Shipwreck

Trip Start Oct 02, 2008
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15
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Trip End Nov 30, 2008


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Flag of Indonesia  , Bali,
Sunday, November 16, 2008

Amed is a quiet village spread along the NE coast of Bali.  Driving to my bungalow, I found it encompasses a series of small bays.

Amed is good for water sports like snorkeling, scuba diving and fishing.  It is also home to the USS Virginia, an American war ship sunk by the Japanese during WWII.  One of the reasons I chose this coastal village over others.  The ship rests only 10 meters off shore.

Fishermen are happy to take tourists to the wreck...for a handsome fee.  So I decided instead to snorkel the bay in front of my bungalow.  Lots of beautiful coral and fish.  During mid-day, the bigger fish are not as shy and swim quite freely.

I was only 20 meters off shore when I swam across the skeleton of a whale.  I was surprised at the condition.  Each rib was perfectly symmetrical.  As I snorkeled over it, I discovered it was a shipwreck!  I estimate it was about 80 feet long.  And the engine block was mostly intact.  Surprisingly, it was not listed in any of my three guide books.

At dinner that night, I found out more.  The wreck was a Dutch cargo ship sunk by Japan during their WWII invasion.  Apparently, the Balinese were too preoccupied by the Japanese occupation to give it much attention.  When the Dutch returned after the war, the Balinese kept silent due to fear of reprisal.  Eventually, the shipwreck just became a part of local folklore passed on to the next generation.  But the wreck that sunk in February 1942 had only just been registered 6 months ago - in May 2008.  Amazing. 
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Comments

andy stewart on

Did you see the anchor when you found the wreck in Lipah? Really beautiful thing. Photos on Panoramio. Andy's wreck, Melissa's anchor

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