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    Batu Kelebit, Tulamben, Indonesia
    Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - Batu Kelebit, Indonesia

    6 In May 2024 I spent a bit over two weeks diving in Tulamben before moving south to Amed for another week's diving. Both these places are on the north-eastern coast of Bali. While at Tulamben you virtually only do shore dives, most of the dives at Amed were boat dives. Some of these were back up towards Tulamben and some were even to the wreck of the USAT Liberty (which we declined to go on).

    Just south of the main township of Tulamben is The Drop Off. While the Drop Off is normally done as a shore dive, unlike other dive sites, The Drop Off has a shear wall and lots of coral. Further south there are similar dive sites and back in 2012 and 2014 I did a couple of them from the small fishing boats that line the beach at the start of the Drop Off.

    This site is about 650 metres south-east from the start of the Drop Off (or The Wall as it is sometimes called). An approximate GPS mark for the start of this dive is S8° 16.900' E115° 36.0833' (using WGS84 as the datum).

    Satellite Photo
    A satellite photo from Google Earth that shows the location of the dive site
    The dive starts near above the end of the word backpacker and ends in the bay above all the buildings

    As I mentioned, I did this dive in a boat from Amed. You could also do it from Tulamben, with a much shorter run. I did it as a second dive after a surface interval at Cantik Point where our second tanks were waiting for us. It would normally take about 30 minutes to cover the 7.0 kilometres from to Hotel Uyah in the Dive Amed boat (which really could have done with a bottom scrape as it was covered in barnacles).

    The run there was not too bad but the trip back was into a reasonable wind which created small sloppy waves and it took over 35 minutes for a shorter distance. This dive started where we finished our previous one at Palung Palung. A few days later we did another dive which started where we finished this one at Emerald.

    Batu KelebitBatu Kelebit
    Typical bottom scene at the start of the dive with large chunky spongesThinner tube sponges

    The dive starts in next to a bombora which is just off the shore. Once in the water we headed east and then south-east. Eventually we ended up mostly heading south. The bottom at first is a steeply sloping sand based reef with some coral outcrops. There are similar sponges and gorgonias to the dive at Palung Palung.

    There is another large friendly turtle, a juvenile ribbon eel, a few large moray eels and many lionfish. The dive ends up in the bay as shown in the map above. This is off an abandoned dive resort which has been like that since my first trip here in 2011. Off this bay there are five large structures that we apparently put here by the resort owner as artificial reefs.

    Batu KelebitBatu Kelebit
    One of the artificial reefsAnother of the artifical reefs

    These are very large structures, built out of very thick steel and likely to last a long time. Even the ones built in Sydney are nowhere as solidly built and we have much larger swells (8 to 10 metres including 7 metres as I write this). There are also some smaller structures as shown below. There are also three large Admiralty anchors with brand new stainless steel chains. These go up to buoys.

    Around the artificial reefs there are a lot of marine life, with fish and eels inside the structures and hanging around. It makes for a very interesting end to the dive.

    This was quite a good dive. The visibility was at least 30 metres and the water temperature was about 28°C.

    MORE PHOTOGRAPHS OF ARTIFICIAL REEF

    All photographs from a GoPro 5.

    Batu KelebitBatu Kelebit
    Batu KelebitBatu Kelebit

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