H.M.S Hermes - Expedition VI - (www.DiveSriLanka.com)
By Dharshana Jayawardena.

September 25-27 2009
Depth: 53 Meters. (Technical Decompression Dive)

Massive shoal of Mangrove Jacks

Port side propeller of the Hermes

We arrived to a world that could have only existed in fantasies or dreams.

Never before have we been overwhelmed with such serene beauty and abundance of life. The visibility was over 30 meters as huge swarms of fish swam all over us in great speed.

Large Dog Tooth Tuna prowled a few meters below us and headed towards an immense shoal of Mangrove Jacks that hovered over the keel; just above the beautiful forests of mystical black coral. Suddenly a equally large shoal of Trevally sped over the keel and plunged into a swarm of Blue Striped Snappers that hung like an enormous orange curtain along the bulk of the ancient wreck. Then came the Chevron Barracuda in their hundreds forming a tornado like vortex just over the bow.

This was Serengeti underwater. The Gazelles, the Impalas and the Wilder Beasts of the ocean rushing hither and thither while the Jackals and the Hyenas circled them unceasingly. It was quite easy to forget that we had come here with the sole objective of exploring one of the greatest ship wrecks of the 20th century; the worlds first purpose built air craft carrier the H.M.S Hermes.

Over two days we explore many parts of the ship. The beguiling bow, shattered superstructure, lower deck guns, anti air craft guns, the massive propeller and the stern side debris. Here, immersed in complete solitude and pristine wilderness, one could spend a life time exploring a world that was born out of destruction.

The magic of this place was that we were the only humans for miles; just four divers lost in fathoms of encrusted steel and reef upon steel.

We had endured many hardships to get here, and the Hermes had rewarded us with world class dives.

Other expeditions to the Hermes

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Unexploded Ordinance

Swarm of Trevally

Diver swims over the massive propeller

Vortex of Barracuda

Blue Snappers

Dog Tooth Tuna on the hunt

Shoals of fish

being hunted by Giant Trevally

Tuna over an Anti Air Craft Gun
|The mystical forests of Black Coral

Debris field on the sand

The rush of fish!

Black Coral adds to the magic

Lost in time and space

A vibrant canvass made of Blue Striped Snappers

Black Coral on the port side of the hull

A diver explores the debris field on sand

During the long deco stops we have some curious onlookers.

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