The USAT Liberty, a US Army transport ship, was beached on the shores of Bali after being torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in 1942. There she sat until 1963 when Mount Agung, the island’s great stratovolcano, erupted, pushing the ship off the shore and into the ocean. Today, the shipwreck is one of the most popular dive sites in Bali. And it is worth every dollar spent getting there.
The wreck lies off the shores of Tulamben, a quaint beach town with more dive shops than restaurants. Daniel and I hopped on our motorbike and spent 3 hours driving through Bali. The drive itself, around and past the great Mount Agung, was reason enough to take the journey. But when we dove into the waters off the northeast side of the island, we quickly realized what all the fuss was about.
We were fortunate enough to rent a camera and capture some shots from our dive around the shipwreck. The visibility was pretty limited on our first four dives in Vietnam, we could only see up to 5 meters. The waters of Tulamben were crystal clear, with a visibility of 25 meters, and provided the most breathtaking assortment of vibrant sea life…plus, a shipwreck!
We were able to swim through the USAT Liberty, observing the life that has made it their home, through the ship’s cargo room, past the anchor and around the engine room. The sand below the ship was unique in itself; the volcanic sand was jet black and made everything around it pop just a little bit more. Needless to say, it was the diving experience of a lifetime.