Diving in Tulamben III – Wide Angle

Apr 22, 2020

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Liberty wreck, early morning, on a clear day.

Despite the enormous popularity of USAT Liberty Wreck (read more about it in here and here) Tulamben isn’t, probably, the first pick for an underwater wide angle shooter.

Oriental sweetlips and red snapper, in USAT Liberty wreck

In fact, the huge amount of divers and beginners stir the bottom from early morning, so viz. can be way lower than in many other Tulamben areas. Still, if you’re able to get there before 6:00 AM, meaning, before sunrise, you can shoot half a dozen of decent-sized green humphead parrotfishes, who sleep on the wreck and school they way out after sunset. The wreck itself has some interesting structures, to shoot. Turtles are often seen, and sometimes, the big potato groupers leave their burrows and show up. There is also a resident school of oriental sweetlips which usually allow to get really near.  Besides these usual subjects, schools of small silvery fishes regularly take Liberty as a refuge.

Last year’s earthquakes damaged Liberty even further, and some parts collapsed. In order to keep the affluence of divers to Tulamben a new vessel had previously been sunk in Kubu area – The Boga wreck. This smaller fishing boat wasn’t properly placed, from the beginning, and it slid down the sea bed slope. It is now fixed with cables to big concrete blocks but lays from 16 to 37 metres deep. That’s unsuitable for beginners, and there isn’t still much marine life in there, though it can still provide some good shots.

Apart from those wrecks, there is (still) a school of yellowstripe scads near Tulamben drop-off and another of bigeye trevallies near Batu Niti. Mobula rays can be found in Emerald point, and there are visits of barracudas and orbicular batfishes in Seraya areas.

As far as wide angle shooting is concerned, Tulamben cannot compete with the manta rays and sunfish from Nusa Lembongan, nor the giant trevallies and white tip sharks from the nearby Gili Islands, but it still provides very decent photo opportunities to get your dome wet.

Bellow, some wide-angle shots from Tulamben and Amed:

If you dive in Tulamben, often you can have lucky moments. They will not be guaranteed on a short vacation, but on a longer stay,  there is a good chance you came across some of the fish like the ones on the videos below:

The big eye trevallies above are usually around, though they can move deeper or away from shore. As for the following barracudas and batfish, I’m still wondering where they come from:


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