Let's set aside the well-known American shipwreck, the USS Liberty, on Bali. It's a world-class dive site that attracts scuba divers, freedivers, and even snorkelers. And not just during the day, but even at night, diving continues here, making it look more like a movie set than a sunken and lost shipwreck.
Let's talk about a lesser-known site located to the north of the Liberty. The "Boga" ship was intentionally sunk in September 2012 off the coast of Kubu to create a new reef and, simultaneously, a dive site to attract tourists to Kubu.
Boga is a 150-ton cargo ship, about 40 meters in length, lying on the sandy bottom between 16 and 39 meters perpendicular to the shore. Initially, it was thought that the maximum depth of the site would be 32 meters, but environmental conditions caused it to sink deeper. It is believed that the ship has reached its maximum depth and will no longer move.
This place is called Boga wreck or Kubu wreck, named after the village where it is located. The site is about 4 kilometers northwest of the Liberty and takes about 7-8 minutes to reach by car.
In the deepest part of the wreck lies the ship's stern and propeller blades, which are still well-preserved.
Originally, the Boga ship was purchased by the owners of the Relax Bali Hotel in Kubu but was later donated to the Karangasem district.
Over the years of its underwater existence, it has remained relatively untouched. This sets it apart from the Liberty, as some parts of the Liberty have deteriorated significantly over time. It is likely that in the coming decades, Boga will be enriched with diverse marine life and become a new local dive legend.
The dive at Boga wreck begins at a pebble beach in a beautiful shallow area. Sometimes there are strong waves here, which can make entry and exit challenging, so it's advisable to hold hands with your dive buddy.
The slope gradually descends to the ship. During the descent, you may encounter octopuses, nudibranchs, lobsters, and beautiful corals.
After a short 5-minute dive, you'll start to distinguish the dark figure of the impressive sunken ship. Starting from around 16-18 meters, you can explore the wreck by swimming around its hull.
For a long time, the ship's steering wheel remained on the Boga wreck, but it's no longer there. There is still a Volkswagen car in the cargo hold. On the upper deck, you can find an Indonesian flag, but it's covered in green algae and no longer floats in the current.
Sunken ships are known for attracting a diverse marine life, and Boga remains relatively clean and untouched by large corals. Only green algae, sponges, and small soft corals have begun to cover its surfaces.
Fish have already made this new wreck their home. Here, you can encounter Garibaldi damselfish, fusiliers, surgeonfish, trevallies, batfish, numerous lionfish, and oriental sweetlips, among others.
This sounds like an exciting and adventurous dive route! Divers exploring the wreck can follow this route along the ship's hull, past the car inside it, into the cargo hold, through it, back into the passenger compartment, and then exit again, passing the Volkswagen. From there, they can continue to the ship's bow, examining any remaining artifacts such as boxes of alcohol bottles and large pitchers. It's a journey filled with underwater discoveries and exploration.
After this, divers walk back from the bow of the ship towards the shore.
Maintaining buoyancy control and not overcrowding with other divers inside the compartments is essential for safety. The removal of doors from the ship ensures diver safety and the ability to navigate through the compartments freely.
Since it can be dark in the cargo and passenger compartments, it's advisable to bring a flashlight if you want to examine them thoroughly from the inside. Sometimes, you can encounter large oriental sweetlips hiding inside.
Near the Boga wreck, about 100 meters to the southeast, you'll find Kubu Reef. This is an artificial reef with various metal installations that have already been colonized by corals and fish, including three bicycles and one motorcycle.
One of the most impressive installations consists of plastic canisters attached to a long support on the seabed. These canisters extend upwards, creating a chain of rope "columns" with fish swimming among them. Sometimes, you can encounter divers underwater working on new structures at Kubu Reef.
You can plan Boga wreck and Kubu Reef as two consecutive dives. You can dive at Kubu Reef with an Open Water certification, as it is not very deep, reaching depths of around 18-20 meters where you'll find all the interesting marine life.
The facilities at the dive sites are very civilized and include toilets, showers, a small shop, and Balinese gazebos. Everything you need to comfortably spend the surface intervals. The parking area is located near a Balinese temple. The entry point for the Boga wreck is about 50 meters to the northwest (to the left) of the parking area, accessible through a path in the woods. The entry point for Kubu Reef is directly opposite the parking area or about 5-10 meters to the left.
Due to the depth of the wreck, this dive is recommended for advanced scuba divers who are capable of diving to depths of up to 30 meters and can control their buoyancy effectively in an enclosed space if they plan to swim inside the ship.
For freediving, Boga wreck can be recommended, but only if you are at the level of expertise comparable to Adam Stern.