Travel

Snorkeling the USS Liberty wreckage

October 11, 2009

The shipwreck of the USS Liberty lies off the coast about 20 minutes north of Amed.  We heard it was a great site to visit and shallow enough to be easily viewable without diving.  After renting the scooters for another day, we packed up our snorkeling gear, some underwater cameras, and set off to check it out.

Once in the water we had low hopes of finding the wreckage, but after watching where the dive teams were going we quickly located the large ship surprisingly close to the shore.  Swimming along the length of the hull really put the size of it in perspective.  The bubbles floating up from the dive teams below made for pretty cool ambiance as well.

Swimming along the wreckage of the USS Liberty

Swimming along the wreckage of the USS Liberty

We swam along the wreckage marveling at the coral, playing in the dive tank bubbles, and frolicking with schools of large fish that would come within inches of us.  The current in this area was much stronger than in the water near our bungalow.  Every time I’d stop to look at something I would get pushed away so fast I’d have to immediately swim back to it.

Teeming with fish!

Teeming with fish!

Seeing an actual shipwreck was surreal.  You just have no idea how big these things are until you’re underwater swimming along them.  It was pretty damn amazing!  After checking out the Liberty we decided to pack up and head back to Amed to try to take pictures since the water here was murkier and less concentrated with fish.  The reef near our bungalow is crystal clear and there are literally fish everywhere.  It’s also shallow in some spots so you can swim very close to the coral and what’s living in it.  Hati hati (careful)!

This afternoon we took a few snorkeling breaks to get pictures of all of the marine life.  During the last outing of the day Joya and I were greeted by a large school of black fish skimming gracefully along the bottom in search of food.  There were literally hundreds of them swimming right alongside us and for a while we felt like part of the school.  I’m pretty disappointed I didn’t have the camera with me as I thought I’d already taken enough underwater photos. I’m not sure that a photo would have conveyed the experience though, it was simply incredible.

Swimming with a school of black fish. On our last day we swam with hundreds of them!

Swimming with a school of black fish. On our last day we swam with hundreds of them!

Tonight is our last night in Amed and tomorrow we’ll pack up and head for Kuta to get closer to the airport.  I may even try a bit of surfing.  We’ve heard mixed reviews of Kuta being the ultimate tourist destination, so we’re not sure if we’ll actually end up staying there.  We may head a bit further away to Jimbaran or Ulu Watu.  I’ll definitely miss Amed.  The people here have been amazing, friendly, and welcoming.  The beach is peaceful and beautiful. The waters are refreshing, the snorkeling is incredible, the scootering is a blast, and the food is delicious.

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