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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Gorgonian Garden

Off the coast of Colombo, Gorgonian Garden is one of our favorite dive sites. A garden of sea fans at a depth of around 35m creating a fantasy world of reds, yellows and oranges framed against the blue water. Sea fans are not uncommon on other dive sites around Sri Lanka but we have never come across such a dense aggregation of healthy fans. Some as large as a diver stand tall over the flat seabed, often with several feather stars sitting on top of them to find a good vantage point to catch passing plankton. Large sea fans tend to grow in areas subject to strong currents and this site is no exception. The local fishermen call the reef "Hulang Paraya" or windy reef due to its exposed location, and strong currents tend to sweep the reef on most days. However on our last dive we have near perfect conditions with flat seas, light currents and visibility of 20-25m.  The good conditions are ideal for exploring the reef and we chance upon a large coral head teeming with fish, an action packed oasis of life within the silent and serene world of sea fans.

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