Tulamben is a little village in the northeast coast of Bali, the beach is black sand covered by smooth, fist-size rocks. The remains of Gunung Agung exploding in 1963 has sent the lava flows along this coastal area. There is a bay here that invites divers to visit this village to explore under water scene. The bay was later known as Tulamben Bay amongst the divers. The excellent diving sites in this bay are Ship Wreck (USAT Liberty
Cargo),Paradise Reef and Drop Off (actually rugged wall). These sites are the best beach entry scuba diving in all of Bali, further east about 15 minutes cruising in a small out rigger fishing boat, will bring you to other diving sites known as Alamanda Reef and Batu Kelebit. A car ride 10 minutes further west of Tulamben and you will be in Kubu village with its beach similar in condition to Tulamben Bay offers a diving on the pristine Kubu Reef.
Ship Wreck (USAT Liberty Cargo)
100 species of pelagic. This is a remarkable number for an area just 120 meters long. On the slack tide is a good time to do night dive, remarkable flashlight fishes (Anomalops katoptron) in the black corals at the bow blink the like starslight in the sky. Visibility is average 15 to 20 meters and water temperature is roughly warm 28 to 29 degrees C.
The name of this reef has been taken from the hotel standing on the beach, Paradise Hotel. This shallow patch reef is delightful and richly covered more than 200 meters long and lies in 5 to 15 meters of water. This reef is dominated by Acropora, hard corals, some large table corals and Fire corals, there are also large Clownfish Anemones, Crinoids, Leather corals and bushes of Hydroids and supports diversity of fish population in this area, Parrotfish, Wrasse, Snappers and the rest of other marine fish, as well as rarities like Ribbon Eels, Frogfish and unusual Scorpionfish. Past the patch reef down the slope is a rubble sandy bottom at 20 to 35 meters, in a single Crinoids feather star is sometimes a pair of Ornate Ghost Pipefish found with many other unusual and weird critters, like Steene’s Dotty Backs (Pscudochromis Steene) bright orange face with spiky teeth and pushed lower jaw and variety of Nudibranchs.
Photographers and divers who like macro sea life this is a favourite site to discover and experience unusual animals. For night dive this is a very convenient location due its position close to main resort at Tulamben.
Drop Off (Rugged Wall)
The locals of Tulamben call this reef “Drop Off”, it is actually rugged wall reef stretching out seaward, and the reef wall descends down over 70 meters. Black corals, soft corals and hard corals grow well on the crannies and overhangs at around 18 meters, there live an abundance of Cleaner Shrimps and large fishes are waiting in overhangs to be cleaned. The hook of the wall at 28 meters where the reef extends to the sloping eastern reef stands a huge purple sea fan Gorgonian, over 2 meters wide this is a sticking land mark on the reef wall. A prolific variety of schooling fish swim around the corner of the wall, and even invertebrate animals are often encountered at this rugged wall reef. In the shallow crannies the reef is delightfully rich with a marine life.
Flashlight Fish (Photoblepharon palpebratus) during night dives is a remarkable scene on bushy black corals at the overhang of the wall. The current normally runs north, as the beach entry we have to think to travel back with the ample air in the tank, the Divemaster or Instructor will assist with this problem. Water temperature is always warm roughly 28 to 29 degrees C underwater.
Alam Anda Reef
Pick up a small wooden local outrigger fishing boatuse it to cruise beyond the Drop Off, you will find a healthy Alam Anda Reef. The steep slope reef is dominated by dome hard corals, soft corals and variety of Gorgonians, below 20 to 30 meters is rich ridged reef with large number of sponges, Barrel sponges, variety of reef fishes, Pygmy Seahorse on purple sea fan is favourite macro critter amongst the experienced divers, sometime on a single sea fan you can find 5 to 10 Pygmies.
Current mainly bring the diver toward the Drop Off, water temperature is warm and good visibility, and it makes a great drift diving experience with the boat waiting at the end of your dive.
Batu Kelebit ReefIs named after the local fishermen, literally the Kelebit Rocks, are two large underwater boulders lying just offshore, one of two pointed jagged crest of lava is always submerged, the other point is crusted by water used as a marker for the diving area. Sand channels between two reef ridges is covered by fire corals leading to the reef edges at 25 to 40 meters, which are rich and healthy reef is covered with an extremely diverse growth of hard corals, sponges, gorgonians and every other encrusting animal. The current runs towards the north, sometimes strong but mostly mild brings planktons that has accumulated at the reef edges, inviting larger pelagic animals to appear like White Tip Reef Sharks, schools of Jacks, Dogtooth Tuna and even Sunfish.
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