In the north-east region of Bali is the small coastal villages of Kubu and Tulamben, the area is renowned for diving. Our choice of diving and lodging was on advice from good friend Alia from Canberra. Tulamben Wreck Divers (TWD) Villas were just fantastic and a special relaxing retreat for both of us.
Our villa was located on an secluded section of the coast, we were rarely disturbed in our dwellings, which incidentally was bigger than our town house back in Canberra, much, much bigger than the Digger Caravan in Darwin. Isolated as we were, it only took ten minutes by scooter to reach the dive centre.
The diving was relaxed and great fun, my dive guide, buddy Nyoman was a great guy, excellent at pointing out many smaller interesting creatures. He also had a cool underwater party trick; letting cleaner shrimp crawl into his mouth and clean his teeth, later I was advised by a friend this is not a great trick to do anywhere around moray eels.
I managed to complete my Nitrox certification at TWD thanks to my instructor Eri. Joanne was very brave with her dive buddy Putu she completed two shallow dives on the Liberty wreck. The USAT Liberty on 11 January 1942, was torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-166 southwest of Lombok Strait, taken under tow she was beached at Tulamben, so cargo could be salvaged. In 1963 the tremors associated with the eruption of Mount Agung caused the vessel to slip off the beach, and she now lies on a sand slope in 7.6 to 30.5 of water.
Mount Agung’s volcanic crater is located just 12km to the south, it was only two prior to our arrival that Tulamben had been closed to tourists for about six weeks. During the seven days we stayed in Tulamben there was minor volcanic activity, however the alert level was not changed, and we never felt threatened or unsafe.
Volcanology and diving were not the only activities we did in Tulamben, we had the very good fortune to have Ni Wayan and Iluh provide both of us with a few very skilful massages. To break the monotony of diving, we were taken on a guided tour of the Karangasem Regency (north west region of bali) which included visited the historic Karangasem Royal family palace and water gardens. We also visited the Tenganan Dauh Tukad traditional village.