works just fine for us. And we’ve been swimming the seas a lot longer than you bipeds have been walking the woods…

Want to read more stories? Click on the recent posts tab or visit our BLOG homepage.

muck diving in komodo national park

Yucky, Mucky, Macro Diving in Komodo

The Magnificence Hiding in the Muck

Don’t let the name fool you. It may not sound like much fun, but it’s surprisingly easy to get addicted to diving in the “muck”. Some of the strangest, and most fascinating marine inhabitants can be found hiding amongst the silt and rubble in many parts of Indonesia when scuba diving. The Komodo National Park is no exception. Muck diving is also named Macro diving.


What Makes up for Muck?

Muck diving environments are not the prettiest places on the planet. Usually fairly shallow sites, the bottom can be a mix of sand, silt, dead coral or rubble. There may be a lot of garbage, discarded fishing lines or even small wrecks. Harbours, bays and other shallow, quiet areas often offer the best opportunities for muck diving. The calm conditions make it the perfect environment for macro-photography.


Life in the Muck

While the landscape may be less than lovely, the myriad marine creatures that make muck their home number in the thousands! And this is why you dive muck. The sea life that you’ll find may be small, even minute. But the many unique species that have adapted to life in this environment are fascinating examples of mother nature’s powers of evolution. A number of these species have highly developed mechanisms for camouflage and disguise.

A muck dive is usually a long, slow, shallow dive. You’ll need to keep your eyes peeled so as not to miss the most interesting creatures. Many species of frogfish, scorpionfish and flounder will be still and silent as they sit on the ocean floor. In many cases, it may be just a pair of eyes and a gaping mouth that alerts you to the fact that what appears to be a stone, is in fact a stonefish.

Frogfish have exceptional exteriors designed to keep them well hidden, even while in plain view. Also called anglerfish, these masters of disguise spend the vast majority of their time staying still. When they do move, they are lightening fast and targeting their next meal. Even heaven can’t help a fish that gets sucked into the gaping mouth of a hungry frogfish. Blink and you’ll miss it. The process takes less than a second.

Seahorses are another special treat seen on many muck dives. Look for them close to the bottom, anchoring themselves by tail to a piece of rock, dead coral or seaweed. They are not so simple to spot, but once you do find one, you’ll want to hang around next to it for awhile. Octopus, including the rare blue ringed octopus, may be sighted squeezing themselves into any available cracks and crevices.

The flamboyant cuttlefish is a psychedelic, writhing mass of changing colour that may slip through the sea next to you. Eels can often be spotted sticking their slender heads out from the sand, and there may be mantis shrimp, sea snakes, and sea moths in good numbers.


Must Visit Muck Sites

Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and some spots off Malaysian Borneo are considered to be home to the best muck diving. However many places have dive sites that are filled with small but sensational critters. Muck diving sites can also serve as “nurseries” for juveniles of larger species. Ask your dive master for hints on where to look, and for what.


Our Very Own Mucky Dives

The Komodo National Park has something for everyone. We have a fantastic diversity of sites for divers of any ability level. Muck diving can be done at Manta Point off of Central Komodo, Wainiloo in the South Komodo area, and at East Komodo at the Sebayor Kecil site. If there is a particular type of dive, or a creature you are hoping to spot, let us know. We’ve had years of experience in these waters and will be happy to make this dive trip your best dive trip!

Boom! Why Dynamite Fishing Might Blow Us All Away…

It’s nothing new really. And some fishermen argue that it is an effective method of catching the maximum number of fish, with the minimal amount of effort. It’s DIY bomb building that usually involves improvised underwater explosive devices made at home.


If commercial dynamite is unavailable, or doesn’t fit the budget, a glass bottle packed with potassium or ammonium nitrate, pebbles, and a splash of kerosene, will do the trick.


Sometimes cyanide is added to the recipe. Apparently, the fish that are caught with cyanide are not intended for the fisherman’s own dinner plate. Obviously, cyanide that enter the fish, could easily be transferred to the humans sitting down to a seafood supper. Or maybe the local fishing families don’t understand the dangers of cyanide. Or the dangers associated with dynamite fishing.


Perhaps the families that fish this way don’t care. Perhaps they cannot afford to. It is unlikely that any parent would deliberately compromise their families health, and the future of their children. Nevertheless, dynamite fishing endangers not only the coral reefs and the myriad of magnificent creatures that they support, but also the fishing communities ability to provide for themselves.


The beginning is always a good place to start. We’ll assume that the local engaged in dynamite fishing doesn’t blow himself up in the process of building the underwater bomb. Which does happen. Low income fishermen with limited education don’t make the best bomb builders. So they may lose a hand, arm or child while attempting to put together an underwater explosive.


Most of the time, the bomb building is relatively uneventful, and the bomb goes out on the boat. Tragically, dynamite fishing has been practised in Indonesia, and throughout Southeast Asia for over 50 years.


So let’s imagine an Indonesian fisherman heading out to the reef, looking for a good spot to drop his bomb and scoop up the stunned and injured fish that will float to the surface. Once an appropriate location has been decided upon, the fisherman lobs the bomb overboard, and waits for the shock blast. This stuns the fish, and ruptures their swim bladders and other internal organs.


Many float to the surface. Voila! Could catching fish get any easier?


Another question. Could it get any more destructive?


Some fish float to the surface, and are an effortless catch. Many, many more sink to the bottom to rot. And it’s not just the fish that are stricken down. Virtually every marine organism in the vicinity will be seriously harmed or killed. Equally tragic is the damage that is done to the coral reefs.


What the fishing families do not see, and may not understand, is that while in the short term dynamite fishing seems to work well, it is actually undermining their traditional way of life. It is also seriously compromising the ability of the coral reefs and the ocean to provide any source of food or income for them in the future.


Perhaps today the fish float to the surface. Underwater the environment that enables the fish to live and breed is being destroyed. The reefs are crushed and turned to rubble. Without the reefs there are no fish. No fish means no food. Divers and sun seekers do not travel thousands of miles to see rubble. No tourists means less or no income, and ultimately, no future.


In the short term, fish populations are reduced, driving the boats to bomb other areas. In the long term, hundreds of miles of coral reefs become skeletons. Where once a diverse and productive marine ecosystem thrived, now a grey and barren graveyard lies. The coral’s calcium carbonate structures are dead, an incapable of regeneration. Thousands of years of mother nature’s underwater work, the building blocks of an ecosystem, destroyed.


Komodo National Park is a protected marine reserve, and recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nevertheless there is fresh and indisputable evidence that dynamite fishing practices continue here. Some of Asia’s most spectacular dive sites have been irreparably damaged. If they can recover, it will not be during our life time, nor that of our children.


The Indonesian government has assumed complete responsibility for the protection of the Komodo National Marine Park. In the past, they had a co-operative agreement with the Conservation International group to monitor and implement measures critical to conserving the coral reefs in the area.


There is clearly a need to look into a better coordinated response to the dangers of dynamite fishing. Local communities should be protecting their reefs, not destroying them. The situation sadly seems to be getting worse in many areas, not better.