Amed is famous in the one-breath world for more than just freediving courses and freedive instructor training, it’s also known for its world class wreck diving. Until recently Amed had two wrecks in close proximity to shore that are easy for snorkelers, freedivers and scuba divers alike, plus a third wreck available for advanced freedivers and scuba divers (Amed wreck guide). But that all changed recently when a fastboat destined to start taking passengers between Amed and the Gili Islands sank on its mooring.
Nobody knows what actually happened with the theories ranging from cheap manufacturing all the way through to disgruntled aliens, but the most important thing to remember is that nobody was onboard when it went down. Amen. The other important thing to remember is that this new wreck is VERY conveniently located on the edge of town!
Image: Glenda Duarte (@glendarama)
For those of you that know Amed, you can find the new wreck located at the junction of Amed and Melasti beaches. This is the corner where Green Lemon Warung and Pacha Beach Rasta Bar are located. No, not the Rasta Bar near Indomaret, the other one. No, not Warung Kedai, that’s a rasta bar but it’s not called Rasta Bar. Yep that one.
Now there’s been quite a bit of conjecture about the depth of the wreck but we can confirm as of today that the deepest point of the hull is at 25 metres and the highest point of the roof is at 22 metres (tide depending). This makes it a very viable proposition for freedivers and anyone who has passed their level 2 course should be able to at least get down for a look at the outside, if not sit in the captain’s seat and pretend you’re driving or a passenger commuting to your underwater day-job…
The fast boat is already covered in plenty of marine slime and debris and as you can see in the image below, seagrasses have taken nicely to the hull. This has already brought schools of small fish that are taking up residence in amongst the wreck. Rays, lion fish and some species of surgeons have also been spotted around the wreck so things are looking good. This particular part of the coast is one of the few patches without much natural reef so no doubt being the biggest piece of reef in the area is bound to start attracting more fish and crustaceans over the next few months and years.
The wreck originally sank in 17m of water and has now moved it’s way down to 25m of water so let’s hope that it doesn’t go too much further and we can continue to enjoy it for years to come!
For further information about the Pacha Wreck, the other three wrecks in East Bali or free dive courses in bali please contact us.
Written by Jereme Lane
Cover image by Glenda Duarte
Image: Glenda Duarte (@glendarama)
When divers think of Amed, they think of wrecks including of course the world famous Liberty wreck. Regardless of whether you’re a freediver or a scuba diver, there’s a variety of wrecks to suit your experience and skill level situated relatively close to the town of Amed. When you combine the quality of wreck diving on offer with the mild dry season climate and amazing visibility at this time of year, it’s easy to see why Amed is starting to attract more and more international visitors. So, with this in mind we’ve put together a wreck diving guide to help you plan your wreck diving adventure in Amed!
LIBERTY WRECK – Tulamben (20 minutes from Amed)
Undoubtedly, the USAT (United States Army Transport) Liberty is the most famous of Amed’s four wrecks and is world famous in wreck diving circles. The story of the Liberty goes that in January 1942 the Liberty was en route from Australia to the Philippines with cargo when it was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine near Bali. Taking on water and unable to get all the way to Singaraja, the ship was beached in Tulamben so that the cargo could be salvaged.
The ship then sat on the beach at Tulamben for a couple of decades before nearby volcano Mount Agung erupted in 1963 and the resulting tremors slid the Liberty down into the water where it currently resides on the sand 100 metres or so from shore.
With the top of the ship being around four metres deep (tide depending) and the bottom in over 30 metres, a large part of the Liberty’s attraction is that it is open to everyone from beginners through to advanced divers. While it can get crowded during high season, particularly with scuba divers, the hull is 125 metres long so there is plenty of ship to explore.
After the beaching in WW2 the ship was stripped of anything of any value over the next few years and so while the hull and interior are quite bare of actual ship parts, this makes it very easy and safe to dive without worrying too much about banging your head on a doorway or stairwell.
Oh, and of course no talk of wreck diving is complete without a swimthrough or two and the Liberty has plenty at various depths, meaning the Liberty is probably your safest bet if you’re looking for 100 likes on Insta. It’s also a load of fun without the Gopro, and the biggest swimthrough in the cargo hold starts at about 10 metres with a massive opening making it perfect for level 1 and 2 freedivers. If you’ve got enough breath hold, stop and have a quick look around on your way through because there’s always a big snapper or two hanging out in there!
Artwork by Mike Vam de Vem, 2017
While any huge man-made piece of steel reef will be an attractant for fish life, it is no doubt thanks to the protected zone surrounding the Liberty that the fish life here rivals anywhere in Bali. You can find all the usual colourful reef species to this area however, it’s the sheer numbers of large demersal fish that makes the Liberty truly special, with plenty of diver-friendly snapper, groupers and parrot fish.
Early mornings are great for sighting the resident humphead parrot fish that habitually come in to school around the wreck, while those who aren’t afraid to stick their head in small holes and under ledges can often be rewarded with sightings of the large and sometimes timid groupers.
JAPANESE WRECK – Banyuning (15 minutes from Amed)
Image: Harry Webber
The Japanese wreck is the second most popular wreck in the area and at around 20m long is very small in comparison to the Liberty but, as the Japanese wreck afficionados will tell you, what it lacks in size it makes up for in beauty.
Nobody actually knows the reason the wreck is known as the Japanese wreck but the rumour that has the most credibility are that the term Java-nese was mistaken for Japa-nese.
The mystery doesn’t end with the history of the name either, as the actual purpose of the vessel is also cloudy. The wreck is lying on its side with much of the hull, deck and, well pretty much everything else, missing. It could be a fishing boat, a tug or even a small cargo ship but we’ll probably never know for sure.
Image: Harry Webber
Whatever the case the wreck has been there for a long time and wasn’t a mainstay of Amed diving until the road out to Lipah from Amed was upgraded from a goat track to a scooter track and eventually a half decent road by East Bali standards. Nowadays, there’s a carpark, a café and snorkel hire right on the beach next to the wreck. There’s also a few small hotels close by and some people like to stay at this end of East Bali because it’s the quietest part.
Just like the Liberty, a few decades of submerged existence has been very kind to the Japanese wreck’s aesthetics and the hull is covered in some of the most beautiful corals and sponges in the area making it a wreck diving favourite for the area. There’s also plenty of fish, shrimp, rays and other marine life to keep you entertained for a couple of hours.
From the beach, you simply swim out the 50 metres or so to the wreck which begins in a few metres of water making it suitable for all levels including snorkelers.
BOGA wreck – Kubu (30 mins from Amed)
Image: Heather Sutton (@hsexposures)
On the back of the success of the Liberty and Japanese wrecks in bringing tourism opportunities to the Amed area, in 2012 the Boga was sunk off Kubu beach to further cement Bali’s status in the wreck diving world. The Boga was a 40 metre long, 150-tonne Dutch cargo ship before being purchased by the owner of the Bali Relax Hotel and donated to the Karangasem Badung (regency).
In contrast to the Liberty and Japanese wrecks, the hull of the Boga is well and truly intact and provides a great contrast to the other wrecks with its, ‘not being completely decimated by time, torpedoes or seismic activity’ qualities.
The main issue with the Boga and the reason why it’s nowhere near as popular as its neighbouring wrecks is the depth. The Boga was originally placed in the ‘scuba-friendly’ 30-metre-deep range. That meant that the top of the ship was around 13-15 metres deep and the bottom sat around 30-32. However, the Boga apparently didn’t want to sit in that spot and eventually the hull slid and wiggled its way down to sit at 40m, a good challenge for the freedivers.
Image: Heather Sutton (@hsexposures)
The top now sits around 18 metres and when you add in the high current usually experienced in the area this makes it strictly an experienced wreck diving location for both freedivers and scuba divers.
Highlights of the ship include a Volkswagon convertible (yep really), a propeller and a steering wheel which are all very instagrammable for those who can get down to them. There’s also a swimthrough around 28m but often the scuba divers won’t go inside the ship because the current is too strong so freediving must be done with even further care.
There isn’t anywhere near the level of marine life as the nearby Liberty but the Boga can boast that the hull is entirely in tact. So while it doesn’t beat the Liberty at supporting a living reef, it does beat the Liberty at being an actual boat and this has some upsides too!
Amed’s fourth and newest wreck
Image: Glenda Duarte (@glendarama)
Now I’m sure there’s a few people reading this that are thinking to themselves, “that’s it, there’s only three wrecks in Amed. What are they talking about, four wrecks?”
Well ladies and gentlemen, Amed now officially has its fourth wreck! Yes that’s right, and this one is right in the heart of Amed! Click here to read more.
Written by Jereme Lane
We’re coming up to three years that we started the whole apneista project in Bali and the last year and a half has been really intense. . with lots of new stuff.. starting at what I reckon is probably one of the coolest…
Dark moon freediving…
That’s it, freediving at night..We have now started using the latest in glow in the dark rope ‘technology’. two glowing lines, the liquid darkness and clouds of bio-luminescence. It is an intensely beautiful and surreal experience, something difficult to describe or photograph, like the Northern lights…We have established a whole new protocol for this activity and it is open only to students who have shared some training with us (for obvious safety considerations.)
Freedive trips to nusa penida to Freedive with mantas,
We’re organising group trips to freedive with Mantas and other pelagics on the amazing reefs of Nusa penida, starting in May.
Freediving trips to Komodo and Raja Empat,
We are teaming up with Graham Abbot, one of the most respected specialist dive guides in this incredible area to offer something really special, freediving, yoga and Scuba trips to the Eastern Dive Jewels of Indonesia.
Fly and dive intensive.
From the 7th to the 12th and from the 15th to the 22nd of September Acroyoga and freediving intensives…with the amazing Bex Tyrer, Bali’s queen of acroyoga. This practice is a beautiful hybrid of acrobatics, yoga and Thai massage with one person ‘flying the other’ with another acting as a spotter.. It is the perfect complement to freediving in every way, we are pretty excited about this.
Another bit of news is that we are now offering SSI certification alongside our own Apneista training system. We will continue to do what we do best, adapting training to suit the individual and expanding our curriculum, but now for those interested in Global certification we now offer SSI training as well. For those who want to get signed off for SSI,we will be running one day SSI assessments during May.
New training space, yoga sala, cafe, equipment shop and more training lines.
On the beautiful bay of Jemeluk we are finally finished with the unending refurbishment and we now have what we firmly believe is the sweetest freediving shop in all of Asia. Chill out area, yoga sala, equipment shop and now a wonderful cafe, right on the beach. We have also set more lines at various depths and are now initiating some reef and beach clean ups, so that Bali’s best freediving spot becomes even better. Please roam the webpage for more details and pics.We are still processing a resource page with interesting research and training material relating to the breath,freediving and yoga, coming soon…
P.S. anyone with 5 minutes to spare and with great things to say about us here’s a link to tripadvisor, your help is sincerely appreciated.
The last while has been plenty of fun with really great students and interesting visitors sharing knowledge of their different fields.
Thanks to the wonderful Lucy of Middle Path Yoga amongst other things for her excellent class in partner yoga, to the lovely Ai Futaki who shot great footage and shared her vision with us, (see her Guiness record and her great talk on TED Tokyo about free-diving ) We also had lessons in trance and self hypnosis from Dr Helena. Sharing knowledge and skills keeps life interesting and makes everyone richer. Thanks to everyone for the good times.
For city yogis, practicing Yoga in a beach- side sala to the sound of waves is a sweet luxury. But being able drop into the water right after and swim over deep coral walls is a free-diver’s idea of paradise.
That is Jemaluk bay, in Amed, Bali. We don’t have the extreme depths of Dahab but nor do we have the egos. We have depths to 50 metres to suit beginners and intermediate free-divers and a chilled out atmosphere that is hard to beat.
Here we offer training in most aspects free-diving and yoga education and we are interested in hearing from people who have talents to share such as creative genius with word-press, deep experience in mind/body sciences and experience in setting up a restaurant.
In the last while we have seen plenty of examples of just how accessible free-diving is. Here’s a pic of who was our oldest student to date, 65 years young Lloyd who surpassed his own expectations and gave me hopes of training my Dad..
Yesterday we had a very varied group, from one young Polio affected man to a mature lady of 67 years, pushing Lloyd off the top spot.
It’s clear free-diving if approached in the right spirit and atmosphere is accessible to all. Here in Amed we are lucky to have ideal conditions and almost any depth we want, all a stones throw from the yoga sala. This helps us adapt training to suit circumstance and ability, meaning free-diving can truly be for everyone.