Tulamben House Reef

Tulamben House Reef


Site Review by
 Ed Kenney
Date: 02/13/2005


Site Condition
(1=worst, 5=best)

Name:  Ed Kenney Entry:    5.00
Email:   Click Here Bottom:    4.00
City:   Rainier Reef:    3.00
State:   Washington Animal:    4.00
Country:   USA Plant:    3.00
Diving:   10 years Facilities:    5.00
 Dives:   400 Solitude   4.00
    Roads:    3.00


*Average:    3.83
The second summer I dove this reef, it was only half as large as the first time, since a large avalanche from Mt. Agung had covered part to it. In any case, it's a very dynamic area, affected in both good and bad ways by the nearby Liberty wreck and resorts. I've heard that recently a huge school of jacks from the Liberty wreck has moved onto this house reef.
The snorkeling is excellent here many days, though the time of day and tide schedule makes a big difference in visibility and amount of tiny, stinging jellyfish present, a problem for snorkelers and not usually for divers. Often it's only necessary to move thirty feet or so to get better viz and fewer jellies. The site makes a perfect finish to a dive on the nearby Dropoff or River sites and is often enjoyed as a night or solo diver from travelers staying at the Paradise or Mimpi hotels.
It would be difficult to have a more convenient shore dive, though it is important to look out for both scorpionfish and stonefish here if you are one who gears up in the water. I've seen both within 20 feet of shore. Once in the water, the dive is a near perfect introduction to SE Asian and Pacific underwater life. Lionfish and titan triggers are encountered almost immediately with several types of puffers common as well. Several times my sons and I saw over two dozen morays on this dive, especially on the right side of the less than 100 meter sweep of reef. The right half had tons of blue ribbon eels, even black and yellow ones. Just a bit deeper were coral heads harboring the beautiful twinspot lionfish and even a white, white ghost pipefish. The deeper slope has all sorts of exotic fish species and is patrolled by blacktip reef sharks. You see these more often if you dive solo, and sometimes the local herd of bumphead parrotfish comes here. This slope is also excellent for observing a varied assortment of shrimp/goby pairs.
Children's NEMO favorites are all here - the exquisite palette surgeonfish, 5 types of anemonefish, gorgeous juvenile angelfish, and an occasional clown triggerfish, though I usually only see them on wall dives.
Watching fish behavior is easy - I've seen a large yellow moray hunting several times, escorted by an aggressive lionfish while nearby a medium size coronetfish hid in a school of ruddy chubs. There are a number of active cleaning stations in the mid part of the reef.
Bintang beer and Arak beckon a few meters away at the end of the dive.

Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:    4.00
Beginner:    4.00
Intermediate:    4.00
Advanced:    4.00
Night diving:    4.00

Seasonal Information

Season:    Summer
Year:    2003
Visibility:    4.00
Current:    3.00
Surf:    4.00

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