The one-stop guide to diving in Sri Lanka!
All rights reserved. All material* are (c) property of *Please read our Copyright Policy.

  You are visitor number: Site Meter  
colombo divers
December Report - Bring on the Weast Coast Season! Good bye 2011!  
Summing up a great year! - new wrecks, new reefs!

Strong circumstancial evidence that this is the British Sergeant
Vakarai Kayankani
The fantastic coral reefs of a new region in Sri Lanka - Vakarai

2011 was a great year for discovery! After searching for a ghost ship marked on admiralty charts (as often the location was incorrect!) we finally found the mysterious deep ship at 57 meters off the shores of Colombo. At about the same time, the Maldivian Cargo Ship which sank 5 Kilometers off Mount Lavinia in 2009, suddenly became accessible as the Navy lifted restrictions on diving this wreck. During the east coast season we conducted several expeditions to Vakarai and documented two new ship that had never been photographed before and also dived some great reefs in the same region.

The big ship in particular aroused our great interest. Intense research of its last known location, measurements of the width of hull, comparison of segment photographs of the wreck to the archival photos strongly lead us to believe that this is indeed the British Sergeant that was sunk by the Japanese on the 9th of April 1942 along with the H.M.S Hermes, the worlds first purpose built Air Craft Carrier and fleet of other ships.

Two years after it sank, we were finally able to dive the Medufaru and also trace it back to its previous life as a ship known as Al-TAREK of Malta.
Early this year we found the B2633 (Still remains unidentified). At 57 meters of depth this is a technical dive.
The wonderful Barracuda Reef in Colombo
Barracuda Reef Barracuda Reef
23/12/11-24/12/11: We conduct five dives at the magnificentBarracuda Reef in Colombo to photograph macro subjects. Known for its consistent sightings of a large school of Fosters Barracuda, the reef is prolific with other fish life too. This is a long limestone reef that stretches for miles and is also a haven for Nudibranchs. At a maximum depth of about 24 meters this is a very popular site for all level of divers and especially macro enthusiasts.
November Report - A really early start for the West Coast Season
Into the Storm...
Gale Reef South - Gorgonian Gardens
The magnificient Gorgonian Gardens at Gale Reef South
Tomb of Medhufaru
An eerie sense of wonder at the tomb of Medhufaru...

25/11/2011 - Just before a massive storm front closes in on the west coast of Sri Lanka, we sneak in two fantastic dives in Colombo.
The sea is slightly choppy, there is rain and the sky is cloudy. Yet the waters are clear and the dive sites are spectacular. At Gorgonian Gardens, Gale Reef South, we are again captivated by the unique field of red sea fans. At the derelict tomb of Medhufaru we encounter prolific fish life including a school of thirty to fifty Batfish. The storm which hit sri lanka over the 25/11 weekend has now completely abated and calm conditions prevail again!

Oct-Nov - Unusually calm seas, massive bait ball action, surface & underwater dolphin sightings!
Battery Barge
Beautiful coral at the scenic 45M Battery Barge
Barracuda Point
A Dward Spotted Grouper holds ground at Barracuda Point
08/10/11-13/11/11: Dive galore in Colombo. The typical pre-monsoon calm sets in throughout October/November giving the avid divers in the region a head start. We even reach the far off reefs of Taprobane and see a pod of Dolphins underwater at 20Meters. October had been a hive of surface level bait ball activity drawing dolphins from all directions enabling us to see them during surface intervals on almost all days. On 27/10/11 the bait balls were massive and widespread. The slapping sounds of fighting fish could be heard a 100 meters away!. We also dive the beautifully pristine Battery Barge , the scenic Barracuda Point and the macro haven at Formosa Reef !. Colombo is a surprisingly great diving location where you more or less have great reefs and ship wrecks all by yourself!
Barracuda Point
A super tiny goby on a white whip coral at Barracuda Point
Battery Barge
A Cardinalfish and a Bannerfish feed on Black Coral at the Battery Barge.

A pretty Nudibranch at the shallow Formosa Reef

A large Jellyfish with tentacles over Barracuda Point
October Report - End of the East Coast Season
British Sergeant - strong circumstancial evidence!
British Sergeant
Inside the "Cathedral of Light"
British Sergeant
The railing seems identical to the BS railing.
01/10/11 - We conduct two dives at the ship wreck, that could presumably be the British Seargent, and measure the width of its hull. The dives were fantastic. The visibility was about 15 meters and the fish life was amazing!. Our measurements, which erred on the greater side, gave a width of 19 Meters. The British Sergeant was 16.5 meters. We believe we introduced about a 2 Meter error because of the complex placement of the hull and also obstructions that prevented us from getting a direct measurement. 17 Meters is close but still not conclusive proof that this is the British Sergeant. We also photograph key features of the wreck and currently studying archived pictures of the British Sergeant with the hope of identifying a conclusive feature.
September Report - Confounded by mysteries from World War II
Return to Vakarai - In search of the identity of a mystery ship.

Could the mystery ship be the SS Norviken?

or the British Sergeant
9/9/2011-11/9/2011 - We return to Vakarai and conduct six amazing dives. Foremost is a very large and unknown mystery ship whose exact identity is yet to be ascertained. It is strongly suspected to be either the British Sergeant or the SS Norviken. Both are thought to have sunk in this area. In fact it is just 10 KM of the last Admiralty report location of the British Sergeant. If it is positively identified as one or the other this will be a historic find. Both ships went down on the same day the world famous, worlds first purpose built Air Craft Carrier H.M.S Hermes sank on April 1942. Then we return to the lush Leather Coral Reef, Staghorn Coral Reef, Irrachchal Reef and the small ship wreck Allison & Macleelan. This is still pioneer diving with no professional dive centers. If you have your own gear however, it will be possible to arrange diving in this area for experienced and independent divers.
Below the lush Leather Coral Reef and Staghorn Coral Reef.
August Report - Whales of Sri Lanka and new coral reefs found in Vakarai
Whales of Sri Lanka - featuring marine biologist Asha de Vos

North Indian Ocean Blue Whale

Marine Biologist Asha De Vos out in the field

Find a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life, said Confucius. Believing in and living this assertion is Asha de Vos. She is a Sri Lankan marine biologist with a long-term dream to unravel the many mysteries of the Northern Indian Ocean blue whales.

She says "These whales do not migrate to Polar Regions, unlike their counterparts in other ocean basins. While tropical oceans are in general less productive than temperate or polar oceans, the fact that these animals, known for their great energetic needs, remain in the tropics year round makes me ask – how do they sustain themselves?"

This is where her journey begins…follow her on

The pristine reefs of Kayankani, Vakarai
Vakarai Kayankani
Off Kayankani one finds acres of pristine coral reefs - Staghorn Forrest
Vakarai Kayankani
Allison & Mcmillan Co(?) - A broken up ship at 17 meters depth
29/0711-31/0711 - On Friday, we journey for 6 hours to the eastern town of Vakarai. On assignment for Dilmah Conservation to document newly discovered reefs of Vakari; we spend 3 days in the region conducting some amazing dives! To our great surprise we find this formerly war torn region harboring some of the biggest and healthiest coral reefs ever seen in Sri Lanka! The conditions of the Corals are amazingly good and the the marine life is lusciously prolific. Await our detail report end of August!
Vakarai Kayankani
A snorkler over Irrachchi Reef
Vakarai Kayankani
At the Leather Coral Reef, we find prolific fish life!
Vakarai Kayankani
Cabbage Coral at the Irrachchi Reef
Vakarai Kayankani
Friendly groupers are rife and bound at Leather Coral Reef!
June/July Report - Trincomalee          
Beautiful sunrise, great beaches and great diving

Even during the season quite respectable pipes are formed
Black Tip Reef Sharks
Black Tip Reef Sharks can be spotted frequently at Pigeon Island
The days of Trincomalee at its best are here. Great sun rise views from the Nilavali/Uppaveli beach, beautiful sandy beaches stretching miles and miles, snorkelling opportunaties at Pigeon Island National park and last but not least some fantastic dive sites in Trincomalee. We reccommend the Small Grouper Rock, Kotuwey Gala and the Swami Rock (where a statue of Lord Ganesh of Hindu lore can be seen underwater) Click here for more information.

A Juvenile Lionfish at Swami Rock

Kotuwey Gala is a great site with soft coral and Anemones

Right under the Koneswaran Temple, Swami Rock is a great dive site

Sun rise at Nilavali / Uppaveli beach in Trinco is out of this world!
May Report - Time for the East Coast: Trincomalee & Batticaloa
A welcome break in the monsoons - west coast!

|Fish life was prolific at the Medhufaru

At Barracuda reef we saw the Clear Fin Lionfish. Not usually seen
17/05/11- The 2600th Anniversary of Lord Buddha birthday seems to have bought some peace and tranquility to the western seas which are supposed to be rough and windy during these times of the monsoon. It was decidedly not. After we passed somewhat of a heavy surf during entry; it was just like any other day during West Coast Season November-April. Well almost. The visibility was not at its best and the water at depth was cold. But the fish life was prolific and the waters were very busy with feeding action. All in all we are very glad that the sea granted us a opportunity during monsoons to dive the west coast again!
Welcome to Trincomalee & Batticaloa - the places to dive from May - September
Sharks Sri Lanka
The sharks of Trincomalee
H.M.S Hermes
Echoes from World War II - H.M.S Hermes in Batticaloa
10/05/2011: It is time for the east coast. The shallow dive sites and beautiful beaches of Trincomalee beckon invitingly. The Black Tip Rock around Pigeon Island is definitely a place to visit. From Batticaloa we again hear the call of the Hermes. A deep Technical Dive for experienced divers provide the opportunity to visit a historic shipwreck from world war II.
April Report - Last month of the West Coast season
At the Gorgonian Gardens
Gale Reef South - Gorgonian Gardens Gale Reef South - Gorgonian Gardens
22/04/11: We visit the remarkable Gorgonian Fan garden at the Gale Reef South. At slightly over 35 meters this vast area of small and large Gorgonian Fans are a real treat for the eye. This is a very unique reef and sight very rarely seen anywhere else even all over the world.
In calm seas, dives to Medhufaru and the Battery Barge

A Honeycomb moray in its dream home on the bridge of Medufaru

A shoal of Snappers at the Battery barge
17/04/11: For weeks we have been blessed flat calm seas. This is rather unusual for April and being almost at the end of the Season. The 45 Meter Battery Barge was as usual a delight to visit. At Medhufaru we see a huge shoal of Snappers and Giant Trevally. Medhufaru also has one of the largest schools of Batfish who are extremely friendly and keep you entertained during the safety stop over the bridge!
Medhufaru Revealed!
The inscriptions on the stern enabled us to construct the name
Medhufaru, years ago as AL TAREK and registered to Kingstown
10/04/11: Two years ago, when it sank off the coast of Colombo, we heard of this ship as the Nedafaru. With the naval restrictions on this ship now off we dived it recently and found the true name. It was Medhufaru and obviously registered to Male, Maldives. Through this information we were able to trace the IMO number of the ship and obtain pictures of its former life! Introducing the past life of Medhufaru; this is AL TAREK!
The bridge of Medhufaru
AL TAREKThe bridge, when it was named AL TAREK (c) Malta Ship Photos
Tech Dives to a new deep ship and the Battery Barge
The B2633 at 57 meters. A long search finally comes to an end
Just behind the bow
2/4/11-3/4/11: Two Technical Decompression dives to 57 meters and 45 meters remind us of the pristine wildernesses that are to be found in the deep. On Saturday we dive to finally discover an all new ship we call B2633. On Sunday we return to the familiar yet whimsically beautiful Battery Barge. The visibility is great and the fish life prolific on both dives!
Battery Barge
The bow of the barge
Battery Barge
Stern. A cradle of life..
The tomb of Medhafaru
20/03/2011: In May 2009 the Bangaladeshi registered vessel Medhafaru went down few kilometers off the shores of Colombo. We had known its approximate location yet because of Naval Restrictions we were unable to explore this ship. Finally, the naval restrictions are lifted and we add another delightful ship to the long list of ships off the coast of Colombo! Welcome to the tomb of Medhafaru!
March Report - The magnificient Taprobane North!
Taprobane North - The ship, the barge and the coral reef
Taprobane North Wreck
Fearsome, huge and magnificient; the North Wreck moves your spirit...
Taprobane North Wreck
Large shoal of Snappers sorround the North Wreck
13/03/2011: Last year we brought to the world the Taprobane North Wreck . However we could only explore the stern side of this massive ship. This year in two more dives to 40 meters depth we explore the bow side of this massive and awesome ship and bring you pictures from the bow side. This is really is an amazing wreck experience far away from the shores of Colombo and in conditions of pristine wilderness and visibility. Its amazing to think that a capital city of a country would harbor such secrets just near its shores.
Taprobane North Barge
The Taprobane North Barge is perhaps less imposing yet no less lovely!
Taprobane North BargeAbundant soft coral & reef life!
13/03/2011: Then we dived the barge! For sure it is much smaller than the great ship; but it is no less challenging at 40M depth and a beautiful place to be. The derelict hull is home to a gallion of reef life and beautiful soft corals!
Taprobane North Reef
A very large Sting Ray resting on the Taprobane North Reef
Taprobanne North Reef
Large coral domes are common to Taprobane North Reef
04/03/2011: In the far away seas of Taprobane North we dived three locations of the vast reef. One area is abundant with beautiful soft coral while the other is sporadically populated with large coral domes!. Here fish seek refuge for food, mating and also abundant cleaning services. What a beautiful reef!
A new reef: Snapper Alley Galle Face sites
Snapper Alley - Galle Face Snapper Alley - Galle Face
12/03/2011: The Snapper Alley is a long reef extending from south of Mount Lavinia to North of Colombo Harbor. Normally we dive the southern points which are pretty good. Today we head north on the reef right up to a point about 8KM in front of Galle Face. Here we discover a fierce jagged rock reef harboring prolific fish life and macro life! More pictures and reports soon!
A night dive at the Cargo Wreck!
Cargo Wreck
Faulkners Coral in the night!
Cargo Wreck
A tiny crab feeds

11/03/2011: Something we had wanted to do for a long time! Finally here we are at 6.15 PM anchored on the famous Colombo Cargo Wreck! As the orange fiery ball sinks beneath the shimmering horizon we descend into the depths. In the low light of dusk the ship is a thrilling place. A large bait ball twists and churns avoiding the beams of our bright torches. Faulkner's coral, normally asleep during the day, are open like a field of sun flowers and feeding in the night. Trevally are on the hunt zig zagging with great speed and attacking bait balls of fish! What a fantastic way to spend Friday night!

Cargo Wreck
A beautiful Conch
Cargo Wreck
A Pixie Hawkfish by some coral
February Report - Times of tranquility
Languishing on calm seas in the far off reefs
Taprobane East barge
The beautiful Taprobane East Wreck
Taprobane East Wreck
19-20/02/11: We conduct 5 dives during the weekend traveling to the far off shore reefs of Taprobane. We do a first time dive at the deep Taprobane West Reef (35M) and encounter a lovely patch reef with loads of Rock Cods and Glassfishes. Next we explore the Taprobane East Reef and the strikingly beautiful Taprobane East Wreck (above). The sea is absolutely calm. It is indeed a blessing and privilege to enjoy the magnificence of nature this way.

The all new far off Taprobane West Reef

The Taprobane East reef and its Anemone's
A new reef and the lions of the TRUG

Lionfish at the TRUG

Stern of the TRUG
04/02/11: For the first time we dive the Snapper Alley - Rock Highway. Here we find a 30M reef with multi level surface areas. Further exploration is needed to document fish life here. Then we visit the TRUG (above) and encounter a formation of delightful Lionfish who rule the ship wreck. These are the most curious fish we have ever encountered!

The multilevel Snappy Alley - Rock Highway

The Colombo Cargo Wreck
January Report - HERALDING A NEW BEGINING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Wrecks & Reefs

Gorgonian Gardens

Colombo Cargo Wreck
28/01/11: We dive the Gale Reef South Gorgonian Gardens and also the Colombo Cargo Wreck. Surface conditions are rather choppy but we have a absolutely great time amidst the large sea fans (a unique find anywhere in the world) and the never tiring wreck.
Cargo Wreck
The Colombo Cargo Wreck - great visibility
Taprobane East
We explore some far off-shore reefs for new dive sites
19/01/2011: Poya Day - We set off to Taprobane East and do two exploratory dives to investigate potential reefs. Our survey reveals promising reef zones for future exploration. Then we had back towards land and dive the world class Cargo Wreck. The visibility is absolutely super on this day.
First dive for 2011

14/01/11 - We start the year with a dive at the Mid Point a new dive site with loads of lovely Nudibranchs and other small things! This is a year that starts with good feeling. Sri Lanka is now in the forefront of an economic revolution. Tourism & Industry are poised to leap towards horizons unimaginable. The hotels are full. Tourists and investors are falling from the skies like a torrential tropical downpour. Constructions projects have started all over the island. We only hope that commerce & industry, while much desired, will not touch and impugn our pristine reefs around the island. This is the year of resurgence. This is the year when Sri Lanka wakes to the world. VISIT SRI LANKA - YEAR 2011!

Year 2010 Report - the year of the wrecks!

In 2010 we discovered five exciting ship wrecks

The "Edge of mankind" in the far pristine seas of Colombo!

2010, According to Arthur C. Clarke's Space Odyssey II, was the year we were supposed to explore the moons of Jupiter and discover first evidence of extra terrestrial life in the ice world of Europa. That didn't happen. But sure as Lucifer we discovered four new ship wrecks off colombo and 1 wreck off Trincomalee. We also found an amazing Gorgonian Garden deep in the sea at 35 Meters. Such a reef has never before been seen anywhere in Sri Lanka! We hope that 2011 will bring us greater gifts!


Read all about it in our 2010 Report!

Go Blog! Blog about diving in Sri Lanka!

(C) All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction of any material from this site is strictly prohibited.
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.