SCUBA DIVE AMED
When you dive Amed, you will see why people rave about it’s dive sites. Amed has a huge variety of dive locations including steep dropoffs, magnificent reefs, scubaÂ dives teeming with life and a Japanese Wreck that is almost as easily accessible as the USAT Liberty. Amed is just around the corner from Tulamben, so is a great place for overnight trips and diving for all experience levels.
In Indonesian, palung means “trough” or “pool” or “riverbed” and in English we would call this site “The Bowls”. It is an excellent name. In the three hundred meters from the Three Boulders that mark the end of the eastern spur of Tulamben Dropoff to the rocky canyon that marks the easternmost extent of Palung-Palung there are six ridgelines – three major and three minor – which create five “bowls”. In the east the bowls are covered with a short turf of extremely fine Acroporid Coral, mixing with and finally being replaced by sand as you work east. Here and there in this area mats of a very fine red hair algae we call the “Red Carpet” appear. The soft coral and Gorgonians here are healthy and of unusual species, and this is one of the best dive sites on Bali to see commensals like Pygmy Seahorse, Ghost Pipefish, Allied Cowries, soft coral crabs and the like.
BATU KELEBIT –
This site is a series of steep, coral covered ledges separated by sand channels. The coral is rich and healthy and the underwater topography is one of the most interesting in the area. The beach. like most of the local area is black volcanic sand and rubble, but the underwater sand channels are white, a nice change from the dark grey substrate at Tulamben. The steep ridges protect most of this site from the ravages of the current, although the back reef area by the rocks can be surgy. It is however very difficult to get lost here as all the ridges lead back to the same place, the Kelebit Rocks.
This reef was the first in the area to attract divers. It is still arguably the best, with the structure of the eastern reef in particular more rugged and interesting than any other along this coast. The walls and deep slopes are rich with sponges, black corals and Gorgonians. The shallow inner bay, full of beautiful hard coral, was hit hard by the El Nino warming in 1998, but has recovered fantastically over the last decade.
Just off a rocky point about six kilometers down the coast from Jemeluk lies the wreck of a small steel Japanese freighter. We haven’t been able to discover much about the history of this wreck, but it rests in very shallow water and is nicely encrusted with Gorgonians and black coral bunches. The reef around the wresk is also very rich, especially in the 15- to 20 – meter zone, with soft corals, Gorgonians and sponges all around. The shallow fields of Staghorn and table corals, punctuated by bommies, go to patch reefs on sand in the deep. The wreck lies right at the edge between hard reef and silty sand bottom. It truly is a wonderful scuba site.