Dive Taprobane - East (www.DiveSriLanka.com)
At the edge of deep blue
By Dharshana Jayawardena.

Depth:22 Meters


The shoreline had faded into the mist some time ago. Yet the distance from land seem incomprehensible until we barely cross the speeding bow of the Belgian Express, a mammoth cargo ship en route to some unknown destination. We have just passed a busy shipping lane off Serendib Reef.

It's an amazing day. The sea is calm as a millpond. From the boat we can see fish life just under the surface. A school of Longfin Batfish swim nearby. Flyingfish skim the surface hither and thither. A Dolphin surfaces and disappears into the water in one single graceful movement. The frenzied splashes in the distance indicate the formation of bait balls trying to escape predators from beneath. For almost an hour more we chug towards the western horizon under a clear blue sky and a burning sun. Finally we reach the shallow reef area of Taprobane - East Ridge.

Everyone is excited. From the boat we can see right down to the ocean floor! The visibility is amazing. We quickly roll back into the clear blue water and sink beneath the gentle swells. There seems to be a low intensity south-westerly current. We reach the bottom and start to explore coral domes that are distributed sporadically. This place is much like the Third Reef in Negombo. Blue Striped Snappers, Gray Snappers, Yellow Striped Goatfish, Butterflyfish, Emperor Angelfish inhabit the domes. We also spot a occasional Yellow Margin Moray Eel protruding out of the domes. Two large Groupers are hunting in the distance. Possibly Malabar Groupers.

Suddenly we notice one of the divers gesticulating wildly and trying to speak underwater. Apart from dispensing large amount of bubbles, he fails miserably. Yet we sense that he has seen something interesting and quickly look around. We are not disappointed.

About 10 meters above us a sleek Mobula Devil Ray swims gently against the backdrop of deep blue. What a beautiful sight! With a very long tail and the graceful flight of a large bird of prey, it is in our field of view for many minutes before disappearing into the distant azure.

All the trouble we had taken to get here has suddenly been worth it.

Our day has been made. And we hadn't even started yet.


A Maldives Anemonefish under a Magnificient Anemone

Hundreds and hundreds of Batfish engulf us!

Schools of Surgeonfish & Longfin Batfish are commonly seen

Refreshing gin clear waters are difficult to leave

A herd of Goatfish galloping across the coral bommies

A False Stonefish is from the Scorpionfish family

A solitary diver ascending far far away...

Patches of Anemones and Anemonefish can be found among the bommies

A shoal of Surgeonfish

We cross routes with the massive cargo ship Belgian Express

The bottom, 22 meters below, at Taprobane - East Ridge as seen from the surface
Divers explore the sporadic Coral bommies that constitue this nation

Beautiful Coral domes are spread sporadically all across Taprobane - East Ridge

Snappers & Goatfish at the domes

Amazing visibility!

Bluefin Trevally are a common sight.

A very large Magnificent Sea Anemone

Domino Damsels flutter around Anemone

The toxic nematocysts of the Anemone

A beautiful Chocolate Chip Starfish up close and personal

Yellow Margin Moray Eels are very common

So are Gray Sweetlips

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