Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - Harlequin Slope, Indonesia
In September 2012 Kelly and I did a week long liveaboard dive trip in Indonesia which went from Bali to Komodo and back. We went on the MV Mermaid II. Click here to read about the boat.
The following week we travelled to Tulamben where were spent another week diving the north-eastern coast of Bali. We used Tulamben Wreck Divers, click here to read about the town and dive operation. This is one of the dive sites we did during the second week. There are literally hundreds of dive sites located within a few kilometres of Tulamben.
Harlequin Slope is located about 200 metres to the south-east of the wreck of the Liberty. An approximate GPS mark for the dive spot is 8Â° 16' 31.8"S 115Â° 35' 35.1"E (using WGS84 as the datum).
|A satellite photo from Google Earth that shows the location of the dive site |
The site is to the bottom of the boat
As with virtually all dive sites that you do here, you gear up at the dive shop and then walk to the actual site. Meanwhile, your dive gear is transported by porters (on their head or on a scooter). You walk across the road and through the car park and once at the exit to the beach, you walk down next to the wall of the adjacent dive resort to the beach.
As per other locations near here, the beach is composed of larger rocks that make it a bit difficult when entering and exiting the water. Care needs to be taken to not twist an ankle. Once in the water you don your fins and then descend to the black sand bottom.
|Phylidiella pustu||Giant Cuttlefish |
|Blue ribbon eel||Black spot toadfish|
The dive site is similar to the other locations, with sand ridges running out perpendicular to the beach. The ridges have small outcrops of coral here and there. In between the ridges are shallow gullies. These generally do not have coral growing in them. The bottom slopes quite gradually. We went to about 29 metres down one of the gullies.
At this depth, our guide Nyoman (pronounced Newman) went to a small pile of rocks. Here he uncovered some rocks and voila, three harlequin shrimps. There were two large ones and one tiny baby. These brilliantly coloured shrimp are probably the most fantastic shrimp you will ever see. Their colours are amazing, a white background with blue-ringed light brown circles. A must see.
|Seapen and crab ||Phyllidia ocellata |
|Risbecia pulchell||Soft coral crab|
From here we went south-east and up onto the adjacent ridge where there was a lot more coral. We then went to the next gully and from there to the next ridge. While doping this we worked our way shallower. Here there were lots of nudibranchs and even a large cuttlefish. On the way there were some sea pens which had interesting shrimp on them.
We came across a cleaning station which was staffed by cleaner shrimp. There was a moray eel getting cleaned. I got close and opened my mouth and soon I had a couple of shrimp inside my mouth attempting to clean my teeth. Amazing! Easy to do, just get close. To get rid of them when you need to take another breathe, just blow them out.
We gradually worked our way shallower. We came across more nudibranchs, soft coral crabs, mantis shrimp and more. As we go, we headed a bit back to the north-west and exited at the same spot we entered the water.
|A really weird looking shrimp ||Mantis shrimp |
|Harlequin Shrimp||Harlequin Shrimp |
This was an excellent dive, as good as any dive you would ever want to do. The visibility was probably 30 metres and the water temperature was about 27Â°C. Click here to return to see the dive profile from my computer.
Click here to return to the list of sites we did at Tulamben.