A Bali Bubble Bath – Scuba Diving tales from Indonesia
Jen Tempchin, DiverWire contributing travel writer just shared this piece about her latest scuba diving adventure in Bali.
Have you have ever wanted to keep diving because the ocean was just too warm to get out? Me neither!
Diving in Amed, Bali is completely different than any other place I have been in over 17 years of diving. The ocean temperature here is shockingly 88 degrees. 88 degrees! I am in awe of the water temperature I am submersed in, without a thermocline in site.
My buddy and I drift along in this wonderful Bali Bubble Bath along the coast of Amed. We admire the seascape that is lush with gregarion fans, florescent nudibranchs, anemones with adorable clown fish, iridescent squid, schools of large colorful angelfish, bumphead parrotfish and giant starfish scattered along the ocean floor.
Why would I ever want to get out of this water? I usually wear a 3mm wetsuit in my home waters of Maui, Hawaii and freeze at 78 degrees and frequently end my dives early due to blue finger nail beds and shivering. A cold water diver, I am not! I adore this very warm water and after diving for 17 years, I am certain the sea of Amed, on this very day, is the warmest I have been lucky enough to dive in. The fish even seem to be happier and linger so that my dive buddy and I can get a closer look at them – they must know they are living in a jacuzzi for sure.
One of our drift dives called the Deep Blue begins with a local style, jukung, which is traditional fishing dual outrigger canoes the Balinese fishermen use with a sail and an outboard motor. We cruise on a colorfully painted jukung with a smiling driver squatting down to steer the small boat. In case you didn’t know, Balinese people have one of the happiest dispositions and this is why some many of us are drawn back to Bali over and over.
To be fair, the jukung boat captains are used in order, by the village organization, to receive boating business so that all are able to supplement their limited income from fishing. Todd Bosse, my dive buddy also from Maui, is stoked about the jukung saying “These boats are freaking cool! Instead of bringing in a bunch of power boats we are able to use local transportation to get to the dive sites and support the traditional ways. We are diving off of the same boats that the villagers use to catch fish every morning.”
A Japanese WW II patrol boat sunk right in front of our resort, Baliku, and makes for a great warm water snorkel and launch off for a scuba dive along an extensive reefline. There are Balinese women called porters that carry your equipment on their heads to the shoreline everywhere you div ein Amed. I was told that I would be taking someone’s job if I carried my own gear, so off my equipment goes with the porters to support the local economy. These “quat waunitas” (Balinese for strong women), are waiting in the parking lot eager to work. Hopefully the seaside village of Amed can continue to balance tourism with local traditions.
Many thanks to the people of Amed for sharing their culture, strength, jukung, porters and happiness to put us spoiled divers in these glorious warm waters of the Indian Ocean.
READ OTHER STORIES BY JEN TEMPCHIN: