If you want maximum bottom time, a shore dive is the way to go. No set schedule to follow, little to no current to worry about, easy to navigate and nearly impossible to get lost. My friend Linda was visiting from Texas, and we got to talking about what our longest dive was. Both of us had several dives that went longer than 2 hours, but we decided to challenge ourselves to make it to 3 hours.
To accomplish this, we needed to stay relatively shallow and not do too much swimming. Mucky Pirates Bay here in Pemuteran is perfect. You can spend an entire dive exploring under the pier. There are also nearby mooring bases and piles of debris that have their own little ecosystems—a macro photographer’s dream.
After helping us in the water with our gear & cameras, we told the Sea Rovers shore support crew not to expect us back for at least 2.5 hours (I don’t think they completely believed us, but they smiled and waved us on our way). It was low tide and there was limited visibility, so it was a good thing we didn’t plan to venture too far from shore. Because of the particles in the water, the dive wasn’t particularly fruitful photographically. We saw several morays, pipefish, lionfish, and the usual cleaner shrimp and anemone crabs. But here is my favorite shot of the day
Here’s the proof – 30 feet (10 metres) for 180 minutes
So, if you love long slow dives with lots of interesting critters, be sure to check out Mucky Pirates Bay with the Pirates of Sea Rovers. Maybe you too can log your longest dive ever and beat my record.
The starry moray is one of my favorite eels because of the bright yellow eyes
While shooting the shrimp, the moray suddenly stuck out his head
One of several lionfish under the pier
One of many pipefish we saw
Look for these in anemones if the clownfish will let you get close enough
Robotic technology is being developed to help rid the reefs of invasive species–the crown of thorns starfish on our side of the world and the lionfish in the Atlantic and Caribbean.
Robot designed to kill the invasive crown of thorns
From Scientific American:
The Great Barrier Reef will have a robotic protector beginning this winter. The underwater autonomous vehicle is programmed to patrol the massive living structure in search of destructive crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS), which it then kills by lethal injection. These starfish prey on coral polyps, and although they are native to the reef, their population has exploded in the past few years, possibly because of overfishing of their natural predators. Click here to read the full story.
Our friends in the Atlantic and Caribbean also have a serious problem with the invasive lionfish. Another robot has been proposed to help with this predator.
Prototype of the lionfish killer robot
From Live Science:
The robotics company iRobot, known for creating the autonomous and endearing Roomba vacuums, is taking steps to make a clean sweep of lionfish in the coastal waters of the Atlantic Ocean, with a robot designed to target and dispatch the invasive fish. Click here to read the full article