There is one boat that leaves daily from Gili Air to Amed, and I decided this was my best way back to Bali — not only is it a fast crossing, but it drops you off in the North meaning I could make my way to Tulamben and dive the USAT Liberty.
USAT Liberty was a US Army cargo ship that served during WWI and again in WWII. On January 11, 1942, she was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine while crossing the Lombok straight. The ship was taking too much water but the crew ran her up to the beach at Tulamben, a small fishing village on the northeast coast of Bali.
In 1963, Gunung Agung, the nearby volcano, erupted and sent lava flowing all through the coastal area. This eruption further broke up the ship and moved it off the beach and into the water.
The wreck is broken up but still impressive, stretching 120 meters on a steeply sloping sandy bottom. The top of the wreckage is just three meters below the surface but it extends all the way down to about 30 meters. It is completely covered in a variety of corals and hundreds of species of reef fish.
I started with an afternoon dive, around 3:45pm. This was a perfect opportunity to tour the wreck and visit the cargo and engine rooms. Later that evening, I went back out for a night dive, and had a chance to appreciate the the various species that came out in the evening — from nudibranch and crab to these huge squaretail grouper. In addition, when I surfaced, the sky was perfectly clear and the stars were glistening in the moonlight — gorgeous way to end the dive.
The next morning, Tom picked me up on his scooter, and we set out to dive around 6am, just before the sun rose. This time, we started at the stern of the boat. There ware dozens of of different fish lurking, but the massive barracuda in the holds and the gigantic bumphead parrotfish were the most impressive!