Whether you’re a veteran diver or just starting out, for every occassion you might ask yourselves: “Should I go reef or muck diving?” Navigating your body through colorful architecture of coral reefs accompanied by swirling colorful fishes seems exciting. Yet diving through desolate, dark shallow waters also seems attractive, even though it might not at the first impression, just like the marine equivalent of a Zen garden! Don’t worry scuba divers, we’ll settle this out once and for all for your sake!
Reef Diving: For Those Who Love Festivals
Will no doubt love reef diving! Reef diving offers the same atmosphere as a city nightlife. The great thing is in finding the unexpected. Move around the corner, you’ll see a turtle or perhaps a school of fishes. Just as you’ll never know whether you’ll see boring old cars in the city corner or will it be a Lambo.
Not to mention the penetrating sunlight that greets one’s whole sensibility. In spite of the festivity, you can feel the radiating peace from the surface. It is difficult to describe but it feels ah-so-peaceful, just like when one is sitting calmly in a room, with Japanese Garden right outside and it’s only a little past 9 AM. Contrast this experience with muck diving! Perhaps with muck diving, one is more reminded of reading Tolstoy in a dimly lit room at night.
Do you see those weirdly shaped corals? Are we thinking the same thing? What ae you being reminded with when seeing them? I’ll give you a clue, Polypores! It might be just me who is a fungi fanatic, yet I’m also bewildered by the sight of “underwater polypores”. And what are you being reminded of with polypores? The forest! It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that reef diving is the marine counterpart of forest hiking. Ideally after some gentle shower with sunlight penetrating through the forest canopy. I’ll let your imagination to wander and stimulate your sphere of sensibility.
Muck Diving: A Feast For Those Hunter Eyes
Gloomy, dark, desolate, yet shallow, sounds like a contradiction? I think not. If you have experienced the cacophony of sensations based on my descriptions of reef diving, then you should be able to infer how muck diving experience should be like. One, two, three! Okay, they are different in many ways but not necessarily polar opposites. If reef diving is like walking through a forest and experiencing unity, then muck diving is like zooming in into a strange mushroom on the ground or perhaps an attractive moss, or a snail, it’s all about the details.
I know what kind of traits in a person that will be more likely to experience satisfaction in a muck diving session! If ywhen you were a kid, you enjoy hunting easter eggs and leaving your mates bewildered and jealous when you carry a mother lode, then muck diving is for you! If you cannot wait for sprin because by then, you can start hunting gold-colored morel mushrooms or even more challenging, the ash-colored varieties that are expert in blending with leaf litters, muck diving is for you! And to invoke the literary example once more, if you enjoy reading Tolstoy (or for variety’s sake, Joris Karl-Huysmans) in a dimly lit room, muck diving is definitely for you!
Muck diving without looking for critters is like going to a French restaurant without ordering French food. Mandarin fish, pygmy seahorse, blue-ringed octopus, even nudibranch, all you can find in these desolate, “sterile” looking scapes. For the best hunting experience, look for frogfishes! If back then once you finished hunting easter eggs and your friends are looking at you with green eyes, there’s a good chance you will enjoy it!
Reef VS Muck Diving: Conclusion to Wrap it Up
We have discussed everything about reef and muck diving. How they differ, how one might enjoy one and not necessarily the other. But we ned a final word! A conclusion! Who is the winner? I think the answer is very clear already. Reef diving or muck diving, both have their respective appeal. But there’s only one winner among them and it certainly is you, the diver!
Also look: A Diver’s Paradise for Macro Photography