Ambon Island, nestled in the Maluku Archipelago, is fast being recognised as one of the premier critter (muck) diving locations in the world.
Ambon Bay has an amazing variety of rare of wonderful creatures and very uncrowded sites.
Lesser known is the south side of Ambon, which features great and colourful walls, caves, swim through, exceptionally healthy reef life, with large fish and more small critters.
We do day trips from our base at the resort, three dives a day.
For diving Ambon Bay we take a short 10 minute bus ride to our private jetty at the base on Ambon Bay. From there we depart on our boats for our three dive trip to the amazing muck sites.
When the season is right (see below) for the southern and eastern sites, we depart from the resort, again for our three dives.
On a typical day we depart from the resort at 8.15am, returning around 4.30pm.
When all the sites are open we run one day of diving in Ambon Bay, followed by one day of the southern and eastern clear water sites, and then repeat, so you can enjoy everything Ambon has to offer.
Muck Diving and Clear Water Diving
Ambon Bay, where the muck diving is, has an incredible array of rare critters, including Ambon Scorpionfish, Rhinopias, Mimic and Wonderpus Octopus, Flamboyant Cuttlefish, many many Nudibranchs, Frogfish, Harlequin Shrimp, Coleman Shrimp and much much more.
There is also always the chance to see perhaps the rarest underwater critter, the Psychedelic Frogfish, only ever found in Ambon.
We offer diving to both muck and coral sites, giving you an unique opportunity to dive macro and wide angle.
Muck diving or Critter (Macro) Diving, as we prefer to call it, gives you the chance to see some of the rarest and most beautiful underwater creatures. There are two main factors that make a great muck diving locations.
- Nutrition. You need lots of nutrition in the water to feed the small crustacean and fish that will form the beginning of a plentiful food chain. While crystal clear blue water is wonderful, it is also lacking in the nutrients that allow great critter diving. In great muck locations the visibility is never good. The particles in the water are eaten by small crustaceans and juvenile fish. These in turn become a plentiful food supply to larger fish. And as these muck locations also contain a lot of sandy areas, as either a predator or prey, you need great camouflage to take advantage to the environment. This means very interesting critters. Frogfish, Seahorses, Scorpionfish, Octopus, Crabs, Shrimps, Eels, Nudibranchs, Puffers, Soles and so much more thrive is this environment.
- Dark (black) sand. With all these wonderful creatures it is natural that you want to photograph or video them. Though white clean sand looks wonderful, it is not so good when you want to take images of critters living on it. The light from your strobe or video bounces back into the lens, giving very bad contrast and over-exposed shots. Capturing images with a dark sand background makes a huge difference.
Clear Water Side
On the south side of Ambon and around Haruku Island we have wonderful coral walls, sea mounds, drop-offs, swim-thru’s, larger fish and wonderfully clear water. It’s not all about the muck and we love clear water diving too. The south side of Ambon and Haruku is largely virgin diving with deep walls, incredibly healthy corals, swim-thrus and caves, sea mounds in Baguala Bay. We have even found an incredible cave with stalactites and the home to a school of Flashlight Fish that mesmerize you when you turn your lights off. It’s the perfect twin for muck diving.
We do, of course, find macro critters here too. You can break out your wide angle lens and enjoy crystal clear water. If you want to keep you macro lens on, then we can find critters that we do not see in Ambon Bay. We used to call the Clear Water Side the 'wide angle side', but we find find so many unusual macro critters it is also that this isn't true