The three days I spent diving in Amed, Bali were some of my highlights during my entire month in Indonesia. Perhaps some of the best diving I have ever done, thanks in part to the USAT (United States Army Transport) Liberty shipwreck, literally just off shore in Tulamben.
The story of the USAT Liberty is quite fascinating. The Liberty was an American World War II era cargo ship that was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in 1942. The damage didn’t cause the ship to sink right away and the Liberty was tug-boated onto shore in Tulamben, Bali. The crew salvaged all the cargo and then abandoned the ship on the beach.
For 21 years, the Liberty remained on the shore of Tulamben like a beached whale until the 1963 eruption of Mt. Agung. The resulting tremors shook the Liberty until it slid off the beach and under water, resulting in the famed dive spot that it is today.
The dive itself is thrilling and requires two dives: one to circumnavigate the perimeter (the length of USAT Liberty is 411 feet, or 125 meters long) and a second if you want to penetrate (official dive term). I did three dives in total, encountering blue-spotted stingrays, groupers, sweetlips, nudibranchs, banner fish, anemones, clown fish, giant clams, a school of big-eyed trevally, a sea turtle, a solitary barracuda, and a whole bunch of other things I don’t know the names of.
Here’s a video I put together of my USAT Liberty dives. I do have to apologize for the shakiness of some of the footage (hey, it’s hard to try to do everything to keep yourself alive AND film underwater simultaneously). The color balance in my footage is also completely off as I still haven’t found a red filter housing for a GoPro Hero 3 Black (any leads would be EXTREMELY appreciated!). I hope you enjoy it anyway!