Diving the Munsom Kelp Forest
     
  ۼ : Ralf  
  ۼ : 2005/02/25 17:08  
  ȸ : 3795  
     
  Dive No. 1325/26 - Little Munsom - visibility 7m - water 16C - air 11C

Those were two nice dives in the kelp that grows from the bottom to the surface everywhere around Munsom in these days. It grows fast and changes the scenery underwater a lot within a few days.

Kelp plants grow on hard surfaces only on which they can attach their holdfasts (the "roots" of the kelp plant). They also need cool (less than 20 C) and clear water which is rich in nutrients and a moderate water movement. Waves that are too rough will tear the kelp plants, they will drift away. loose their positive buoyancy and sink to the bottom where they rot.

This kind of kelp produces gas and keeps it in small bulbs all along the plant. These gas bulbs provide buoyancy and keep the kelp plant upright as long as the current does not push it down like in the picture below. Kelp plants strech towards the sun and the blades ("leaves") spread out along the surface of the water in order to collect as much sunlight as possible. The plant uses the sunlight`s energy for photosynthesis to produce food and gas for the bulbs.

Kelp plants are used in the local cusine of Jeju to make a number of side dishes and "Mom-Guk", a stew which is cooked with kelp and pork.

The kelp attracts a lot of marine life and we saw schools of fish seeking shelter in the kelp. It is quite a bit darker under the kelp and light rays fall through the branches. Diving through the kelp is a bit like walking in a bamboo forest plus weightlessness ...

Safe diving

Ralf


 
     
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