12 – 30 meters
This quieter dive site is located southeast of Tulamben Bay, just past Batu Kelebit. It is reached via a quick 5 minute boat ride in a traditional jukung. Once you’re under water, you’ll notice a few differences between this site and Tulamben’s more popular locations. Here, the sand is a much lighter color and there are far less divers. If you’re lucky, you may even have the site all to yourself.
Emerald features a gradual sloping reef that extends from the coastline out toward the sea. You’ll begin your dive at around 12 meters deep and can continue down alongside the slope until 30 meters or so, depending on your experience level. You’ll head back along the top of the reef in the shallower water. While the water is calm at first, be aware that there can sometimes be a stronger current that kicks in and turns the dive into a drift dive.
Because this dive site is less trafficked, the hard corals and sponges that dominate the reef are larger and more pristine. As you swim along the reef, marvel at the giant elephant ear sponges that protrude from the sandy slope and span more than two meters high. At one point the entire slope is canvassed with layers of pinkish orange and brown plating corals.
There are countless feather stars and a few artificial structures at different points along the reef, including a sunken table. Different species of reef fish swim around the corals and plenty more hover in the surrounding water.
Some of the marine species that you can see at Emerald include sweetlips, pufferfish, grouper, angelfish, bannerfish, and schooling sardines. There’s also a colony of garden eels poking their heads out of the sandy sea floor and swaying in the water. Occasionally, divers may even spot octopuses and stingrays, or a reef shark hiding under a table coral.