All photographs are the original work of Nishan Perera, and cannot be used without the written consent of the photographer. Unauthorized use of images is a violation of intellectual property rights and may be subject to legal action.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Boiler Wreck

The 'Boiler Wreck' is in fact the wreckage of two separate ships whose identity remains unknown, possibly because very little effort has been made to investigate them. With the aura of the HMS Hermes, all other wrecks around Batticaloa are easily overlooked by most divers. But this is a great dive site with large boilers from the steam driven engines, propellors and scattered bits of wrecked metal overgrown in coral. The wrecks are located just south of the Kalladi lighthouse, and sit on the shallow reef running parallel to the shore. Both the wreck and the reef provide a habitat for  a variety of hard corals and interesting fish and macro life. A resident school of yellow lined goatfish hang out near the bow while colorful tropicals such as angelfish and butterflyfish glide among the corals. Look closely and you will find tiny porcelain crabs within the coral heads and colorful nudibranchs among the rubble. Lizardfish, sand perches, gobies and blennies compete for attention from critter fans. Most of the reef and wreck lies within a depth range of 5-8m, with a maximum depth of only 10m. So this is an ideal site for new divers to explore an interesting wreck or for experienced divers to off gas after diving the Hermes or deeper reefs further offshore.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Batticaloa Blues

After a two year break I returned to the wreck of the 'HMS Hermes' off Batticaloa. Calm seas and an absence of any wind foretold of good diving conditions, and good conditions they were for sure. Almost no currents and gin clear blue water bathed in sunlight. Drifting in open water felt like being an astronaut in space with nothing below, around or above other than vast blue emptiness and shafts of light that seemed to penetrate as deep as my eyes could see. The ocean had given me a "moment". Nirvana could surely not be much better than this!