Bali Photo Blog – Chapter 3 – Liberty Time

So I lied when I last posted in this blog series on Indonesia.  I said that next up would be something about shore muck diving in the Tulamben area of Bali.  Instead, I think I will first do a bit of a spiel on the Liberty Wreck, on which we did two dives this trip – one fairly early in the morning (where I shot wide angle), and one night dive (where I shot macro).

The night dive was a new approach; I’ve dove the Liberty several times over a couple of previous visits to Bali, but never after dark.  Given how bodacious it is as a daytime dive – both for wide angle and macro, we figured a night dive on it would be awesome too – and it pretty much was – well, maybe except for the current ;^)

Current and night diving are a bedevilling duo.  I’ve done a few current night dives over the years, and they are tough.  On a reef or muck dive, you can easily become separated from your buddy or guided group, and it can be freaky, well, at least it is for me, to find yourself all by your lonesome – no other lights in sight, just you and the creepy crawly critters.

Night dives are pretty freaky to me anyway, and always have been – add solo, all by your lonesome in the deeply dark Indonesian sea, where weird things wait to come out at night? Yikers.  Added threats are the chance of being pushed into something you can’t see that you definitely don’t want to touch – fire corals, bristle worms, sea urchins, etc – there is a lot of stuff down there that could hurt you.  So why do them, you might ask?  I guess I like the challenge, and it is an opportunity to see, and photograph, some very unusual things.

Anyhoo, I’ve written about the Liberty Wreck and its history before, so no need to rehash all that here.  If you are interested, scroll down on this linked page until you find the section on Tulamben Diving, with a heading for the Liberty.  I do have to report that things have changed, that is decayed, quite a bit since I dove it a few years ago.  The wreck continues to collapse upon itself, and some areas that were previously penetrable are no more.  I wonder how many more years this circa WW2 vessel can keep it together…

At the bow of the Liberty

Glossodoris atromarginata nudibranch

A traditional Balinese boat above the wreck.

Elegant Crinoid Squat Lobster – Allogakathea elegans
In current? At night? Truly point and pray…

It seems that every available surface on the Liberty is paved with life. This was shot at about 60 fsw, looking up in to one of the holds.

Nembrotha lineolata nudibranch

Mr G over coral encrusted wreck

Crab on a Hydroid – Oncinopus Sp 2?

More encrustation on the wreck.

Dwarf Cuttlefish – Sepia bandensis

Big barrel sponge on the Liberty.

Next up? We really will go muck diving, and finish up the Bali picture show so I can get on to the main event – Komodo.

Chapters of the Bali Photo Blog:

Chapter 1 – I Spy With My Little Eye
Chapter 2 – She Shoots, She Scores?
Chapter 3 – Liberty Time
Chapter 4 – Is That A Muck Stick Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?

About Judy G Diver

Born and raised on the west coast of Canada, I have always felt a strong connection to the sea. But for many years, I stayed on the surface, afraid of what lurked down deep. When I was in my early 30's, with three young children (aka the P's), my husband (aka Mr G) signed us up for a SCUBA certification course, as a surprise. Although I had my fears, my stubbornness prevailed, and somehow I made it through four murky, frigid, cold water dives in Vancouver to successfully pass the course. Soon after we went diving off the west coast of Mexico, in the Sea of Cortez, where my eyes were opened to the beauty and other-worldliness of the life down under. And the rest, as they say, is history. I currently have well over 2000 dives under the belt, and I have been fortunate to travel and dive in Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, Fiji, Palau, Philippines, Galapagos, Costa Rica, Hawaii, California, Egypt, Mexico, several islands in the Caribbean, and here in British Columbia. In addition to this blog and my personal website (, which is linked at the top of the blog, my stuff has been published in a variety of magazines and websites, including a regular monthly feature for Scubadiving Magazine for several years. All links to this work can be found in this blog.
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