Do you enjoy sending postcards? Yes it might seem a bit old fashioned with all of our modern messaging techniques, but what if you could send one whilst diving?
Underwater Post Boxes have been appearing worldwide over the last decade. One of which is in the small sleepy town of Amed, Bali.
The first Submarine Mailbox in Indonesia, it was installed in Jemeluk Bay, in October 2010. The sunken construction, a traditional Balinese temple still stands at a depth of 5 meters, close to the shore. It is easily accessible for both divers and snorkelers, who can place their cards inside a small net hanging from the roof.
Derta Prabuning from Reef Check Indonesia was involved in the sinking of this structure and says he is continuing to work on the project, by ensuring somebody from PT Pos (the Indonesian postal service) collects the post cards every day, and providing local dive shops with the special underwater cards to sell.
This particular Post Office is part of a much bigger program in Jemeluk bay where there is an underwater gallery of sculptures by local artists. This not only increases interest in the area but also helps with the coral growth.
“Coral growth in Amed was Amazing” Derta commented when I asked him what effect the post office has had on the marine environment. He explained how “many baby coral swim around looking for a place to settle” and these structures provide those places.