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December Report - An end to a year of discovery...  
Three more dive sites...
Sri Lankan Nudibranchs Sri Lankan Nudibranchs

26/12/10 - On boxing day we explore Triggerfish City again. How ever choppy seas and a strong drift way lay us and we don't find the dive site until just before ascent. Then we travel north on Barracuda reef and disover the Mid Point a new dive site with loads of lovely Nudibranchs and other small things!

04/12/10 - We explore two new sites! Few kilometers of Gale Reef South, which we discovered early this year, we find another deeper site with more beautiful sea fans and patch areas of rubble rock inhabited by small coral groupers! We will call this site Gale Reef North. At 40m it is 5 meters deeper than Gale Reef South. A few hours later we are at another new site. We call this Triggerfish City owing to a tremendous number of Red Tooth Triggerfish (Odonis niger) that flutter around like a massive congregation of butterflies! This is a massive rubble zone with schooling fish and small creatures. Await pictures soon.

November Report - After the showers from heaven
What goes on the Serendib Reef...

A Moray in one of the many coral domes at Serendib Reef

An overcast day; so the tube worms were feeding
We love the Serendib Reef a few kilometers off the shores of Colombo. You always see interesting things there. Once in a while we see giant Marble Rays similar to Elvis our friend at the Cargo Wreck. Most of the time its full of Blue Spotted Stingrays lying on the sand in an eternal state of heightened alert. Huge clouds of Red Tooth Triggers and Fusiliers descend on the sporadic coral domes in search of food and cleaning services. Under the domes you may spot Moray Eels. If you look hard enough you will find Nudi Branchs and many little exotic fishes. Couple of times we have seen half dozen Cuttlefish in mating rituals showing off spectacular chromatographic displays of vibrant patterns. And then lets not forget the game fish that swim by. At Serendib Reef occasionally look up; or you might miss big things swim by.

A juvenile wrasse at Serendib Reef

A Red Tooth Trigger breaks from the shoals and hides under a dome
Intense action at the cleaning stations of the cargo wreck
Cargo Wreck
At the bridge of the Cargo Wreck intense cleaning action ensued
Cargo Wreck
Little things were our focus this time too!
14/11/2010: After the almost biblical torrential downpour on the 10th and 11th (the highest rainfall in Sri Lanka after 18 years), the seas were dead calm again. With colombo divers we dived the irresistible Cargo Wreck and observed intense action at the cleaning stations just over the bridge. The visibility was getting better and compared to last month now improved to a good 8 meters. The times of 20M to 30M viz should soon be near!
October Report - Diving the intermonsoonal seas
The first dives for the West Coast Season
Cargo Wreck
At the famous Cargo Wreck - a Big Eye
Barracuda Reef
Cardinalfish at the lovely Barracuda Reef
02/10/10: The seas had not yet settled down. Yet during the month of October there were a few days that provided the window of opportunity to sneak in! On these days the sea was calm. There was no currents. However the visibility was a mere 3m - 4m in contrast to the average 15m we enjoy during the better times which will soon come. The waters were full of plankton and as a result schooling fish life was prolific! The low visibility didn't deter us from having a great time. For the macro photographers there were plenty of subjects to shoot!
September Report - A voice from the past...
The remarkable story of Percy Bell - a Hermes survivor
Percy Bell Hermes Survivor
Percy Bell (above) and the letter from Admiralty declaring him missing after the sinking.
Percy Bell - Hermes Survivor

As the east coast season came to an end a remarkable story of another Hermes survivor reached our ears. Maureen Bell, the daughter of late Royal Marine Percy Bell, wrote to us and told us the fascinating story of how her father survived the Hermes and was declared missing for many months. This is a war biography of Percy Bell; his inspiring story of survival and a rare glimpse of life on board the venerable H.M.S Hermes!

For comprehensive reports and articles on the Hermes - click here

July Report - The shipwrecks of the east coast
The end of MV Cordiality in Pulmudai
MV Cordiality Salvaged MV Cordiality Salvaged
In our May 2010 report we announced a world class dive site at the MV Cordiality in Pulmudai! Sadly this is not to be. The Government of Sri Lanka has issued salvage rights to a private company and the ship is being systematically broken as we write. It may be too late to save this beautiful wreck and the artificial coral reef that harbors millions of species of ocean life, but each of you could help by writing to our Tourist Board and request them to take action to preserve other ship wrecks all over Sri Lanka that are marine tourist attractions. Since our announcement there were countless inquiries from all over the world to dive this ship. But we are sad to say that the ship cannot be approached right now. Shipwreck salvaging stems from a lack of recognition by the government on the true potential and value of them to Sri Lankan economy. Please help increase awareness by raising a voice against ship wreck salvaging and destruction of marine environments by writing to
June Report - The call of the Hermes
The Nudibranchs of Trincomalee

According to Wikipedia Nudibranchs (pronounced "Nudi - brank") is a member of what is now a taxonomic clade , and what was previously a suborder , of soft-bodied , marine opisthobranch gastropod mollusks which shed their shell after their larval stage.

OK whatever. All we know is that they are these very pretty and dainty looking things. And Trincomalee is full of them.

For a patient diver with with sharp eyes, Trincomalee is a macro paradise. The Irrakandy Ship Wreck, The Pulmudai Ship Wreck (MV Cordiality) and other sites off Pigeon Island offer a plethora of Nudibranch species to be found.

These mating Nudibranchs were captured by Diver Manjula Wijeyratne while diving in Trincomalee.

Tribute to a great explorer - The Cousteau 100 party

The life of Captain Cousteau is celebrated in style

The Calypso to rule the seas again
11/06/2010: On the 100th birth anniversary of Jack Cousteau, the greatest oceanographer ever, a group of ardent divers got together in Colombo Sri Lanka to celebrate this event by hosting a rocking party! Photographers presented latest photos of the H.M.S Hermes (See Expedition VII below) and also discussed future dive trips to various parts of Sri Lanka. Red wine from France flowed around liberally but not so much of another unique French alcohol that was excruciatingly painful to consume.
At the bow, amidships and stern - three great dives at a great ship

H.M.S Hermes
Anti-Air Craft Guns of the Hermes

Lighthouse at dusk

27/05/2010-30/05/2010: Hermes Expedition VII is a great success! Over three days of great diving at the worlds first built Air Craft Carrier, the venerable H.M.S Hermes we see and photographs great features of the ship in great detail. Click here for the Expedition VII trip report.

Sri Lanka Diving Tours has now opened the Deep Sea Resort specializing in technical diving at the H.M.S Hermes

H.M.S Hermes
Starboard Anchors
Kalladi brdige and the lagoon at night
May Report - Some stories from the east coast
A world class dive at the MV Cordiality in Pulmudai
MV Cordiality
Here, everything is big! The MV Cordiality
MV Cordiality
The massive rudder
01/05/2010: We dive the gargantuan MV Cordiality which has been underwater for more than a decade. Sunk by the LTTE in late 90's this ship is now a haven for marine life. Here are the first ever pictures published of the ship and the trip report. There are many dive centers in Trincomalee now. Visit Dive Centers to find out who can take you to the MV Cordiality.
The wolf pack - Black Tip Reef Sharks off Pigeon Island

Black Tip Rock

Black Tip Rock
02/05/2010: Pigeon Island harbors a secret. In the early hours of dawn few hundred meters away from its beautiful beaches one can find one of the healthiest shark populations in Sri Lanka. A wolf pack (ok shark pack) of as large as 20-25 individuals ranging from juveniles to fully grown adults can be seen hunting over the healthy coral reef. Sit tight, stay still, be silent and sharks will approach you very closely providing great photo opportunities.
Dive sites off Pigeon Island
There are many great (and shallow) dive sites around Pigeon Island Pigeon Rock . Knife Rock, White Rock , Salabalas Rock and the Irrakandy Shipwreck. There are loads of reef fish and also hard and soft coral. Best time to dive is early morning when the sun is low and the sea is calm
April Report - In these times of change
West Coast still on but East Coast Starts and its time to dive Great Basses & Little Basses


These are times of change. The West Coast season is going strong. The mid and outer reefs are still very clam and we expect the season to last till end of April or even perhaps mid May.

However It is now time to set course to the far off fishing village of Kirinda and dive the magical Basses Reef - beside the twin pillars of the Great Basses Light House and the Little Basses Light House. Diving here is for experienced divers because the surge & currents can be strong. But the rewards are great with sightings of White Tip Reef Sharks, Potato Cods, Giant Trevally , Giant Sting Rays, Eagle Rays and occasionally Whale Sharks.

More good news! Scuba Sri Lanka dive center is now operating at Nilavali Beach Hotel (arguably the best hotel in Trincomalee). Recent diving account speak of clear seas, good visibility and shark sightings around Pigeon Island. Trincomalee has some great shallow sights and also sites with good soft and hard coral. Go Trinco!

In times of change, when one good ting ends another starts.

March Report - reaching for beyond
Remarkable finds in the far off pristine reefs

The breathtaking edge of mankind

Inside the derelict hull

19/03/10: The journey was long. Yet the destination was eminently rewarding. In the far reefs of the delightfully pristine and hardly ventured north Taprobane we dive two new ship wrecks and a wonderful soft coral reef. The Taprobane North Wreck is a world class deep wreck. Its massive. The Taprobane North Reef is full of healthy colorful soft coral. And last but least, the Taprobane North Barge is a veritable cradle of delight harboring small to large fish life in its curvaceous hold.

One day. Three amazing dives. This was life in paradise.


Pristine mini forest of soft coral at Taprobane North

Tube Worms

The pristine metal world of Taprobane North Barge

A cradle of life
Deep forest - back to the pristine Battery Barge
Battery Barge Battery Barge
03/03/10: It has almost been a year since we discovered this jewel deep within the ocean. For the first time this year we return to it with great anticipation. We are not disappointed. Amidst dead calm seas and clear blue water we revel in the pristine natural beauty of this undersea oasis. Hoards of Lionfish, big lush forests of Black Coral filled with dainty Cardinalfish, Red Rock Cods and multitude of other colorful reef fish greet us in this early morning dive! Welcome to the Battery Barge!
Heaven on Earth
Taprobane East Wreck Taprobane East Wreck
26/02/10: Some things you cannot express in words. Heaven on Earth is one such thing. In the pristine off shore blue waters of the far outer reefs of Colombo, welcome to the Taprobane East Wreck, a brand new discovery for recreational diving in Sri Lanka.
February Report - at the threshold of exciting diving!
The serenity of calm seas

The beautiful soft corals and Moray Eels of Serendib Reef

The massive propeller of the Cargo Wreck is a macro paradise
13/02/10: Finally it seems the seas have settled. On a surface of a calm and flat sea we gazed at the distant city of Colombo and its inhabitants with great pity. They did not know what they were missing. As we plunged into the clear blue waters a huge shoal of Neon Fusiliers engulfed us. We were at the Cargo Wreck. One of the most beautiful wreck dives in Sri Lanka. Our second dive, hours later, was at the Serendib Reef. Always a place for surprises and rife with the possibility seeing game fish and big schools of fish; it did not disappoint us. A large Wahoo circled us with great curiosity just before we were engulfed with a school of Surgeonfish and Neon Fusiliers. Amidst the sporadic coral domes we saw Moray Eels, colorful soft corals and cleaning stations.

The masts of the Cargo Wreck

The sea scape with sporadic Coral domes at Serendib Reef
Introducing the macro paradise at Formosa Reef

Formosa Reef and its flamboyant Lionfish!

Look carefully and the reef is crawling with Nudibranchs
04/02/10 - 06/02/10: We have fallen in love with Formosa Reef. Increasingly we realize that this is a jewel of a site. Just 800 Meters from the shores of Colombo we find a long rocky reef, just 14 meters in depth yet full of vibrant and colorful life! The shallow depths mean that we can spend hours looking for small critters in the countless nooks and crannies of this reef. Two thumbs up for Formosa Reef!

Being a shallow site - a great place for Open Water dive training
January Report - a new year with six new dive sites and counting!
A long weekend of diving

One of the best wreck dives in Sri Lanka - the Cargo Wreck

29/01/10-31/10/10: January ended with a long weekend! And we were out in the sea diving, diving and diving.

We dived the (Colombo) Cargo Wreck ; undoubtedly one of the best wreck dive experiences in Sri Lanka; and also the Barracuda Reef . On Friday the seas were turbulent with a strong southern wind. By Saturday the conditions were better and the wind had reduced. On Sunday it was even better wish relatively calm surface conditions and absolutely fantastic visibility from 15meters onwards. Great for some wide angle photography! We think the sea is finally settling in.

The multicolored Barracuda Reef
Return to Gorgonian Gardens

23/01/10: We return to the newly discovered Gorgonian Gardens at the Gale Reef south and conduct a photography survey (above). Just 8 KM (20 minutes away from shore) we do a rapid descent and find hundreds of Gorgonian fans in pristine condition! What a wonderful place!

On our return we dive the Barracuda Reef (below).

An amazing discovery
10/01/10: An afternoon of surveys off Colombo reveal two new exciting dive sites! At what's now called Guruvam Rock we discover a huge rocky reef engulfed with shoals of fusiliers. Soon after, some kilometers away, we discover Gale Reef South. Here at 35.7 meters we find a seabed covered with Gorgonian Coral Fans of all sizes! Never in Sri Lanka have we encountered such a vast community of healthy Gorgonian's thriving at depth. This is a dive for the experienced requiring rapid insertion with negative buoyancy amidst stiff open ocean currents. A detailed survey and report of this site will be published soon!
Skimming on a mirror...
09/01/10: We were out again Saturday. This time we revisited East Approach and also after a long time the shallower Formosa Reef! The surface conditions were perfect, almost as if the sea had turned into a giant mirror. At East Approach we encountered colorful nudibranchs and at Formosa reef loads of small Groupers, Lionfish and little shrimp.
Welcome 2010 !

05/01/10: In the inaugural dives for January 2010 we explore four potential sites off the coast of Colombo and certify them as fantastic dive sites. First we explore the Pandora Reef at 15M-18M of depth. A large area with sporadic rocky outcrops just off Panadura we saw schools of Fusiliers, Snappers and Trevally.

Just near Pandora Reef we explored the Panadura Wreck for the first time. Lying shallow at a maximum depth of 10 Meters the ship was badly damaged and scattered over a large area. This is a great dive site for beginners as well as for experienced divers as it provides ample opportunity to search around the debris for interesting marine life.

Next we headed north towards Colombo and dived the Temple Rock off Ratmalana. We were surprised to find extremely large and flat boulders in a reef that extended north and south both ways. This site was amazingly large! As we ascended a large school of Yellow Tail Barracuda suddenly appeared!

Finally we traveled further north and explored the end of the already known Barracuda Reef. Here, in a site we named East Approach (planes landing at Ratmalana Airport face east and land over the dive site!) we discovered a similar terrain to the Barracuda Reef. All in all a great way to start a new year!

Await detailed reports and pictures soon!

Year 2009 Report

In 2009 we discovered two exciting ship deep wrecks

and also encountered a Whale Shark in Colombo!

Another year has passed leaving nothing but only great memories and a sense of achievement. A lot happened for Sri Lanka during 2009.

After 30 years a war that had been a cancer on the country was finally over. As tourists started pouring in diving took a new form of frenzy!

In February and March we discovered two amazing ship wrecks. One the Battery Barge off Colombo and a massive unidentified ship at 65 Meters off Beruwala. It was an amazing experience! Then in March we also encountered Whale Shark while diving off Colombo. What more can one ask for?

During the East Coast season we dived the Hermes with renewed vigor. The fish life was amazing! Access to Batticaloa was now easier than ever with security checkpoints no longer in existence.

Finally in late December a new dive center was opened in Colombo for the very first time providing the opportunity for anyone to dive off Colombo

Read all about it in our 2009 Report!

Go Blog! Blog about diving in Sri Lanka!

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Welcome to Sri Lanka! The best location in the Indian Ocean to Scuba Dive in the warm tropical seas and wonderful beaches. Sri Lanka offers some great Wreck Diving experiences such as the H.M.S Hermes, SS Rangoon, H.M.S Conch, The Earl Of Shaftsbury, H.M.S Diomede, and some Surat Silver Coin wrecks at the Great Basses & Little Basses Lighthouses off Kirinda and Yala. Sri Lanka offers many courses such as PADI Open Water, Advanced, Rescue, Dive Master but yet to offer NAUI, PSAI, TDI, SDI, Nitrox, Trimix, Heliox, Solo Diving Technical Dive Courses or Liveaboard Diving. Shore diving is a possibility. Sri Lanka also is famous for whale migration, dolphin watching and very occasionally for sightings of Tiger Shark, Black Tip Reef Shark, White Tip Reef Shark, Manta Rays. Reef fish such as Moray Eels, Puffer Fish (Fugu), giant turtle, Lionfish, Snappers, Sweetlips, Trevally, Barracuda, Fusiliers, Anemonefish are very very common. Some dive sites are better than Maldives, The H.M.S Hermes is a fantastic and exciting dive in Batticaloa. The H.M.S Vampire which accompanied the H.M.S Hermes is yet to be found. Surat Silver Coin treasure was found by Sir Arthur C. Clarke and Mike Wilson at the Great Basses Ridge. The coins were minted by Aurenzeb, the son of Shah Jehan who built the Mumtas Mahal (Taj Mahal). There are also wrecks of Japanese Zeros in the China Bay and Marble Beach area. The statue of lord ganesh can be seen at the Swami Rock dive in Trincomalee. pigeon Island in Trincomalee is also famous for great diving and snorkeling. This site features original photos and stock photography of the ocean and the under sea.