Colombo, Sri Lanka, is home to some of Asia's most spectacular wreck dive locations, as we have mentioned in a few places in this blog. There is undoubtedly something for every wreck fan, given the abundance of wrecks available, which range in size from tiny tugs to transport boats over 100 meters long. There are more thrilling wrecks that may be located in Colombo for diving.
The Clarke wreck is a historic place with a depth of 25 – 29m. The boat ride to get to the location is about 29 minutes. This place is one of the most recommended in Colombo, as it is the last-dived location of the world-famous Sir Arther C. Clarke.
In Clarke's wreck, you will come face to face with how the shoals of blue-striped snapper inhabit the impact and the hull of the wreck, how fish varieties are swimming inside the midships, the propeller and the broken rudder, and even the deck of the bow.
So if you are a travel enthusiast, you must start diving in Colombo once you visit Sri Lanka. Visit Clarke's wreck and feel the historical wonders inside the water. It's a different feeling, believe us!
The story of finding the Clarke wreck
The main character, who is also the founder of this place, is Mr. Dharshana Jayawardena, one of the top-tier divers in Sri Lanka with the highest experience levels as a professional diver.
When a fisherman informs him that there is a tiny unidentified barge north of Colombo located approximately 11 kilometers west of the famous Kelani River estuary, it lit up an immense enthusiasm in him to find out the story behind this wreck.
With a sonar scanner, he leaves for his adventure, and as soon as he gets to the location pinpointed by the fisherman, the scanner lights up, indicating that there is indeed something below him on the ocean bed. Confirming that the tale of the fisherman was accurate, he immediately dived into the deep waters and was thrilled when he saw a little wreck at a depth of about 25 meters.
When Mr. Dharshana Jayawardena was making his first dive in the wreck that he would name the Clarke Wreck later on, it was the very beginning of the west coast season. Therefore, the visibility was a little on the poor side. However, the situation at the wreck is not at all awful, and he had a good vision of the impact as he investigated it.
The first and most significant thing he noticed around the wreck was a sizable shoal of snappers circling it. And the wrecked barge was about 30 to 35 meters in length and around 5 meters in width. On the deck, there was only just a partially shattered mast at midships left. There were multiple square apertures leading to the holds below.
As he descended further to study the bottom of the barge and its surroundings of it, our diver soon discovered numerous significant swim-throughs into the ship's hull. Although it's small, the interior is charming and well-preserved.
Even though it was a complete disaster and filled with wreckage and dust, it was still pretty pleasant.
What kind of wreck could that be?; was the thought on Mr. Dharshana Jayawardena's mind. Even though this wreckage shares many similarities with the Taprobane East Barge, save for a few minor changes, including size and appearance, there were absolutely no hints as to where it came from.
Later, Mr. Dharshana Jayawardena stumbles upon some extremely intriguing facts which give him a little insight into the barge's history with visitors. It turns out that the world-famed science-fiction author, Mr. Arthur C. Clarke had his final dive at a shipwreck north of Colombo in March 1992. Clarke narrates his dive in a youtube video that details the incident. A portion of the film shows Clarke swimming around wreckage which tips our diver's curiosity.
He was immensely shocked to discover that this was the very similar wreck that Mr. Arthur C. Clarke had his final dive when he rapidly compared the video's footage to the footage he had taken during the dive.
And then, he created a short movie to tribute Clarke, who gifted and greatly influenced the world with outstanding science fiction novels like 2001, 2010, Rendezvous with Rama, Fall of Moon Dust, City, the Stars, and Sands of Mars. He also gave this wrecked barge the name, The Clarke Wreck.
That this unexplained calamity has been given the name Clarke Wreck in honor of a well-known thinker of our time shouldn't come as a surprise.
Arthur C. Clarke, along with another person called Mike Wilson (1934–1955), first investigated the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia before focusing on the tropical Indian Ocean near Sri Lanka.
Clarke and Wilson set out on an exploration of the island and the waters around it in 1956. They discovered and looked into 40 shipwrecks with the help of naturalist and diver Rodney Jonklaas, several of which were important in history. Clarke and Sri Lankan diver Hector Ekanayake founded Underwater Safaris, the nation's first professional diving business, in the late 1950s.
They provided tourists with a "led diving service" to the island's numerous shipwrecks and coral reefs. In Sri Lanka, the firm pioneered underwater tourism and dive instruction.
Clarke and Mike Wilson collaborated on the first underwater documentary shot in Ceylon, which was released in 1958. The Ceylon Tea Propaganda Board sponsored the 25-minute 16-mm film with the working title Beneath the Seas of Ceylon
According to historian Richard Boyle, it had some breathtaking scenes of Rodney Jonklaas taming giant groupers and then being pursued by sharks. Today, there is no sign of this movie.
So after reading this article, I know you are curious about diving in Clarke wreck. So visit Clarke wreck today!