Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic Google translation from a post originally written in French. My apologies for the weird sentences and the funny mistakes that could have been generated during the process. If you can read French, the original and correct version can be found here:
I talked about it in previous article. The wreck of Liberty, in Tulamben (about 15 kilometers west of Amed) is Bali's most popular dive site in Indonesia.
I had already dive in 2002. And it's the very first dive I decided to do, the day after my arrival in Amed ...
I remember it as an easy and spectacular dive in clear water. If the show remained grandiose, the dive on Tuesday, it was rather sporty, with quite strong current and visibility not top. The fault, it seems, a few days of rain and wind, last week, which stirred the bottom.
Just the launch is difficult, this Tuesday, windy day. Big waves crash on the black pebble beach.
Despite the precautions and warnings of our guides and the help of the staff ofEco-Dive, who accompany us in the water, we are several to lose the balance on the pebbles, and to fall, with all our dive gear on the back, in the rollers ...
Without bobo for me, thankfully. An Australian was less fortunate: she smashed her knee out of the water. The trick is to start at the right moment, between two waves. The Australian is doing well anyway, she is left to hobble a few days, nothing broken.
A steel monster full of life
Here is a small preview of the wreckage video, made with my modest compact camera:
Underwater, we do not see the huge mass of cargo appear at the very last moment, when we are almost on it, so much visibility is bad. I intend to dive back into the wreck in a few days, hoping that it will be a little better.
But even without being able to completely look at this mastodon of steel, I am subjugated.
The wreck is, as in my memory, covered with corals, gorgonians, teeming with life. Poiscaille galore, all sizes, all colors ...
But it's not easy for me to take pictures. There is, on Tuesday, a current to decorate the nudibranchs. You have to enter the wreck, take shelter from the hull, to breathe a little.
Nothing scary in there. The openings are wide, easy. All "Swim-through" where we went let the light constantly filter.
Only photographer of the palanquée ...
But my palanquée palm a little too fast for me, the only photographer of the band. I am hardly posed in front of a pretty yellow leaf-fish, in a corner not too exposed to the current, that already the others spin towards the end of the hull ...
Bugger. I need a few minutes, me, in front of my little fish, the time to try to shoot him the portrait mouth open.
Mission accomplished ! I join them fissa, in two flippers, carried by the current. The others cling under a broken part of the hull, to contemplate the aquatic ballet of a bench of big jacks. Yes, who says running, says more life and fish on the run ...
Except that, again, I barely have time to stall in a corner, to admire the show, to lift my goal towards the bench that is cut against the light to the surface (how beautiful! ) that already the others are moving away to regain the inside of the hull ... Fortunately, the dive-master who makes broom-wagon is waiting for me.
But here, too palm like crazy in the current, some have already exhausted their air ... Two of them must go back, a French and an Australian, accompanied by the dive-master who closes the palanquée.
Muck diving on the black sand
So I finished the dive quietly with the "consumer economics" of which I am, another Australian, impressive with all its tek diver paraphernalia, and our dive-master Kadek. We sneak into the holes of the hull and have the good surprise to cross two napoleons well balèzes at the exit. With the pleasure of finishing the ride on a shallow, sandy "Muck-diving".
In front of big holes in the sand, Kadek hits two pebbles against each other. It soon emerges the elongated and globular eyes of a big "Manta-shrimp" or squille. Hop, I flaunt everything!
Leaving the water, I take the firm resolve to return. She is too big this wreck! There is too much to see, we do not know or give head!
And among the beautiful awards, early in the dive, Kadek found us, in the branches of a gorgon attached to the hull ... guess what? A seahorse-pygmy!
Yes, one more! Youpi! Come on, I can not resist the pleasure of putting you a little picture. He's so cute, that one.
But when we come back, the beach is already full of divers in black jumpsuits, tanks (air bottles) and carriers who carry the paraphernalia, sometimes two complete equipments poised on the head ...
All these people, who tumble to Tulamben around 11am, arrive from farther (Kuta, Sanur, Padangbai, Ubud) for an express dive on the famous wreck.
Eh eh ! We, who are there, we had it for us alone or almost!
Good plan for accommodation and diving in Tulamben: I have been to Bali many times since this trip of 2008 (in 2011, in 2012, in 2015) and I again plunged on the fabulous wreck of Liberty, but now with a guide for me alone and at the right times (those where there are less people) ... I point you to this real good plan of resort to divers, which is also an excellent address, especially if you are a photographer underwater, and you want to discover the wreck in the best possible conditions → Liberty Dive Resort
The history of Liberty :to learn more about this US Army cargo ship and how it ended up failing, on the north-east coast of Bali, right in front of the beach, you can check out this new article that I published in 2015 → Liberty Forever