DIVING IN TULUMBEN: A Dive Site for Everyone
USS Liberty Shipwreck
If getting "wrecked" is your thing, we have the famous USAT Liberty wreck right on our doorstep!
A cargo-ship with stem-engine with a weight around 6200 ton, started from New Jersey (US) in 1918. On 11 January she was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine about 20 km south in the Lombok Strait and in 1963 the eruption of Mount Agung caused the vessel to slip off the beach, and she now lies on a sandy slope in 5 to 30 meters of water.
The wreck rests on its starboard (right) side, 35 metres from the beach in Tulamben. The bow pointing north on the edge of a very steep, sloping sand bottom. The Liberty is far from intact, though some parts you can easily recognize. There is a lot of swim-throughs, though it should be used caution when penetrating. The Liberty is also good for one or two night dives. Big nudies, weird crustaceans, morays, crabs, shrimps and bump heads is some of the main highlights! Recommended.
OTHERS POINTS OF INTEREST:
One of the few wall dives in Tulamben and the wall goes down to about 100 meter. There is a resident school of yellow-striped snapper and it is not uncommon to see big bumphead parrotfish in the shallow waters. It is a popular place for pygmy seahorse and you can find gobys, whipped coral shrimp and ladybug (amphipods) here too.
From Amed village we go by traditional Jukung (outrigger boat), or speed boat. Dive usually begins with shallow area of 3 to 8m in a wonderful coral garden. You may see turtles, parrotfish and a huge variety of smaller creatures. A moderate current will guide us in about 10 min to the drop off, which drops to a depth of 35m. It is beautifully grown with soft coral and any possible species of reef fish can be found there.
Between the Liberty wreck and drop-off lies a streak of mostly black sandy bottom, despite the name. They do have an artificial reef, and many underwater statues, both from Hindu and Buddhist religion. It is a fairly shallow dive-site that can be good for snorkeling when the conditions are good. Ribbon eel, anemone fish, mantis shrimp and cardinal fish is among the residents.