Scuba Diving Bali
Just to the east of the Bali-to-Java ferry terminal in the small village of Gilimanuk in northwest Bali, lie the calm waters of Secret Bay. Although not in the same league as other muck diving destinations such as Lembeh Strait, this dive Bali spot has a fair collection of its own treasures waiting to be discovered; it's definitely worth a dive or 2.
Heading out north west from the shore side, you'll descend onto a very shallow and bare, brown sandy bottom. First thing you'll notice no doubt are the red and white segmented sea cucumbers, very common in this bay. Striped goatfish nuzzle through the sand with their barbels, filtering food.
Dragonets can be seen by the keen eyed scuba diver, crawling across the bottom, with their brightly coloured, spiny dorsal fins raised when agitated. Pink and grey seahorses are quite common and you can find them riding across the open sands, or hooked to a fallen branch.
Wind your way further away from shore, inspecting the cement blocks and other man-made detritous. These objects often harbour more unusual Bali scuba diving sights. Brown hairy frogfish lumber into striking position, lures poised for a catch. Bearded scorpionfish lurk too for unsuspecting fish. Yellow-margin moray eels peer out from the under-edges.
Deeper sections of the sand bottom attract large beds of black slate-pencil sea urchins and diadema sea urchins, their long spines protecting brown cardinalfish from falling prey to devil scorpionfish. Here too you can find snake eels, staring up from the sand bed, only their heads revealed.
Complete your dive back towards shore, near the police boat mooring station. Here you can find harlequin (ornate) ghost pipefish, cockatoo leaf fish, upsidedown jellyfish and the rather unusual green-striped pufferfish. Hermit crabs and blue crabs scuttle across the bottom looking for scraps of sunken food.
Secret Bay is very shallow, has no coral and hardly any usual fish to speak of. As such, scuba diving in Bali here will only appeal to those that have an active interest in searching out the odd and unusual species that form part of our underwater world.
Secret Bay Reef Basics: Muck diving
Depth: 5 - 12m
Visibility: 5 - 10m
Surface conditions: Calm
Water temperature: 24 - 27°C
Experience level: Intermediate - Advanced
Number of dive sites: 1
Diving season: All year round
Distance: ~110 km northwest of Kuta (3 hours)
Access: Bali dive resorts
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