Woke up early and just couldn't get back to sleep. Finally gave up and went for breakfast before the dive bus shows up - good thing because the bus showed up twenty minutes early - something almost completely unheard of in Bali. At breakfast I was talking to Rob (the English guy from diner last night) and right when the bus showed up I figured out that talking he knew Chris and Chanthu from when they were here!
The trip to Tulamben took nearly two hours. On the way passed an uncountable number of temples, and in fact we stopped at a huge spectacularly carved stone temple overlooking the sea. The dive masters all got out to quickly pray - "for luck". The dive was on the 110 meter long wreck of the the USAT Liberty (an armed cargo ship). It was torpedoed by a German U-boat during W.W.II, but managed to beach itself on Bali before sinking. The the huge volcanic explosion of Gunung Agung in 1963 pushed it out to sea. It is an amazing dive site. Very beautiful and the wreck is encrusted with coral - but at the same time recognizable as something that was once man's. The highlight of the dive as a long swim through the hold - the variety of marine life, the clear water, and the sunlight filtering through the holes was something right out of a National Geographic special. Also saw an octopus and innumerable brightly colored indigo translucent worm things - they looked like a great special effect from a high-budget science fiction movie. I really wish I had an underwater camera as this was probably the most picturesque dive I've ever done.
On shore had a very mediocre lunch and hung out for a little over an hour. The second dive (also on the Liberty) was also very good, but not as great. It was shallower (for safety) and the visibility wasn't as good - having been stirred up by the worsening surface conditions. Swam through a different part of the wreck, and saw a six foot white tip shark. The dive master said he dove the wreck more than 500 times and never seen a shark there - finally some luck with animals! On the way in also saw a blowfish which did its thing for us. I don't think I've ever seen one live before.
The drive back was again very long. Back in Kalibukbuk I tried email again and was able to read a few but unable to send any - too slow. I also was able to get to CNN and check up on what's going on in Seattle. I'm in Indonesia and they're having rioting in Seattle - something seems a bit backwards...
Did some shopping, ended up buying a couple sarongs and some gorgeous hand made paper journals with covers made from leaves and banana leaves. Spent 60,000 rupiahs! (about US$8). Also managed to get through to the airlines and confirm my flight (see I can learn). Called Morocco and finally managed to talk to Amy briefly (I'd missed the last two calls). Hung out with Rob for a while by the pool - life is rough here at the millionaires club. I had agreed to have diner with Lauren, who was the only other diver at the wreck with me (she was doing her check out dive and then the fun dive for her PADI Open water course). But I was starving so I sampled a few of the street food oferings. he street food was excellent - I hadn't tried it since even the nice restaurants are so cheap (full meal is one to two dollars).
Had another great (and cheap) diner with Lauren. After diner played a couple games of pool, then I wandered down to the veggie restaurant from last night to look for the others from the hotel - they were there. I had dessert (chocolate cake with chocolate sauce and ice-cream this time) and then hung out talking until after midnight.