The rudder, huge! (Liberty Wreck, Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia, July 2008)
The rudder, huge! (Liberty Wreck, Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia, July 2008)

Liberty, Bali's most famous wreck

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic Google translation from a post originally written in French. My apologies for the strange sentences and the funny mistakes that could gave been generated during the process. If you can read French, the original and correct version can be found here PetitesBullesdAilleurs.fr

  Indonesia: Bali - July 2008

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 ...

Delicate launching

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.

The dive is from the edge, from the black pebble beach of Tulamben. (Liberty Wreck, Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia, July 2008)
The dive is from the edge, from the black pebble beach of Tulamben. (Liberty Wreck, Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia, July 2008)

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 rudder, huge! (Liberty Wreck, Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia, July 2008)
The rudder, huge! (Liberty Wreck, Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia, July 2008)
Large openings allow easy entry into and out of the wreckage. (Liberty Wreck, Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia, July 2008)
Large openings allow easy entry into and out of the wreckage. (Liberty Wreck, Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia, July 2008)

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.

A nice cleaner shrimp takes the pose ... If I give him my fingers, she starts to do my nails! (Liberty Wreck, Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia, July 2008)
A nice cleaner shrimp takes the pose ... If I give him my fingers, she starts to do my nails! (Liberty Wreck, Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia, July 2008)
This big scorpion fish with a sinister look is not at all impressed by my camera. (Liberty Wreck, Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia, July 2008)
This big scorpion fish with a sinister look is not at all impressed by my camera. (Liberty Wreck, Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia, July 2008)

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.

This little yellow leaf fish, snuggled in the coral, half open its mouth in front of my lens. (Liberty Wreck, Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia, July 2008)
This little yellow leaf fish, snuggled in the coral, half open its mouth in front of my lens. (Liberty Wreck, Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia, July 2008)

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.

In the current, trevallies are having a great time ... (Liberty Wreck, Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia, July 2008)
In the current, trevallies are having a great time ... (Liberty Wreck, Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia, July 2008)

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!

Curious, the squire comes out of his hole. (Liberty Wreck, Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia, July 2008)
Curious, the squire comes out of his hole. (Liberty Wreck, Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia, July 2008)

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!

Pygmy Seahorse,

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!

Adorable, this hyppocampus-pygmy attached to its gorgon. (Liberty Wreck, Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia, July 2008)
Adorable, this hyppocampus-pygmy attached to its gorgon. (Liberty Wreck, Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia, July 2008)

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 ...

On the Tulamben beach, the carriers are able to carry two bottles on their heads. No need to try to wear in their place, they will not let you do ... This hard work is their livelihood. (Liberty Wreck, Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia, July 2008)
On the Tulamben beach, the carriers are able to carry two bottles on their heads. No need to try to wear in their place, they will not let you do ... This hard work is their livelihood. (Liberty Wreck, Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia, July 2008)

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

→ See also: all my articles on the wreck of the Liberty

  Indonesia: Bali - July 2008

  1. Eh eh!

    I suspected that you would take advantage of the computer Lydie to browse my little blog family ... Yes, these dives are a pure happiness. I really like Amed.

    See you soon!
    😉

  2. Hello,

    Since I discovered your websites about Asia and diving, I do not get tired.
    And with a trip to Bali planned in less than two weeks, I read and read again with pleasure your last comments on this destination.

    I have a small technical question about the photos of pigmed seahorses. What equipment do you use, with which settings? With my Olympus SP550 is the hippocampus is tiny in the center of the photo, or it is blurry (in macro mode).

  3. Hi Myriam,

    I wish you a good trip to Bali in advance ...

    For pygmy seahorses, I do not use any additional material (see the Material section, at the top of the page). I have a simple digital camera, the Canon A95 Powershot, with its subwoofer.

    For settings: manual mode (M) and I put an opening F8 or F7.1, until F6.3, in general, to have a depth of field as important as possible, history that the bug has a good chance of 'to be clean, then I adjust the exposure time accordingly, I put the flash (dose the power according to the distance with the critter), and then I shoot while praying that my autofocus face well the focus on the seahorse, I shoot, I shoot ... In the pile, there are good shots! I also choose a very high definition format, in order to zoom the photo and crop on the tiny hippocampus, without losing quality.

    The best way to get your hands done is to practice using macro mode on the ground, then under water, on immobile subjects.

    😉

  4. Ahhh ... I find again the pleasure that I felt while diving several times on this wreck very rich in fauna. Thank you for this description Corinne!

    PS: they improve the photos, no? ... 😉

  5. I will publish very soon the story of another dive, less "speed", on the wreck, in more pleasant conditions: better visi and less current. The wealth of wildlife is indeed spectacular.

    Thank you for this nice PS regarding the photos. Coming from you, it is a precious compliment ... It makes me very happy, especially since my device played me wrong laps under water (like: the flash button and / or macro mode that block).
    😯

  6. Wow the pygmy seahorse during the Liberty dive (this species there, I would not see it in Dominica, too bad), and the yellow leaf fish (In Mayotte I had seen a white one). It's a joke when photographers share sprinters, long live the homogenous palanquées especially in consumption of air ....
    In my beginnings obviously I pumped too quickly my 200 bars but now it makes me feel bad if we have to shorten the moment of happiness because of others!
    Good luck to Rennes

  7. @LiseMet: Ah, there, there, she is beautiful, this wreck ... (sigh). In general, I try to be indulgent, with "sprinters" and "beginners", but I have more and more trouble, I admit ... Too much frustration!
    😉

  8. Hello,

    We intend to return to Bali which has delighted us on our first trip (we felt exactly the same in the CDG Rennes), and since we have our level 1, we think to dive on the liberty ...

    But is there really a crowd? Do you have to dive early in the morning?

    thank you so much

    Alexander

    1. @Alex: yes, when I say that there is a crowd, there is really a crowd. It is indeed better to dive on the Liberty early, before the arrival of the bulk of the troops. She is really very nice, this wreck, accessible to all levels. And it has remained superb over the years, despite the affluence. I go back to Bali in a few days and I also plan to go dive too ... 😉

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