The Magic of Muck Diving Off Gangga Island
Gangga Island is heaven for divers, and none more so than those that love searching for and photographing underwater critters. Just off the shores of the island is Gangga Island Resort’s house reef where you could spend days discovering species of every colour, size and shape. Read on to learn about when to dive and what to look out for.
When to Dive Around Gangga Island
Gangga is a great place to dive all year round. The water temperature is pretty steady throughout the year, peaking at about 28-29°C between October and March, and dipping to 25-26°C in July and August.
However, the cooler season creates perfect conditions for reproductive cycles, meaning there are large numbers of critters around at this time. For muck divers and macro photographers, this is the ideal time to get out on the house reef. Visibility around this time is also good as the rains have gone and the currents are generally gentler, which allows for easier underwater photography.
Species You Might Find at Gangga Island
The dive masters at Gangga Divers will be happy to point out all the incredible critters on the house reef, but you might want to know what’s in store before you go so you can be ready with the right equipment.
There are endless shrimps, lobsters, cuttlefish, octopus and several species of camouflaged scorpion fish to look out for. Also very unique, and prized by macro photographers, are the pygmy seahorses that are abundant here. Some of these incredible little critters are no bigger than 3cm tall, but pack so much colour they are fantastic to photograph.
You’ll want to also keep an eye out for the numerous species of octopus – including coconut, blue-ring, mimic and wonderpus – that live on the sandy bottom of the reef at Gangga Island. You could watch these fantastic animals and their strange adaptations for hours.
Nudibranchs of all types also live here. Some of the most breathtaking macro photos are of nudibranchs thanks to their rainbow of colours, show-stopping shapes, and unusual body textures.
The Bioreef project at Gangga Island is also worth mentioning here. After suffering from serious erosion problems over the years, Gangga Island Resort brought in experts to install biorock formations. These artificial reefs take disperse the power of the waves and stop the sand being washed away from the beaches.
The reefs also create new homes for all kinds of corals, reef fish and critters. Don’t dismiss these structures as ‘just fake reefs’; they are incredible new habitats for all the beautiful species living around Gangga Island.
When you’re diving and photographing underwater life in North Sulawesi you’ll definitely want to make sure you have a couple of spare batteries and enough memory cards with you. However, Gangga Island Resort also offers a photographer’s room where you can compile and edit your photos after your dives. Workstations and equipment storage really come in handy when you want to go through all the incredible shots you’ve taken.
If there are critters or species you aren’t able to identify, there are books to help out. The dive instructors at Gangga Divers are also always willing to help out.
Do You Love Muck Diving?
Which species would you be most excited to see around Gangga Island? Would it be the weird and wonderful camouflaged frogfish, the brightly coloured nudibranchs or something else? Let us know in the comments box below!