Gobi and shrimp outside their hole, very hard to take as they dart back in when they see any threat of danger – including cameras!

Coastline at Tulanben

The Liberty wreck in Tulanben was our first ever wreck dive, we both agreed it was worth revisiting. It is a large wreck (120m), in shallow waters about 40m offshore. Briefly, it was a cargo ship (1918) that had been hastily armed with a bow and stern gun for WWII service but was disabled by a Japanese torpedo on Jan 11 1942.  The ship limped towards Singaraja but only made it to Tulanben where it was beached to keep it from sinking. It was only in 1963 that the tremors produced by a nearby volcanic eruption caused her to roll off the beach and sink.

What is wonderful about this wreck is that in just over 50 years it has become a very rich and diverse marine site.

We had 2 dives here, the first going round the wreck and the second enjoying some swim throughs expoloring the cargo holds.

Notable sightings were

  • turtle in the cargo hold munching algae from the wreck supports
  • sweetlips lined up under the boom with a yellow pipefish
  • hermit crab on a the move
  • small army of harlequin shrimps
  • blue spotted ray and a swimming flat fish
  • white nudi highlighted against black sand
  • well disguised scorpion fish

Overall the visibility was good, the sun shone lighting up the deck, there were lots of fish and the views coming through different holes in the wreck superstructure were magical.

Coral growing on wreck

On our first dive there was next to no current and it was very relaxing. For our second dive the tide had started to go out and so from our point of return it was a little more difficult. Good to find places where the wreck sheltered us from the tide so we could continue to enjoy looking at the varied marine life. I decided to stop taking photos and just relish the dive.

On our way back to Padangbai we stopped at a small resort for lunch, just along from an old royal water palace. Beautiful setting looking out at waves breaking and my beef rendang was excellent. Unfortunately the crayfish (that John breeds) were not available, but we did see them in the breeding pools. The drive there was through a more rural, less well traveled area with narrow winding roads and beautiful views of rice paddies.

See below for a compilation of photos from our dive