Dive Log: Amalau Bay (Left side)

Dive Log: Amalau Bay (Left side)

Two divers underwater; one diver with head just out of the frame, the other diver looks directly at camera
Female scuba diver waves at the camera

DATE: Saturday, July 3, 2021

Mountain, clear skies with few clouds, and Scuba diver's head at the surface of the ocean.

SITE: Amalau Bay, American Samoa

Two scuba divers in front of a large coral mound

DIVE BUDDIES: Ian, Lilian, Christian

Giant Porites coral in Amalau Bay



Some of the many corals we saw at Amalau Bay. All of these incredible shots by Ian.

MAX DEPTH: 63 feet

Dive log: underwater reefscape with light filtering from the surface

VISIBILITY: ~60 feet

Dive log with scuba diver swimming over a thriving reef ecosystem in American Samoa


The last time I dove at Amalau Bay was back in 2018 (see dive log here), on the right side of the bay. For this dive, we dove on the left side of the bay. I observed a lot of really beautiful things: giant Porites coral (probably one of the largest I’ve seen in all of Tutuila), plentiful fish (mostly smaller fish though), giant clams, thriving coral reef ecosystem with corals growing on top of each other, a spongy brown anemone that looks like coral at first until you touch it and it turns white and feels very soft and squishy, huge plate corals, very cool and interesting reef structures about 60 feet deep that go all the way up to about 20 feet (perfect for snorkelers), sandy bottom, a school of tiiiiny fish (I thought it was just ocean dust at first and then I noticed they all moved together in rhythm), also some dead coral, but not from bleaching.

TOTAL TIME: 63 minutes


WEATHER: 2-3 ft waves, scattered clouds, 5mph winds NE

All original photos taken by Nerelle and Ian Moffitt

Life Lately: Diving More (+ New Job, New Hair)

Life Lately: Diving More (+ New Job, New Hair)

Hello hello! I’m back with a new blog post, a new ‘do, and a new job! I’m basically a new person haha.

It’s been a hot minute since I last updated but I won’t bore you with dreary details. Just know that it’s been a hectic season for me, and lots has changed, which I’m excited about. My short (again) hair and new job being the obvious ones, but I don’t have any photos to show for any of that just yet soooo, here are some photos of me scuba diving!

Ian and I have been diving every weekend for the past several weeks and it’s been a real adventure! I saw two white tip reef sharks about 6 feet long just this last weekend and it terrified and excited me – watching one of them approach us and then turn away at a flinch. I clenched Ian’s hand nervously. It was scary awesome.

These photos were from a much shallower dive in Utulei/Gataivai, where Ian helped me practice skills and pretty much took all these photos.

I have a back log of photos to share, so please bear with me while I find my new balance in this flurry of a new season. Toodaloo!

Dive Log: Birthday Out West at Nua-Seetaga Bay

Dive Log: Birthday Out West at Nua-Seetaga Bay

DATE: Saturday, 17 March 2018

DIVE SITE: Nua-Se’etaga, American Samoa


SNORKELERS: Mark, Alice, and Eric

MAX DEPTH: 75 ft.
TIME: 70 minutes
END PSI: 1000
NOTES: 11am medium-low tide. Kind of a long surface swim, and a little murky at first but cleared up nicely when we dropped down below 30 feet. Alice was on snorkel and free dove to point out sweet pinnacle formation. Swam through a little gap in coral. Got buzzed by a beautiful green turtle! Spotted a juvenile Humphead Wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus)! Swam back. Ian helped me swim back in through the riptide.

Dive Log: Amalau Bay

Dive Log: Amalau Bay

DATE: Saturday, January 6, 2018

SITE: Amalau Bay, American Samoa


DIVE BUDDIES: Ian, Tori, Alice, Marsik, Kelley, Renee

NOTES: Huge porites coral. Saw a ~5ft Humphead Wrasse(!). First dive using new BCD – works great!

DIVE LOG: Wreck Diving the USS Liberty in Tulamben, Bali

DIVE LOG: Wreck Diving the USS Liberty in Tulamben, Bali

My week in Bali was coming to an end and I was bummed about it. There was so much more that I wanted to do and explore, so much ground to cover in so little time. I didn’t want to say goodbye yet.


With a hurried sense of adventure, we took a risk, and what we ended up doing may just have been our best decision yet.

The day before our departure flight, we got on our moto-scooter and drove for 3 hours from Seminyak to east Bali, including a quick stop at Padang Bai for lunch.

Surf & sea pizza for only $7 in Padang Bai!

Our destination: Tulamben
Our goal: Scuba diving

If you’re in Bali and want to go scuba diving, there are great dive sites all along the east coast. Tulamben wasn’t our first choice–we heard lots of great things about Amed and Padang Bai, which were closer–but after finding out that the USS Liberty shipwreck was a shoredive and having the option to dive without a guide, we were sold.

I would have loved to do a boat dive and wouldn’t have minded a guide, but we were running on limited time, and still had to moto back for 3 hours to our place in Seminyak.

We didn’t do much planning for this dive, which is something we really should have done. We Googled a list of dive shops in Tulamben, and almost all of them wouldn’t let us rent gear without a hiring a guide. Finally, we found one called Madha Dive Shop. The location could not have been any more perfect – it was right next to the USS Liberty shipwreck!

We met the dive shop operator named Made, and he set us up with our gear. We forgot to bring our GoPro so we rented an Olympus Tough point and shoot camera.

And in case you’re wondering why I’m wearing a wetsuit in the Indian Ocean, they were available as an option at the dive shop and I didn’t want to risk getting cold. Basically, I’m spoiled for warm waters.

About the USS Liberty

The USS Liberty was a US military cargo ship that was torpedoed by a Japanese battleship in January 1942 during World War II. It went down 10-miles from the Lombok Strait and was tugged back to a beach in Tulamben so parts could be salvaged.

Twenty one years later in 1963, the nearby Mt. Agung volcano erupted (one of the most prominent volcanic eruptions of our era) and the rattling of the tremors caused the USS Liberty to slip back into the ocean on a slope with depths ranging from 15ft. to 75ft.

I was nervous at first

Because I always associated shipwrecks with sharks for some odd reason, and I kicked around awkwardly as it was my first time wearing open heel/strap fins.

I was totally fine though as soon as I started my descent and dipped below the surface–my weight distributed until I was neutrally buoyant, my muscles relaxed, my breathing slowed, and my ears equalized.

The first thing I noticed were the fish.

There were so many of them. At least 3 different schools were swimming past me as I sunk lower until I was hovering over the ship. And they were huge! The fish, I mean. They must be protected in that area or something because we have (some of) the same exact fish in American Samoa, but these were 2 to 3 times bigger! And they swam up to me curiously; not at all scared when I would reach my hand out to say hello.

The Lonely Grouper

This Goliath Grouper was about 4ft long and was chillin’ out super hard in one of the hollow crevices of the USS Liberty. They are typically shy gentle giants and I stared at this guy for a long minute. I also just realized that I have never seen more than 1 grouper at the same time, which is ironic because of its name.

Down here it feels like roaming on another planet and I’m flying through a spaceship

Side note: while writing this I stopped for like 10 minutes and stared at this picture of fish (below). I don’t know if it’s just me, maybe I’m really tired or something but the fish look like they’re moving! I swear, it’s so cool.

You can click on it to zoom. Do you see the fish moving? Is it really just me? Am I going insane????

There’s so much life down here.

It’s a different kind of dive than back home. Here, the ocean floor is a muck and looks bare, but after closer inspection, you’ll find garden eels and stingrays hiding in plain view. A few spots of coral here and there, but on the shipwreck there is all sorts of living matter that now take residence.

Shout out to my guy for doing it all

Driving through crazy Bali traffic (on a scooter nonetheless) to and from Seminyak and Tulamben (is nuts). But you made it happen. Thank you for resting your hand on my thigh every now and then to check on me. I am leaving out so so so many reasons why you’re amazing, but just know that you are, and that I love you!

Dive Log 05:

Date: August 23, 2017

Site: USS Liberty Shipwreck, Tulamben, Bali – Indian Ocean

Depth: 70 feet

Total time: 75 minutes

Visibility: 50 feet

Weather: Partly cloudy

Dive type: Shore dive

Gas Type: Air

Dive buddy: Ian M; Divemaster

Dive Shop: Madha Dive


Back on land

It was abaout 3pm when we got out of the water, and I could immediately feel gravity taking a toll on me. I trudged up the shallow beach, rinsed off, drank some iced coffee, and waited for the photos to transfer to my iPhone, while Ian bought a pair of (probably knock off) polarized Oakley sunglasses from Made’s friend who was there selling them for super cheap.

We geared up for the long ride back to Seminyak and stopped a couple of times to refuel the bike, our bellies (we needed more caffeine!!), and admire some of the most incredible views of Bali on the vistas along the way. The drive was long and hard but it was so worth it to see the beautiful countryside and witness some traditional religious rituals along the way.

Tired but stoked in Seminyak

We finally got back to Seminyak at 7:30pm. Our butts were so sore from the roadtrip, and we felt thoroughly burnt out. But we were hangry!!! We didn’t eat a proper breakfast and that surf and sea pizza seemed like forever ago. It was our last night in Bali too, so we took a cue from one of our favorite shows ever — Parks and Recreation “TREAT YO’SELF”! We took long hot showers, dressed up in our fanciest clothes, and prepared to indulge.

Ian was craving for a heavy meat so we stopped by Smokehouse BBQ for some real American goodness and ordered some of the best sliders I’ve ever had. They even had American beers! I on the other hand was feenin’ for seafood so we headed over to The Holy Crab for shrimp and callamari galore.

We stuffed our faces like mad. We were tired but we felt so electric that night–high on our epic adventure–and we had zero regrets about it!

Bali, i love you

xoxo Nerelle

One more excursion

We made one more stop to check out the popular Potato Head Club. It must have been an extra high key night for the club (or maybe there were famous people there that I missed) because the security was intense. They searched our bike before we even turned in to the parking lot, which was a bit of a maze to get to, and then patted Ian down and checked my rattan bag. I didn’t even think about what to expect of the place but once we got there, I was impressed. The exterior design of a couple thousand shutters was really cool, and inside, the vibe was really laid back, tropical, and just. so. cool… We lounged on the floor pillows to look up at the string lights swinging between palm trees and admired the view and the sound of the ocean not far away. The ambiance was so chill that I almost fell asleep right then and there, so we yawned and decided it was time for bed. We had another long day ahead of us.

All photos taken with either my iPhone 6 or the Olympus Tough camera. Ian took almost all the underwater pics!

LIFE: Scuba diving Hole in the Reef and travel plans

LIFE: Scuba diving Hole in the Reef and travel plans


NOV 2016
It’s been a busy couple of weeks. What’s new?

Last weekend was my first official dive outside of my scuba certification. Some friends and I went diving at Hole in the Reef, which is supposedly a pretty difficult dive – and it was awesome! The coral was spectacular!

Brunch at Yahweh Cafe
Although I did have some *minor* difficulties… specifically, my mask fogged up every thirty seconds AND (I didn’t realize this until we were packing our gear into the truck BUT) my BCD had torn and the inflator hose completely detached just as I was tugging it off the tank. I couldn’t believe it. It made sense afterwards because I could not for the life of me remain buoyant at the surface. But good news is that I did a pretty awesome job of not freaking out at all. And I’m learning that my SAC rate is really good! I started the dive at 2750 psi and ended the dive with 2000 psi. I think we were down there for about 45 minutes and between my mask fogging up insanely and the receding tide, I think I could have stayed down for probably another 45 minutes!
Ian carrying tank
Ian carrying tank
Scuba Diving at Hole in the Reef
Scuba Diving at Hole in the Reef
Scuba Diving at Hole in the Reef
More updates:
I booked all my tickets to see some friends in Hawaii for a couple of days, then a week in Arizona with my siblings, then to California really quick to see Ian’s family, and then YOU GUYS… I’m going to BALI!!! I’m so excited to see my family in Arizona and spend time with my baby niece and nephew especially. But I can’t contain how excited I am to go to a new country!
Driving west towards Utumea
Driving west towards Utumea
SUPing with Yana (Curly)