FREEDIVING THE LIBERTY WRECK IN BALI
Shipwrecks are some of our favorite underwater playgrounds. On the east coast of Bali, in a small town called Tulamben lies the USS Liberty Wreck. With the iconic Mt.Agung volcano in the background and lying just 20meters from shore, the Liberty Wreck is often listed as one of the top 10 wreck dives in the world.
After spending a few days in Canggu catching up with photo editing and taking advantage of fast wifi, our gills started to dry up, and we decided to make the 3-hour drive up the east coast of Bali for a weekend of freediving at the USS Liberty Wreck.
The USS Liberty is a 120 meters American cargo ship that served in world war II. On January 11, 1942, on her way to the Philippines from Australia, she was torpedoed by a Japanese Submarine in the Lombok Strait. Aiming to make it back to the old port of Singaraja in north Bali, she was able to cover a considerable distance and reached the shores of Tulamben, Bali instead. In 1963, when nearby Mt.Agung erupted, the lava flow pushed the wreck off the shores of Tulamben beach and back into the ocean where she now lies underwater at 30 meters in depth just 20 meters from the shore.
The surface of the wreck is only at 3 meters making it a suitable place for beginner free divers too, so we missioned up for the weekend with some friends who have never been freediving before. We were stoked with the epic diving conditions – no current, sunny skies and reasonably clear water ( often the water here is murky and green )
Loads of life all around: Schools of Big Eye Trevally, Barracuda’s, Sweetlips and an abundance of macro life too including nudibranchs.
Instead of spending the night in the town of Tulamben, we prefer to stay in the neighboring town of Amed, just a 20 minute drive south. The views of Mt.Agung from Amed are some of the best in the area and the vibe is a lot less touristy and more relaxed. We always stay at BBQ Guest house, a small local guest house right on the beach <– If you have not yet signed up for AirBnb, use this link to get a discount off your first stay!
We were deeply saddened by the absurd amount of plastic pollution that plagued these beautiful waters! It was absolutely everywhere! Indonesia is the second-largest contributor to marine plastic pollution after China. Bali’s governor committed to make the island plastic free by 2018 – with only one month left the year, it seems the island of gods still has an extremely long way to go before this plastic endemic is resolved. Guys we can’t stress enough how important is is to try and eliminate single use plastic from your life!
Again we would like to emphasize HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO STOP USING SINGLE USE PLASTIC !!!
For us free divers, this wreck is an epic playground. There are sooooo many swim-throughs to explore! Seriously way more fun that scuba diving… If you need some more convincing on why you should start freediving , check out this previous blog post we wrote.
The USS Liberty wreck is an epic little mission to do if you are in Bali. Easily accessible and suitable for all levels of divers / snorkelers. If you need some more tips on how to get there or any advice on any aspect of the mission, leave us a question in the comment section!
ALSO if you a just starting off with freediving and need some info or inspiration on what equipment you should buy, then have a look at our blog post highlight the best freediving equipment and what we use when we go underwater!
xx Gustav and Etoile