How did the bemo get 24 meters below the surface?

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The Ankemi dive resort we are staying at wasn’t really packed to capacity yesterday and it seems like most people left this morning so we are the only guest left of the day. It is nice to really be able to enjoy the quite in the morning – but unfortunately there is a negative side effect. The dive center won’t take out the boat to the lagoon in front of our cabin if they don’t get a minimum of a couple of divers. So it seems like there is not going to be any trip to the outer parts of the lagoon today.

They do offer some muck diving along the shore just of the rocks in front of the place. I have tried diving for small critters before and I do like spotting the odd nudibranch once in a while. But I am not a big fan of seeing nothing but the small stuff – I like the big colourful fish there are so common at the tropical reefs. So I am considering whether or not to go out today. But considering there really isn’t a lot of stuff to do in the neighborhood of the resort I end up going out for a dive.


We start swimming slowly out from the shore and finally we reach a depth of around 24 meters. Down here we get to an old bemo – the local shared taxi. The bemo hasn’t been put here intentionally to create a small artificial reef. It has been here since 1992 when the huge tsunami destroyed most of the bay around Maumere and apparently took out a bemo from the main road and left it far from solid land at around 24 meters under the surface of the water. Hopefully the bemo was empty before it got here – but I have no idea if some unfortunate passengers were dragged out with the bemo originally. There is no sign of humans having been pulled out so hopefully nobody was.

There is a lot of life around the bemo – it is much smaller than a ship – but it still work a bit like a sunken ship where the reef is formed around the wreck. There is a lot of small stuff around the bemo and it is quite enjoyable to explore it. Despite the small size of the car we spend a fair amount of time around it to see all there is to see before we head slowly back to lower water exploring what is around at the waters off the coast.

There was actually a lot to see so I enjoyed this dive more than other muck dives I have tried. I guess the mixture between the muck diving and wreck diving around the bemo was what made it so much more interesting and easier to spot the little stuff which seemed to hang around the bemo.

It is still early in the day – but there isn’t much to do around here so we just have lunch in the onside restaurant and explore the garden for a bit. I guess it is possible to go out and explore a bit of the neighborhood which apparently has some arak production somewhere nearby. But we decide to just stay and relax in the afternoon before it is time to the traditional sunset at the platform next to the water.

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