Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - Drop Off, 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.
The Drop Off (or The Wall) is located at the southern end of the town of Tulamben. An approximate GPS mark for the dive spot is 8Â° 16' 43.8"S 115Â° 35' 44.1"E (using WGS84 as the datum).
|A satellite photo from Google Earth that shows the location of the dive site |
The dive starts near the boats on the beach in the middle of the photo to the point at the right and back
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).
For this site, you walk across the road and then down the street a bit before going down a laneway. Partway down here you take a track that goes through a vacant lot. This comes out on the beach just before Paradise Dive Resort. From here you walk along the beach front, not on the beach but on the concrete wall base. Eventually you end up at a spot where there are lots of outrigger boats. Towards the end of this is the start of the dive.
If you have a car, you can access this site by taking the last lane on the left as you head south out of the main part of town (there is a sign saying that there is good diving here). There is a small parking area here. There is also a small shop that sells drinks and snacks, including coffee.
|A huge gorgonia on the top of the wall||More gorgonias |
When you get to the site, your gear will probably be here (transported by scooter) or soon turn up. The dive site is to the point to your right. Once geared up, you walk into the water. The beach here is, like all the beaches around here, composed of rocks. The ones here are large so care needs to be taken to not twist your ankle.
When you are safely in chest high water, you don your fins and then sink to the bottom. The sea floor here is black sand only a few metres from the water's edge and slopes away much more steeply than other dive sites in the area. The dive starts by going straight down to about eight metres and then turning right. As you go on you continue to get deeper. Within five minutes you will have reached the coral reef which extends right around the point.
|A giant cuttlefish ||A couple of squat lobsters on a sponge|
|A large eel||A speckled dermatobranch|
At first the reef is a reasonably gentle slope but soon becomes a very steep wall. The dive guides will tell you that the bottom of the wall is 65 metres but this is incorrect. Two friends who were on the dive trip with us dropped to the bottom, it is 55 metres! Anyway, once you hit this wall you can drop to the depth that you feel comfortable with.
We went to about 29 metres and continue our outward track. There are lots of gorgonias and sea whips, and right at the point, there is a huge gorgonia. By the time you get to this spot you will probably need to turn around (it will be about 25 minutes).
Once you turn around you should start ascending as you go or else you will run out of no deco time. There is plenty to see on this dive. We saw a very large hum-headed parrotfish came very close, a large moray eel, lots of nudibranchs and many skeleton shrimp (look on the hydroids).
|Humpheaded wrasse||"Dancing" shrimp |
|Pustulose phyllidie||Ornate ghost pipefish|
We also did this as a boat dive, starting around the point and drifting back almost to the beach. This gives you the chance to see a lot more of the site, especially the section near the point.
This was an excellent dive, with the potential to go quite deep (but for no real reason). The visibility was at least 30 metres and the water temperature was about 27Â°C.
Click here to return to the list of sites we did at Tulamben.