Every once in a while once a couple requests get put in Blue Season Bali organizes an overnight trip open to all the interns. Depending on requests and schedule availability we either go to Tulamben or Menjangan. This time around the destination was Tulamben and the total number people coming along was 12 interns and instructor Neil.
We set off around the same time as usual once the days guests had cleared out and arrive at Tulamben around 10am. We organized our gear and in two separate groups, took part in dive number one on the USAT Liberty Wreck. Right off the bat, I found a beautiful almost clear pink nudibranch right on the wreck. This was a pretext for what was going to be a great dive trip. We surfaced from the first dive then headed down to Wayan Restaurant where we always enjoy a wide array of lunches overlooking Mt. Agung. After digesting we dropped off our bags at Paradise Tulamben where we would all be staying, then headed back down to the beach for dive number 2. This time around my group decided we would venture to Coral Garden and what a decision that was. On this dive we had two very close encounters with a couple Blacktips. I mean so close I could touch them! What a fascinating and majestic creature and one that truly deserves more respect and protection than it is receiving by today’s society. After surfacing from dive number 2 and bragging to the other group about our shark sightings we all went back to our hotel. There we enjoyed a couple relaxing hours before we would set off for our night dive.
The sun was setting and we made our way to the beach. Once again had our two groups formed, group one would be entering the water first led by me. I must say, I was very excited and honored that I was given the responsibility of leading a night dive. Though I have never led a night dive, I knew the wreck like the back of my hand and had nothing but confidence it would go well. The dive went smoothly and we saw a different side of the underwater world than we were normally used to. The highlight was the massive Bumphead Parrot Fish. Some nearly a meter long and there were loads of them. We also saw the large eel that normally occupies the wreck twisting and turning as everyone’s torches locked on as it tried to catch a fish. Unfortunately, his moment of fame ended in disappointment as the fish won this battle and got away. On this dive I learnt the valuable lesson of the importance of carrying a backup torch. At one point a divers torch ran so low that he needed my backup in order to see. Another diver’s torch also started dying and luckily I could communicate getting him someone elses backup so he could then finish the dive. At the end just before we surfaced, we all cut out our lights and enjoyed the phenomenon of bioluminescence. Very, very cool stuff! Though there was some confusion during the midpoint of the dive when our group got surrounded by group two as well as another group of people taking part in a night dive, we managed to stay together. All in all, the night dive was a success and I had proven that I could get a group of divers back to shore safely not only during the day but now, also in darkness. We ended off the day with a group dinner at Paradise Tulamben then headed to bed early as we had plans to start our day with a early 6am dive.
The next morning we continued where we left off last night, the USAT Liberty wreck. It was awesome to dive Tulamben before the loads of other guests arrived on site, something I had yet to experience. Another highlight of this dive was seeing the remains of the night dive atmosphere. The best way I can explain this is that it was like a downtown street after a busy night where most of the bars were now closed, most people had cleared out and only a few stragglers remained roaming the streets. The wreck seemed quiet with life and was still rather dark because the sun had yet to fully rise. We saw the occasional large Bumphead still roaming around looking lost, several little critters and the rest of the normal wreck occupiers start to awake.
Before leaving Tulamben, we took part in 2 more great dives totalling for 6 on this amazing trip. The trip was not only an unforgettable diving experience but also yet another great bonding trip with all the other interns at BSB. Can’t wait for the next overnight trip!