Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia
Trip Report by
Julius Leung and Chloe Pupaiboon
The week started of with a bang as a group of divers with GS-Diving consisting mainly of students from an International School, headed for Tulamben, Bali.
The travelling time was rather lengthy as we had to take a plane for 3 to 4 hours to reach the airport at Denpasar, Bali. After arriving at the airport, there were drivers from Tulamben Wreck Divers Resort to pick us up and take us to the resort.
It was a long drive (approximately 4 hours), before we got to let our hair down at the resort.
Although lengthy, the trip there was really fun, especially with the youngsters constantly bugging Gary by asking him the same questions over and over again e.g. “Are we there yet Gary”?
After we were assigned to our rooms and settled down, we headed to a nearby restaurant for dinner. We were greeted by a humungous gecko when we arrived. It was brown and full of red spots and someone even described it as a cartoon character and wished that it could talk.
Now on to the main gist of this whole trip – diving! On the first day, after assembling all our gear, we familiarised ourselves with three different sites, the “Liberty Wreck”, the “Drop Off” and “Coral Gardens”. It was a pretty good start to the week as we all enjoyed the great visibility and mild current.
The next day, some of us decided to rise and shine early to do the first ever morning dive at 6.30am. We completed a lovely dive at the Liberty wreck and it was a great way to start our morning, seeing wide ranges of vibrant coral and fish and that was followed up by an English breakfast.
Afterwards, some of the divers completed another four dives for the day. One even did a sixth dive that day, completing his PADI Night Dive Speciality.
Most of the dives were really fun and entertaining as we got to explore the Liberty Wreck, flashing our torches into all the crevices that we could see, trailing huge groupers, snappers and sweetlips in and out of the the wreck.
Divers also watched a wetsuitless diver known as Julius suffer the harsh cold of the thermocline.
The Drop Off was also a wondrous site to dive. There was a cliff which went down to around 35 or 40 metres and was covered in a huge array of coral. At one point of time during the dive, at around 26 metres, hanging of the cliff wall was a humongous sea fan coral, easily two metres from one side to the other.
The marine life was abundant and the visibility was great. We could spot schools of fishes the second we made our descent.
With such an authentic atmosphere, some of us youngsters just couldn’t resist taking underwater selfies with each other, statues and many of the hundreds things that we spotted.
During the dives, the local dive guides pointed out to the divers many cool things like cleaner shrimps, really small nudibranches, mantis prawns and many others.
During our surface intervals, most of our divers hung out at the pool, splashing water at each other and carrying each other on their backs etc. It was really entertaining, seeing everyone so engaged with one another.
During that time, Miguel kept mentioning about how he spotted an eel go inside a pipe on the side of the Liberty wreck but what he thought to be a pipe was actually a canon/gun.
Gary kept explaining to him that it was a gun and it was hilarious to see Miguel in so much disbelief as he kept repeating, “It was a gun?!”
The moray eel can be seen on the left of Miguel in this picture.
On the second last day of diving, we took a drive out to a distant dive site called Kubu. We completed two dives at the site and there wasn’t much of a current which was good for us.
During our surface interval between the dives some of us were just climbing onto big boulders in the sea or skipping stones off the beach. Right after surfacing from the second dive, we packed away all the gear and were chauffeured back to the resort.
Time sure goes by real fast when you are having fun. The last night finally arrived. We were ferried to the resort’s beachfront restaurant where we shared our official last meal in Bali. Over the last few succulent satays, authentic peanut sauce, crisp finger food and the BBQ chicken, we poured over our nostalgia, sharing and congratulating one another’s achievements (some of which included doing absolutely nothing or just being able to win at the Oreo game). After filling up our tummies, we decided to take a nice stroll along the restaurant’s pool side. It was a great way to wind down as it was peaceful, quiet and there was a nice breeze blowing at us. After a great night, we left back for Singapore early the next morning and that concluded our amazing dive trip.
Cheers, Julius and Chloe
Here is the list of people certified over this trip.
Russell Huang, Erica Leung, Marcus Loh and Miguel Loh – PADI Advanced open Water
Aaqil Nizan – PADI Search and Recovery
Chloe Pupaiboon, Favian Liu and Julius Leung – PADI Deep Diver
Chloe Pupaiboon, Favian Liu and Julius Leung – PADI Wreck Diver
Favian Liu and Julius Leung – PADI Side mount Diver
Thanks to Karen Savins for the use of your photos. Additional photos can be viewed on the GS-Diving Facebook page – click here to view