PK and the Summer of 2017 travel blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Liberty

On the Liberty


A van picked us up at the Taxa Uma, our cheap hotel, and took us to Sanur. There we picked up a girl who was a for-real diver and then took us to the dive shop. They loaded equipment for us and took our money. Ask which one they were more excited about. Then, we started on another hour and a half trek up to the site of the American cargo ship, The Liberty.

The Liberty was hauling supplies during World War II from Australia to the Philippines when it was attacked by a Japanese submarine. An American warship and a Dutch warship started towing the Liberty to a Dutch port in Indonesia to salvage it's cargo. However, she began taking on too much water. The military vessels decided to beach her on the Eastern shore of the Island of Bali, and there she sat for a generation. However, about 30 years ago a volcano caused her to slip off shore and be submerged near the coast. Now, she is the most popular dive site at Bali.

Neither Dave nor I are certified to Dive, but here they have this interesting program they call "Try Diving." Essentially, with only a few minutes instruction, they get you underwater. An instructor stays right with you controlling your assent and descent, and making sure you are still breathing. Nice component of the adventure, breathing. After getting poured into a wet suit that showed a few too many of my roles and getting our mandatory five minutes of instruction, the guide took us a few feet deep to see if we could do what he had just told us to do. We passed and soon enough he was guiding us, holding hands, to the surface of the Liberty. OK, I felt a little like a Kindergartener on a rope, but I would not trade the experience. It was beautiful, mysterious, and colorful. So much just below the surface.

Navigating below the water seemed a lot easier to me than navigating out of the water with this huge tank on. The guide ended up helping me out of my fins and supported me onto the rocky shore. The little sock-things they gave me to wear didn't keep my feet from feeling bruised. To his credit, Dave didn't laugh at me.

We got a lunch of rice and fish and, before you knew it, we were back in the water. The second dive was a lot like the first, but it didn't matter. We had rented an underwater camera and took turns shooting pictures and videos of what was happening around us. I could have stayed down another hour, but after about 35 minutes, the guide led us back to shore and helped us get out of our gear.

The trip back was excitement over the experience mixed with a desire to sleep. Somehow the driver decided it was important at that moment for us to try the Luwak coffee. So, we stopped and did. The Luwak is a little weasel-like animal that eats the coffee beans, but doesn't quite get them digested. So, they appear on the ground when he...um, relieves himself. Somehow, locals on Bali see this as a great opportunity to recapture the coffee beans he stole. So, they wash the other deposits off of them, cook them, and make coffee out of them. And, yes, they wanted us to drink it. And, yes, we did. I don't know...weasel poo coffee just didn't do that much for me.



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