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Muck Diving South East Asia. Where?


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#1 Pfuller

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 04:43 AM

I'm hoping to jump on a liveaboard in October, but i'm looking for a destination beforehand where i can spend 3 or so days just shore diving and getting a muck fix. Here's my requirements...can anyone suggest a good spot?

* Shore Dive
* Heaps of muck critters
* Under 20M
* Resort allows solo diving

I'm new to South East Asia, so it doesn't have to the rarest of muck creatures, i just dont want to spend a lot of liveaboard time chasing critters on possible wide-angle delight reefs.

Any help appreciated.

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#2 Drew

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 10:19 AM

Most of the Tulamben resorts will allow solo diving. I believe the Mimpi even had a deal for free shore diving if you stay there for more than 3 or 4 nights (not sure if it's still on going). The sites around the wreck in Tulamben are muck and quite decent, but the better muck is on the Seraya side. Scuba Seraya and Villa Marquisa are the 2 resorts with very good much in front of the resorts (they are side by side).
In Amed, around Cafe Garam, is a nice muck site but it is a bit of a swim out. There's a dive center there but I've never used them.
Up north, there's Pemuteran, with Amertha/Taman Sari resorts which sit on the muck sites. Quite decent too.
If you want off the beaten path, Manggis (the Allila,Aman etc) all have dive ops and a black side house reef. Kubu also has a resort with a house reef. Most of these areas have a house reef but not very productive ones "from my experience". The Tulamben/Pemuteran area is well developed and there are a variety of good dive sites.

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#3 Pfuller

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 12:48 AM

Thanks Drew! Any ideas around Lembeh, Manando, Ambon or Raja Ampat?

#4 danielstassen

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 02:27 AM

The areas Drew mentioned offer spectacular muck diving. I've been to most places in Indonesia, and Bali is my favorite place with its many dive resorts and awesome shore dives. I'd also recommend Scuba Seraya resort, but not from January to March as the heavy rainfalls dramatically increase suspended particles in the water and everything gets covered in silt, not very nice at all. If you go there oustide those months you won't regret it! Patrick, the owner, has created a very easy going, relaxing atmosphere. Lembeh and Ambon are also fantastic for muck diving.

Don't think you will find any muck diving shore dives in Raja Ampat, or maybe in the new resort in Batanta...

Chers

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Edited by danielstassen, 14 September 2012 - 02:32 AM.

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#5 dangerzone

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 02:20 PM

Lembeh, Ambon, and Tulamben are all excellent muck diving, and I would rate them in that order as well. Not sure where you plan on doing your liveaboard trip, but if it's Raja Ampat then you wouldn't have any problem getting to Sarong from any one of those three locations. If it's just for a few days, and shore/solo diving is what you really want then Tulamben is your best bet for sure, as mentioned above. Diving Lembeh and Ambon is best done by boat from a resort. You would also have to burn an additional travel day to get to Manado or Ambon, but Tulamben is only a 3-hour drive from the airport in Denpasar.

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#6 Pfuller

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 07:11 PM

Thanks for the replies Daniel and Dangerzone.

I've settled on flying into Denpasar and doing a few days around tulamben.The diving sounds great and it looks as if it can be done independently on a budget.

Picking a liveaboard is my next step. I really want to get to Raja Ampat, but the liveaboards seem very expensive (and i've left booking one very late...i'll be there in the first two weeks of October.) Anyone got any tips on last minute liveaboard negotiations? Is a liveaboard essential to experience the bounty of raja ampat?

Komodo is the fallback plan.

#7 dangerzone

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 09:00 PM

I think the best you could hope for would be getting on a Raja liveaboard if someone cancels, in which case you might be able to get a last minute deal. You should probably contact the liveaboard operators that you're interested in and see if they have a waiting list that you could add your name to in the event that they have a cancellation.

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#8 Aliens

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 08:08 PM

Do Komodo on Siren Fleet or otherwise Mermaid Fleet. Raja Ampat is hard to get on to and more expensive.

Look at what trips Allways or Dive Adventures have goign. Can sometimes get a disocutn if a last minute add on

#9 Drew

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 01:41 AM

Well last minute spontaneous trips on an Indonesian liveaboard can be difficult since they start bookings 2-3 years in advance! As suggested, contact all the liveaboards and ask for notifications of cancellations.

As for Tulamben on a budget, the Paradise resort is a decent enough place with an ops that will supply tanks and weights. It's a bit run down but the rooms have fan/ac and hot water. It sits right on Coral gardens, where you can go North to the wreck or South to the drop off. Good muck especially off the slopes on the South end of the wreck. I would suggest you arrange the ops to get you a jukung to dive the Seraya side of things. Well worth the expense.

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#10 eyu

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 04:50 PM

I always get a good guide when I do muck dives. Having a keen set of eyes who knows what to look for is the key, otherwise you will just swim past critters without even noticing them.

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