Muck Diving in Maumere

Warning: This post contains cool footage
of the spectacular mimic octopus

If you see something swimming by in the video above which looks like an underwater Far Side cartoon creature wearing horn-rimmed glasses, that would be the mimic octopus. Mimic octopus? If you are wondering where you heard that name before, it might be that you read a recent National Geographic article about the discovery of a species of jaw fish which, ironically enough, mimics the mimic octopus. (That’s a lot of mimicry!)

We spent a couple of days at Ankermi Happy Dive Resort in northern Flores diving their world-famous muck sites. Lucky finds included: mimic octopus, long-arm octopus, a dazzling variety of nudibranchs, cuttlefish, yellow and black seahorses, an adult painted frogfish, 4 large harlequin ghost pipefish… it’s like a muck diving miracle.

There were also several extremely small animals we had never seen before such as bizarrely tiny pipefish and micro-nudibranchs. These animals were so small that we actually dove with a magnifying glass. Filming during muck dives is always a challenge as, unlike the jaw fish and the mimic octopus, we don’t have the ability to mimic our surroundings. Despite the challenges, of all our dive videos, this just might be one of our favorites.

4 responses to “Muck Diving in Maumere”

  1. avatar Tony says:

    Ankermi Happy Dive Resort, which enjoys a great reputation among divers, has recently been receiving some negative reviews on various online sites.

    While we were staying with Ankermi Happy Dive, we experienced no major problems but it was VERY clear that Kermi’s mind was somewhere else and that the quality of service had declined. Organizing dives was like pulling teeth, food was overpriced and poorly made, accommodation was overpriced – it was very clear that the resort had seen better times.

    But once we got underwater, it became clear why Ankermi Happy Dive is so well known. Kermi was injured, so we dove with Juven who had been trained by Kermi. Anyone who enjoys muck diving knows that a good guide makes the experience. They are exceptionally talented at finding hard to spot life and Juven went to great lengths to find new animals on each dive. The stretch of rocky beach in front of the resort is an octopus gold mine.

    However, with the current level of organization, I would advise people to think twice before coming all the way to Flores just to dive here. Although the diving itself might merit it, I would hate for people to fly halfway around the world only to be told certain dives could not be organized.

    We hope that Kermi and Claudia were just experiencing a rough patch and that the resort finds its way back to its former glory. If you have recently dived with Ankermi Happy Dive Resort, please tell us a little about your experience with them in the comment section.

  2. avatar Carrie Ann says:

    I can’t tell you about Ankermi Happy Dive Resort, but I can say that your video is great! Those mimic octopus are fantastic! I enjoyed that.

  3. avatar Virginie says:

    I’m surprised by your review. I wanted to go there and emailed Ankermi 2 months before. They answered they were already fully booked. I wasn’t sure they were talking about the rooms or the dives so I emailed again, and… no answer… I don’t like that. Do you happen to know if other parts of the bay offer similar muck diving as what your video shows ?
    All the best,

    • avatar Tony says:

      Hi Virginie,

      There are other dive companies in the area, but Ankermi really has the expertise. I think they have begun to rely so much on their reputation that they have become sloppy with the rest of the business. I hate to admit it, but they do actually deserve their dive reputation. They know what they are doing.

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