Batu Abah point situated on south west of Nusa Penida Island and reachable by the speedboat from Sanur in 45 to 60 minutes depends on sea condition. Batu Abah is a form of quite big rock if you compare to other rocks surrounding Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan or Nusa Ceningan. That is why local people call it "Batu Abah" which means, "Father of The Rock". Not so many and seldom any dive shop in Bali offer a scuba diving trip to this location in their Bali diving trip packages. Besides the distance, which is relatively far, this site, required a diver with high experienced, let say 50+ dives including some drift diving experience within. Nevertheless, Batu Abah is one of our highlights of diving Bali.
Surface condition is pretty rough and has a bunch of big waves that in turn will cause some surge combined with swell along the shallow part of this point. Huge wave hits the rock is indicating that the diver must keep a safe distance to the rock wall when they surface. Highly experienced scuba diving aficionado will love this site for sure, improving diving skill while pumping adrenalin in your body, this site will give a fun adventurous experience.
One day, on March 29, 2002, we started our trip by departing from Sanur beach with a speedboat owned to one of dive center in Sanur. Our scuba diving guide is an Instructor with a lot of experience diving Nusa Penida and surroundings. After 53 minute, we arrived at Batu Abah. While setting up our diving gear, we really enjoy the breathtaking scene there even though the waves is heavily hit our boat. It was very beautiful pristine rocks! After all the gear set up and we did our pre-dive safety check, we were about to do back roll entrance when the boatman suggested us to wait until the boat move a little bit further from the rocky wall. One more maneuver and the boatman allowed us to jump into the water. Once we got into the water we must quickly descend otherwise we will be pulled of by the current and bumped onto the wall.
After descending to the 5 meter, a group of eight 1.5-meter length barracudas surrounding us. Going down again to 32 meters and we stopped for a while to adjust our buoyancy and our adaptation to the surroundings. This site is a combination of wall, white sand, boomies and slopes. In a moment, we can think about Nusa Penida and Gili Tepekong in the same place. Abundant rocks covered by both hard coral and soft coral. The magnificence of blending color of soft and hard coral would leave a memorable experience for every diver visiting Batu Abah. Fishes we encountered here mostly have bigger size than those we saw in another diving sites in Bali. We even saw a very biog grouper (2.5 meter length) with light brown skin and black lining, we guess it was a giant Potato Cod (Epinephelus tukula). Parrotfish, surgeonfish, Napoleon wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus) and triggerfish, all in bigger size. We also find some big lobster hiding behind the rocks. We did not see any sharks at that time, possibly the temperature of the water (28 degree centigrade) is the reason. Looking at the big carpet of sands, it is possible that many sharks will rest here.
The crystal clear visibility around 25 meters combined with mild current and slightly surge. On the other corner we also found a small hole we believed it will go to the other side of Batu Abah, however we cannot penetrate it since it was too small for us.
We hardly attempted to go around the island, however strong current pushing us back. Down current started to suck us down made us had to grab on some rock o the bottom. We did the safety stop immediately while we swam to keep a distance with the wall. After we were neutrally buoyant we drifted by the current while finishing the safety stop and surfacing later on. The boatman quickly caught us one by one and heading to other sites after all diver jumped in into the boat.
The scuba diving experienced in Batu Abah was very amusing and challenging. One day, we will dive this site again, considering we have not seen all sites and rocks surrounding Batu Abah.