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Trip Report: Scuba Diving in Bali

Posted on July 19th, 2007 filed in Travelogues    |   

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Just returned from a fabulous diving trip in Bali. In addition to being a true exotic destination, Bali offers great diving with five star certified Paddi operators, and various diving sites each with its own flavor, and rich marine life.

Bali lies on the Indian Ocean in South East Asia northwest of Australia. Diving can be enjoyed all year round thanks to its tropical climate and the usual 25-30 celsius degrees water temperature.

The main diving sites in Bali include:

Menjangan Island: This is located at the northwest tip of the island. It is best to spend the night in Lovina, one hour away by car. Then start your day early and head to this island using of one of the ferry boats there. The ferry boat trip will take around 30 minutes. Lots of tropical fish await you including the infamous clownfish and surrounding anemones, stingrays, scorpionfish, eels,…

Typical dive trips there include two dives at different parts of the island. Bonus: Many caves filled with bats hibernating.

Tulamben Wreck: This is a shore and wreck dive suitable for all diving levels of expertise. Tulamben lies at the eastern shore of Bali. Getting there requires a lengthy drive from either Lovina, Ubud, or Nusa Dua and takes around 2-3 hours by car.

In world War II, The USAT Liberty Glo, a huge US cargo ship filled with war accessories, was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine about 16 kms southwest of Lombok, one island east of Bali. The damaged ship was then towed by U.S. and Dutch vessels to the Tulamben shore in order to save the cargo. The ship stayed on the beach for 21 years until Mount Agung, Bali volcano, erupted in 1963. The eruption tremors caused the vessel to move in the water and sink. It now lies on a sand slope in 9 to 30 m of water and is considered the best dive Bali has to offer. The wreck is 120 meters long

The beach itself is rocky from Mount Agung volcanic deposits. The dive company that is taking you will arrange for your equipment to reach the spot from which you will start your dive. Street vendors also offer digital underwater cameras for rent. It usually costs $25 for one day use and you get a CD with all your pictures 15 minutes after you emerge from your second and final dive of the day.

This is a very popular dive site so it is quite likely that the place will be crowded. I noted numerous underwater photographers and videographers which is quite understood because of the stunningly diverse underwater ecosystem. The two dives were quite pleasant and the visibility acceptable at 15 meters. There were no currents to speak of.

Nusa Penida: The dive at this island east of south Bali (Nusa Dua, sanur) is for experienced divers only because of the strong currents.

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One Response to “Trip Report: Scuba Diving in Bali”

  1. Joshua Says:

    Bali!!!! Ah! What a beautiful island…it is like a small piece of paradise right here on earth…and Diving in Bali is definitely the icing on the cake…

    My girlfriend and I are open water certified and we have done many dives in the Great Barrier Reef back home in Australia, (Cairns). But to be honest, the dives we did in Bali were even more enjoyable.

    As you said, many diving companies are available at different prices and some are quite cheap too, but we decided that it is better to be safe in that case even if it meant more money, so we went with the 5 Stars Padi company and they were great. They offered Transportation from the hotel and back to, Ferry rides to the diving site, even Lunch (a couple of sandwiches with water and fruits) as well as all the necessary diving equipment all at an extremely reasonable rate. Our guide (Dive Master) was very knowledgeable of all the sea creatures and professional.

    Personally, my favorite dive was at Tulamben Wreck. First of all, it was offshore diving, that is you do not need to take a ferry, and the wreck is so rich, it is surreal, the colors, the diversity in the coral reefs, I saw so many fish such as different kinds of clown-fish, Angel-Fish, Butterfly-Fish, and stinging Ray, Spagettghi Eels that hid the second we got closer, a whole school of baby blue ribbon eels, a lion fish….many, many more schools of fish and of course Nemo!!!!

    It was great and I only hope we will be back there soon….

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