Dive Site: Black Rock, Muck Diving, North Sulawesi, Indonesia

Location shot for muck dive at low tide diving Black Rock near Manado at Thalassa Dive Resort North Sulawesi Indonesia by Diveplanit

Site Overview

Site Type: Muck Dive
Depth: Top: 5MBottom: 20M
Location: Black Rock is a dive site in Manado Bay about 10 minutes north of Thalassa Resort

Description

The area around Manado is best known for the Marine Parks of Bunaken. However, if you want a muck dive, Black Rock, which at first appears to be just a barren stretch of sandy sea bed delivers, once you look closely enough.

A short video of what you can expect to see Muck Diving Black Rock in Manado Bay, North Sulawesi – 13 completely different critters in one little dive.

But I have to start this dive write up with the facts: I’m no muck diver!  I’m getting old, my eyes are getting tired, and the thought of looking for, and at stuff that’s smaller than a pinkie fingernail does not fill me with glee.  That said, I was intrigued by all of what we saw on what at first sight appears to be a barren stretch of volcanic sand within sight of the Thalassa Dive Resort.

We start with something easy – and these horned sea stars look like pastries or kid’s cookies.

Horned seastar diving Black Rock near Manado at Thalassa Dive Resort North Sulawesi Indonesia by Diveplanit

Next a blotch founder makes a rather disguised appearance.

Blotched flouder diving Black Rock near Manado at Thalassa Dive Resort North Sulawesi Indonesia by Diveplanit

Our guide discovers a tiny octopus on this isolated coral clump.

Tiny octopus diving Black Rock near Manado at Thalassa Dive Resort North Sulawesi Indonesia by Diveplanit

Out on it’s own on the sand is a tube anemone.

Tube anemone diving Black Rock near Manado at Thalassa Dive Resort North Sulawesi Indonesia by Diveplanit

The area seems home to a number of juveniles, including this particularly small – but common – lionfish.

Small but common lionfish diving Black Rock near Manado at Thalassa Dive Resort North Sulawesi Indonesia by Diveplanit

Another find, before he sees me and disappears as fast as he arrived, is this trigger – I suspect a juvenile too.

Undefined triggerfish (juv maybe) diving Black Rock near Manado at Thalassa Dive Resort North Sulawesi Indonesia by Diveplanit

This fish has to be a juvenile too.  I have no idea what, but yes that Mohican haircut is his dorsal fin

Juvenile sweetlips (maybe) diving Black Rock near Manado at Thalassa Dive Resort North Sulawesi Indonesia by Diveplanit`

Lastly a number of dwarf lionfish – distinguishable by the fact that the pectoral fin is a single filament, not separated as in the common lionfish.

Dwarf lionfish diving Black Rock near Manado at Thalassa Dive Resort North Sulawesi Indonesia by Diveplanit

 

Dwarf lionfish diving Black Rock near Manado at Thalassa Dive Resort North Sulawesi Indonesia by Diveplanit

 

Dwarf lionfish diving Black Rock near Manado at Thalassa Dive Resort North Sulawesi Indonesia by Diveplanit

And finally, the dive guide points out these two red critters on the end of featherstar fronds.  They are so tiny I fail to understand what I am to get excited about … hopefully someone, somewhere reading this will appreciate the image.  (I just hope I never find the little buggars inside my wetsuit;)

Ghost Pipefish on the end of the feather star fronds diving Black Rock near Manado at Thalassa Dive Resort North Sulawesi Indonesia by Diveplanit