This dive site is located on the western side of Nusa Penida, southern of Toyapakeh strait. To reach Gamat Bay from Bali Island, usually divers rent a speedboat or joining a dive trip program that is provide by one of the diving center here in Bali. They begin their dive trip from Sanur - Bali at about from 7 - 9 am. The trip from Sanur to Gamat bay at about 45 to 60 minutes depends on the weather, waves and current.
This dive site is well known among local divers in Bali. To dive it, one must be an experienced diver with at least 50 diving or with enough experience in Drift diving.
Gamat Bay is identical to drift dive, with its unpredictable strong current, swirling pull down current therefore divers have to give more attention for the current sometimes pushing us to the surface. This various kind of currents is very common in this dive site.
This dive site is one of the most challenging sites beside Blue Corner (Ental Point) dive site, which is also located in Nusa Lembongan, the nearby island.
Divers cannot easily dive in this dive site every time they want. Actually every diving center in Bali know about this dive site, but many of dive operators here in Bali would think twice to bring their guest to Gamat bay without knowing the skill and competency of the diver.
Usually a diving center in Bali will bring their guests to northern shore dive sites such as, Batu Nunggul, Karang Sari, Tugu or SD, which do not posses strong current. They will observe the diver skill before they take him or her to Gamat Bay.
Gamat Bay is a tiny bay in this Island; it is where the Gamat River ends. Precisely, it is located in Toyapakeh channel and directly in contact with Nusa Ceningan. The strong current usually occurs when low or high tide comes and here is where the currents meet. The Channel is running from North or south and directly to open sea.
In our first experience in Gamat Bay, the current is overwhelmingly strong, swirling and wavy. It reminded us with a river, which often use for rafting. It was suicidal to dive at that time. We still didn't have much luck on the second chance since the water was still hazardous. And unpredictable water likes a river flow, we diverted our diving plan to other dive site still around Nusa Penida and we did our diving there.
Only in our third opportunity, the current was quiet friendly and we decided to dive in. We predicted that we still could handle the current. We dived rapidly once we touched the water surface. At the depth of 25 meters, a rushing current suddenly pulled us to south and we had to hang on to the reefs and we take this opportunity to enjoy the surrounding view. It was amazing and beautiful, hard corals seemed healthy and relatively untouched by human, sometimes a pack of Giant Trevally passed by and takes on the current. The bottom is a sloop; lots of gorgonian and soft coral covered it. Big boomies also seen there, surrounding with thousand of small fishes
There are small caves not too deep, around 2-3 meters and fulfill with various colors of soft corals. Usually White tip reef sharks (Triaenodon obesus) are swimming around in this area. Sometimes, Divers who's diving here can meet a giant Potato Cod. This big fish you can meet at depth around 35 - 50 meters. The other fishes in Gamat Bay still like in other dive site in Bali, such as: Blue spotted stingray (Taeniura lymma), Yellow margin moray (Gymnothorax flavimarginatus), Giant Moray eel (Gymnothorax Javanicus), Black spotted moray eel / Honeycomb moray eel (Gymnothorax favagineus), Ribbon eel (Rhinomuraena quaesita), Squirrel and soldier fish (Myripistis & Sargocentron), Trumpet fish (Aulostomidae), Scorpion fish (Scorpaenidae), Sweet lips (Haemulidae), Butterfly fish (Chaetodontidae), Clown Anemone fish ( Amphiprion percula ), Barracuda ( Sphyraenidae ), Clown trigger fish ( Balistoides conspicillum ), Titan Trigger ( Balistoides viridescens ), and still many of its.
During the same dive, we also saw a sea snake in blue, white and black stripe colors, it was playing around in between corals and sea plants. It was about 1-meter length and 2-3 cm diameter. If you really like to see small thinks, here in Gamat bay is promising, a lot of small nudibranches in very rich color and beautiful.
After 50 minutes of diving, we did the safety stop and we prepared to swim toward the surface. We were very surprised when we realize that we have covered a significant distance, we surfaced in Crystal Bay, quiet far from our initial diving starting point in Gamat Bay.
A truly amazing and unforgettable dive, not every diver earn the right to challenge and dive this site. Finally we all went back to Bali Island, back to usual activities and wait for other chance to have a diving trip together again. Still in Bali diving area I think, but for sure we will explore all other dive sites here in Bali.