Liveaboard Diving in Tulamben Bay
What To Expect on A Tulamben Bay Liveaboard
Liveaboard diving in Tulamben Bay will ultimately be visiting this area for dives on the famous Liberty Ship Wreck, but the area also offers divers the complete package of dive sites. Wreck dives, wall dives, drift dives, and muck dives can all be found on this tiny stretch of Bali coastline. Located on the east coast of Bali and visited by a select few Indonesian liveaboard itineraries, a visit to this iconic Bali dive area is a must. With stunning, black cliffs of volcanic rock stretching across almost the entirety of Tulamben Bay.
Tulamben Bay Underwater
Visibility is usually very clear, upwards of 100 feet (30 m). With little current on many dive sites, divers of all certifications are given an opportunity to gaze upon some of the rarest, most exquisite marine species in unique environments. Black, volcanic sands give photographers a distinctive background upon which colours take on another life.
A Tulamben Bay liveaboard cruise will allow divers to see some amazing macro marine life which has made the Liberty Ship Wreck here home. But not everything is about the small stuff, keep an eye out in the blue for passing reef sharks or schools of bumphead parrot fish
Dive Sites Of Tulamben Bay
Liberty Ship Wreck In January 1942, the USAT Liberty was towed onto the shores of Tulamben Bay following a hit by a torpedo fired from a Japanese submarine. It wasn't until the devastating blast of a volcanic eruption in 1963 that tremors pushed the USAT Liberty back into the ocean and to its final resting place. The density of fish life is probably higher here than anywhere along the coast of Tulamben Bay. The entire wreck is now encrusted with coral, dotted with yellow and purple gorgonian fans. Invertebrates, and even the well-hidden pygmy seahorse, have made their home among the various sponges and coral branches. Shoals of fusilier fish and anthias draw high numbers of larger fish from Napoleon wrasse and barracuda, to blacktip reef sharks and giant trevallies. A single dive to this site is not enough! Many divers come here as the sole purpose of their dive trip.
Seraya Secret remains a fairly undiscovered and new site compared to others around Bali. As it happens, Seraya Secret is perhaps one of the best sites for macro photographers, on account of the abundant diversity of tiny species found here; nudibranchs, shape-shifting mimic octopus, bright yellow frogfish, mottled harlequin shrimp and even the elusive ghost pipefish can all be spotted by the trained eye.
Tulamben Wall consists of many rocky features, with plenty of overhangs, all encrusted with coral. The overhangs provide some shelter to the inhabitants from the fairly moderate currents that sweep along the wall. This site is particularly noted for the variety of angelfish that can be found, including the blue striped angelfish and emperor angelfish, with juveniles being almost hypnotic is pattern.
Top Tips For Divers
Those aiming to dive the Liberty Ship Wreck are advised to go in the morning. Most liveaboards that visit Tulamben Bay will call here either on the way to or back from a further destination. Fewer local dive centres tend to visit this location in the morning, while afternoon dives can get quite busy around the wreck.
Although a major attraction, the fantastic visibility can also prove to be a hazard. Divers can sometimes become quite disorientated in the clear water, losing bearing on their depth, especially along wall dives where there is little reference to depth. It's especially important to maintain good buoyancy control while keeping tabs on your computer or depth gauge. Dive guides will very often set a maximum planned diving depth before each dive.
Getting To Tulamben Bay
The only international airport in Bali, Ngurah Rai is located on the southern coast in Denpasar (the capital city of Bali). It is possible to catch a direct flight from many countries, and the list of airlines offering direct services is growing.
Although, if you are travelling from Europe, there are currently no direct flights. Connecting flights are normally caught at Kuala Lumpur, or Bangkok. Depending from where you begin your journey, you may instead connect via Dubai, Singapore or Hong Kong.
Those setting off from Bali on a Indonesian liveaboard tend to leave from Benoa Harbour in Denpasar, directly opposite the airport, across from the bay. Journeys by car can also be arranged, while many choose to rent a moped to move around Bali.