Donnerstag, 21. November 2013

North of Bali

Diving in the north of Bali
Beautiful Bay of Jemeluk

Bali has more tourist services than anywhere else in Indonesia. It is a beautiful island and the diving is excellent. There are many different diving sites here from the steep walls of the island Menjangan in the Bali Barat National Park to the area of Amed and Tulamben in the north - east of Bali to the currents
Beach of Amed
and cold water of Nusa Penida in the south - east with Mantas and Mola molas.
The north east coast is the driest part of Bali. The visibility is usually very good and the fish and coral life is excellent. Therefore the corals are growing in crystal clear water. Divers on a tight schedule could dive Jemeluk in the morning and the Tulamben wreck - just a few kilometers away- in the afternoon. But both areas offers more than 20 different excellent dive spots. The area of Amed offers the best variety of fish life and coral formation we have seen in all of Bali. Amed is just off Bali´s main east coast highway. Comming up from the south the hghway pases through Klungkung, Candi Dasa, Amlapura and Culik. Just 10 km before Tulamben, a paved side road from the little town of Culik drops directly to the coast at Amed, 3 kilometers away. From Amed , the paved road turns right and passes a long stretch of traditional salt works. Two kilometers from Amed you are in Jemeluk, a fairly small bay with a beach of black, vulcanic sand, crowded with about a hundred colorful jukung, local outrigger fishing canoes powered by sails or small outboards.
Actually Amed is a little fishing village in the northeast of Bali. It is not only one village it is more a coastline with several bays. The people there are very friendly and polied. It is a good place to go for scuba diving. Above and below the water there are many things to discover. The water palaces Tirtaganga and Ujung where you can see different cultural Hindu ceremonies. Or you can climb up one of the main temples of Bali - Lampujang. Up in the mountains you have a wounderfull view over rice padies and down to the sea. The diving is fantastic! Try all the different diving sites which offers drift dives, muck diving, slopes and dropoffs, wrecks and artificial coral gardens. I organise my trip with the wounderfull people of amed scuba. All the time friendly, joking and helpfull in any way. I will come back because I fall in love with this little village and the people of Amed.
The landscape is dominated by the Gunung Agung
Corals have not a huge tolerance against fresh water influences and here the amount of salt is stabil. A great environment to let the corals grow until the surface. The difference with the green south is amazing. The landscape is dominated by the Gunung Agung, Mount Batur and Gunung Catur.
First you reach Amed, a small fishing village with a very long and varied shoreline, decorated with many secluded bays. A good ite for snorkeling and diving directly from the shore, with a steep coral wall, with wreck dives, drift dives and collourful coral gardens. Here you can spot magical coral gardens, crabs, cuttle fish, octopus, turtles, lots of different species of nudibranches, ghostpipefish, pygmy seahorses, seahorses, sharks and sometimes Mola molas or treasure sharks in Gili Selang. The variety of different diving sites and possibilities are amazing!
Turtles are quite common in Amed

Gili Selang
Coral Garden in Gili Selang

Reef type: Coastal reef; flats, slope
Access: 5 minutes by small boat
Visibility: Fair to good, 20-30 meters
Current: around the island, surge inside the coral garden
Coral: The best you might have ever seen, best hart and soft coral variety in Bali
Fish: Exellent numbers, superb variety of small reef fishes, fish schools and big fish around the island
Highlight: Density of fish, amazing coral formations, collours and shape of soft and hart corals.
We approach Gili Selang by a local fishing boat called Jukung. Diving with local fisher man means also to support the local infrastructure and let the fisherman know how lovely is this diving experience and give them some income from the dive industrie and the tourism. Gili Selang is a small island right at the most eastern point of Bali. This dive site is beautiful for its location and its hart and soft corals but fierce currents make it quite tricky for the diver. Gili Selang is for me one of the most beautiful dive sites in Bali and in the world! But it is not possible to dive here as beginner because you will find a strong rotate up- and down current like in a washing machine. And this dive is also only possible if the conditions are good here! The small island Gili Selang is divided from Bali through an only five meter deep channel. North of the island is a shallow lagoon where we start our dive. Here you will find a marine life which is virtually untouched. This underwater world offers a rich array of fish and hard and soft coral which you see nowhere else. The lagoon is only 18 meters deep and you will notice similar no current. If you leave the lagoon to dive around the island you find a wall falling down in the deep blue. Sometimes you will find here a very strong up and down current. You should be an experienced diver to stand this washing machine! With a little luck you can see here hammerhead sharks as well.We have to check the tide and the conditions carefully before we dive this spot. It offers reward with its huge under water rocks covered with magical colourful hart- and soft coral and surrounded by all kinds of fish, eagle rays, turtles, millions of colourful fishes, octopus, cuttle fishes, reef sharks, hammerhead sharkes and treasure sharks. One of the most beautiful diving sites here in Bali or maybe the most beautiful... The coralgardens are still untouched.

Clouds of fishes in the coral garden of Kusambi

Hexacoralia in Kusambi
If you want to see Mola molas here in Amed - Kusambi is the place to go! Only recommended for experienced divers! We approach Kusambi by a local fishing boat called Jukung. We start in a safe bay, dive down to a small wall and follow the current along the coral garden. Kusambi is special for its spectacular hart and soft corals but has usually quite a strong current. The fishing boat will follow the divers! It is worth the effort because the dive in Kusambi is very special indeed. Mola molas in deep water, reef sharks, sting rays, eagle rays and millions of reef fishes inhabit this area as well as gorgonians, sponges and feather stars. Huge coral blocks surrounded from colourful coral gardens sometimes with cold currents in a termocline give this invironment a lots of nutrigens to grow in amazing forms. You will never forget this diving site when you dive in Gili Selang or in Kusambi. 

Blue Lagoon

With a local outrigger boat we reach the beautiful drift diving site Blue Moon. Because of the current we will drift through a soup of fish. Millions of Anthias are floating over steakhorn coral fields. Bigger schools of fish can be spotted here and sometimes a hunter like baraccudas go shoping here. A beautiful schenery with under water canyans can be seen here with sponges in all sizes and hart- and soft corals in all shapes and colours. Sharks are hunting here as well as large moray eels. Huge Napoleons, sting rays and even occasionally bullrays appear in this area. The 5m stop is gorgeous being surrounded by thousands of little, colorful reef fishes.

Japanese Wreck

Japanese Wreck in Banjuning with Amed Scuba
South of Amed in a little bay of the village Banjuning you will find a small steel and wooden shipwreck. We don’t know anything about the history of this wreck but we can highly recommend diving this site.
The freighter lies in shallow water from 3 until 15 meters. The rather small (about 10 meter long) ship wreck is lying just a few meters from the shore on a depth of just a few
Steakhorncorale field in Japanese wreck
meters in a beautiful coral garden and is therefore also a perfect spot for snorkeling.
It is wonderful encrusted with colourful christmas trees, soft corals, gorgonians and black corals. You will see lots of big and small reef fish which have found a home inside the freighter. The rich variety of colourful species makes this dive site so special. Also the area around the boat is rich of species like nudibranch, lobster, barracuda, tuna and lots of colourful reef fishes. Because we will find always a little current in this place a boat will follow the divers and pick them up at the end of the dive. This dive site is also recommended for beginners. But it is also possible to go there by car and dive straight from the beach.  Divers usually go around the corner and dive deeper to about 25m with a fair chance to encounter an eagle ray or two. Napoleon fish, turtles, striped catfish, sting rays, sea fan and nudibranches can bee seen at the Japanese ship wreck.


Reef type: Coastal reef, flats, slope and wall
Access: Beach, 5 minutes by small boat
Visbility: Fair to good, 10-20 meters
Current: Mild
Coral: Excellent
Fish: superb variety
Highlights: huge sponges, density of fish schools

Jemeluk offers excellent dive sites for training dives and shows all the beauty for experienced divers as well. The magnificent reef of Jemeluk which covers the total wide of the beach grounds starts directly in front of our dive school. If you enter the crystal-clear water you find a flat bottom lagoon for instruction and a drop-off, only a five minute swim away. The reef of Jemeluk curves around a rock outcropping just east of town. At around eight meters you come down on an extensive spread of staghorn Acropora teeming with damselfishes and cardinalfishes. A short slope led to a coral wall, where we dropped to 43 meters, hanging there about 8-10 meters above the sandy bottom. The wall is magic! This area can be highly recommended for introductory dives at the sandy bottom and in the shallow coral garden. And even if you are an experienced diver you will find along the wall always something new on each dive, no matter how many times you will dive here. It is a spectacular site for night dives as well. Schools of fish of several species cascaded down the wall or took the electric stairs back up in orderly, two, way traffic. The schools include black triggerfish, lots of bannerfish, black snappers, humpback snappers, pyramid butterfies, and countless others. Further off from the wall, the usual school of yellowfail fusiliers kept an eye on proceedings.  
The wall falls down until app. 45 meters and it is covered with a variety of colourful hard and soft corals. You will see 3 meter gorgonian fans which are open in the smooth current to take there dinner and huge sponges with jumping craps and shrimps. There is a splendid diversity of big and small tropical fishes which include for example angelfish, batfish, barracuda, butterflyfish, napoleonfish, lionfish, parrotfish and Bumphead Parrotfish as well. Octopus shows us there talent to change there colour and we will see colourful nudibranch like Chromodoris and Phyllidia species. With a little luck you will discover Spanish Dancers and the Pink Nudibranch. This dive is recommended for all level of divers. You will dive against a very smooth currant in a dept of app. 20 meters along the wall and you come back with the current in shallower water to the point where you have been started.

Harlequin Shrimp in Melasti

From the beach we simply walk into the water and dive Amed Scuba Bali Diving Center in Melasti, where you can see our rare species like the harlequin shrimps, clown frog fish, different kinds of ghost pipe fish and nudibranches, mimic octopuses, huge stone fishes, amazing crabs, tiny juvenile lion fishes, seahorse, razor fish, just to mention a few, can be found Melasti. Photographers from all over the world come here to take pictures of these rarely found species. Visit Bali, come to Amed and check it out.

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