Dive the Toilet Barge (www.DiveSriLanka.com)

Another small delight from the age of steam - crappy name but definitely not a crappy dive!


By Dharshana Jayawardena, 14/02/2014

Depth: 32 Meters

Colombo Toilet Barge bow
The bow
Colombo Toilet Barge Stern

14/02/2014 - Valentines Day Sri Lanka!

Our romance with the sea reached a high point with an unexpected discovery of a new age of steam ship off the coast of Colombo on Valentines Day!

Based on possible fishing points received from fishermen, for many days we had been scouring around scanning the sea bed for miles and miles with an echo sounder. On many occasions the echo sounder revealed the presence of an undersea object. The first three echo signatures turned out to be small rocks. Many miles away the fourth dive yielded a pile of debris consisting largely of odd shaped rocks and thick rope. The fifth echo signature turned out to be a long elongated rock at 40 meters with a healthy population of Coral Cods. (We called this the Battery Rocks owing to the close proximity of the Battery Barge). The sixth signature turned out to be another scattered rock reef with sea fans. Again a quite fantastic dive site at 32M with great Reef Fish but hardly any sign of any ships. We called this the Scatter Rocks.

Then lucky number seven!

It was a small ship about 10M of length and far better than any valentines day gift one would hope to receive from ones lover!

Like any valentines day gift, the ship was flamboyantly adorned with the marine version of colorful ribbons and roses. It was covered with splendid corals and marine life!

The stern of the ship faced west. Amidships the remnants of a small engine could be seen. Further along one single boiler that helped powered the small engine. Just by the boiler was the unusual object we rarely see on a ship. A toilet!. Not very romantic but we had no choice but to christen this ship the "Toilet Barge"!

And all this amidst big trees of Black Corals and prolific fish life.

The only single boiler ship we have seen before is the deep (at 45M) Battery Barge about 20KM South West of this location.

The Toilet Barge was a true delight from the ocean. A small ship lost in the ocean her identity perhaps hidden for ever. Its a very small area to explore hence easily covered during the short time one gets at 32M on air. (Ideal for a EAN32 Dive)

And thus we have added another shining pearl to the glorious string of pearls that constitute the list of magnificent ship wrecks of Colombo!

First Glimpse
The thrilling first glimpse of a new ship covered with fish life
Toilet Barge Fishlife
Fish life!
And the name comes from....
Toilet Barge Boiler
The single boiler of this unique ship
Engine of the Toilet Barge
What remains of the relatively small engine
Stern of the ship
Parting is such sweet sorrow! - we regretfully leave the ship

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