Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving, Bulakan, Indonesia
In 2023 I travelled to Tulamben for the third time and spent jsut over two weeks diving the north-eastern coast of Bali. I used Liberty Dive Resort, click here to read about the town and dive operations. This was the last dive site I visited during the trip and one I had not visited on previous trips. There are literally hundreds of potential dive sites located within a few kilometres of Tulamben but only a dozen or so are able to be visited.
Bulaken is located about 5.5 kilometres to the south-east of Tulamben (in a straight line) and is the most distance local dive site. It is quite a long trip off the main road to the site, down some reasonably steep sections of track. An approximate GPS mark for the dive spot is S8Â° 18.5225" E115Â° 37.4452" (using WGS84 as the datum).
|A satellite photo from Google Earth that shows the location of the dive site
Entry is about the middle of the green area
At the end of the track there is a small resort on the right and then a large Hindu Temple. There is a covered area, a large table, toilets, camera washing basins and a shower, all a few metres from the beach. The beach itself is black sand which then has some small rocks once in the water. A bit deeper are larger rocks. It is one of the easier entry and exits at Tulamben.
Once in the water, you drop down and start heading east. The bottom is large rocks for at least four minutes before you then hit the sand at about 5.5 metres. Another minute of swimming brings you to the start of the slope. This drops away more gradually than some other local dive sites. The one thing about this site, there are no rocks at all on the slope, just black sand.
Despite this lack of adornment to the environment, this site has a large amount of things to be seen. You will notice that as you descend, there are patches of small green weed and every now and then, a large green leaf sticking out of the sand. These are home to nudibranchs and shrimps. On the large green leaves, we found literally hundreds of "Shaun the Sheep" nudibranchs. One leaf had at least eight. They are tiny, so you need good eye-site to find and a good camera setup to photograph.
There are quite a few minor colour variations too as well as other species as you can see from my photos. There are also small hydroids growing out of the sand. These are home to shrimp. There are also some small xxxx which sometimes also house shrimp.
I went to 25 metres here on my dives and ascended slowly along the slope exploring as much as possible. You of course also see blind shrimp and gobies and mantis shrimps. I even saw a couple of small eels living in the sand. There are many other things to see, some of which I have no idea what they are (again, see my photos).
In the shallows, we saw a small turtle which did not mind me getting very close to it. At the end of the laarge rocks, there are lots of tropical fish species to be seen.
All in all, a very good dive site. I had water temperature of 30.5 on my dives here in May and the visibility was about 15 metres, less than a lot of the other sites we dived.