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Scuba Diving in Bali, Indonesia
Dive Site: Japanese Wreck
Location: Banyuning, Bali, Indonesia
Description: Steel freighter
Length: 20 metres (65 feet)
Depth: 6 - 12 metres (20 - 40 feet)
Visibility: 15 - 30 metres (50 - 100 feet)
Lipah Bay is a quiet, black sandy bay about 3km southeast of Amed and home of a 20 metre steel freighter wreck. The wreck sits at 6 - 12 metres between a reef and the sandy bottom and is encrusted with gorgonians, sponges and black coral bushes. The slope down away from the wreck is rich and healthy and fish life here is also good. Pipefish, shrimps, seahorses and dragonfish can be found in the right conditions here. Although the area is relatively small, Lipah Bay Reef makes a good snorkelling site.
David Pickels' wonderful book on diving in Bali described this dive site for the first time back in 1999 as the Lipah Bay Wreck, and he admitted his mistake in the meantime. Matter of the fact is that this little wreck is not located in Lipah Bay at all, but some villages further east along the coast, namely in the village of Banyuning! The dive site is locally known among the dive operators as "the Japanese Wreck". Lipah Bay is a nice snorkel spot and actually also has a small wooden wreck in only 1.5 metres of water!!
Michel De Ruyck, PADI instructor
Did he actually go back to the site?
I recommend a dive to look again in Lipah Bay as whilst free diving at 10 metres just in the sand by the drop off from coral on the west of the bay and between the headland points I saw the pointed bow of a small steel ship. I couldn't repeat the find as I burst a vessel in my nose and didn't dive again for a few weeks. The wooden boat at 1.5 metres by the way has a huge coral encrusted anchor nearby and a massive engine in 100ft hull, I had thoughts that it may have been a Dutch transport ship as locals told me that it was fired at by a U-boat and sunk after three days of fire in the water early in 1942. A Dutch flag and some bones were found but cremated by locals. I have more info if wanted.
(Bali 5km east of Amed on north coast in Lipah Bay, wooden wreck large engine 1 - 2 meters depth, anchor 5 meters. Google earth 8degrees 21'00.23"S 115degrees 40'58.99"E)
Andy Stewart | 08/12/09
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