Gili Biaha SCUBA Dive Sites

Category: Amuk BayGili Biaha
The name may not be the catchiest, but that does not detract us from the excitement of this dive site. Situated in Amuk Bay which is quite popular as rough sea with unpredictable and strong current combined with heavy surge as a result of facing the open sea. One day, a friend told us about a small cave in Gili Biaha where a lot of sharks rest in there. Aside of the fact and bad reputation that the strong current, heavy surge and swell that sometimes making a dive worse, has been long time attached with this site, we still curious about this dive site. Therefore, we decided to give Gili Biaha a try. Hengky, Otti, Rochmad, Made and me agreed to go to Padang Bai to find a dive center with a knowledgeable guide. Wolfgang Krutz, a German scuba instructur who spent a lot of his underwater time in Amuk Bay, became our choice to take us to Gili Biaha. We were a bit concerned about the time since it was 2 days after the full moon which sometimes cause the tide higher than usual. Once everything set up, we depart from Padang Bai beach to the site. Getting close to this island, we can see a green rocky wall on the Bali island side, reminded us the scene in Jurassic Park. It took around 30 minutes boat riding and we were there. This small island has a humpback whale-like shape. The water is very flat. Wolfgang said that this is not an everyday good condition. In the worse condition when heavy wave hit this island, the water will enter the cave and pushing up into the blowhole and think of a breathing whale with the blowhole is at the wrong end. It will give you everything except ideal condition. We jumped into the water at the eastern side of the island which form a banana curve. Descend to 12 meters, we found the opening of the cave after a relax swimming to the center of the curve. The cave is quite big for six of us to be in. Three white tip sharks welcome us and approaching us as they were curious who wake them up from their nap. We had quite some time playing around with them until one by one they left the cave for us to explore. Watching the roof, we saw the blowhole, however the hole is not a straight up line since we could not see the sunlight. In the corner of the cave, we saw a lot of big lobsters. Twenty minutes felt very quick, we were very excited, then we got out of the cave to explore another beauty of this dive site. Swimming a bit to the east, we were fascinating to see the slope with so many kind of marine life especially the rare nudibranch. We encountered at least four different rare types of nudibranch here. This slope is also decorated with colorful feather star (crinoid) which usually marks the area with frequent strong current. Scorpionfish and huge sweetlips can be found in almost every cobbles. Wolf grabbed a sea snake underneath an Acropora table, however do not do it yourself even if you have some anti-venom in your boat, since the time might not be enough! Leave it to professional to do such action. After seventy minutes of dive, we started to swim to the shallower part and get ready to have our safety stop. On the same time, down current started to suck us down to the deep channel between Bali and Gili Biaha. There is no choice, we have to hold the rockies and dead coral nearby, otherwise we could be drifted. Once all computers allow us to surface, we ascended slowly to the boat and safely got into the boat. Gili Biaha gave us all we need from a dive site. You want a cave to explore, slope to swim around and not-so-deep wall, Gili Biaha provide them all. We were quite lucky that in general the dive condition is very enjoyable, the current not so strong, as well as the surge and swell. We were all satisfied with this site and promise ourself that Gili Biaha will be visited very soon.
Access: 40 minutes speedboat ride from Padang Bai
Visibility: 10-30 meters
Current: Current can be strong, sometimes down current
Marine life: Sharks, lobster, various nudibranch
Accomodation: There's a lot of small motels in Padang Bai and some luxury one in Candi Dasa area
Tips: Bring your torch if you want to enter the shark cave
Difficulty: Moderate to difficult