When it comes to best kept secrets, SCUBA diving in Sri Lanka is right up there. Few people are aware of the variety of diving sites all around Sri Lanka consisting of shipwrecks and coral reefs.
Over 2,000 years of maritime activity in Sri Lanka has bestowed it with a countless number of shipwrecks. The most famous of those is the world’s first purpose designed aircraft carrier wreck lying off the coast of Batticaloa. It was sunk by the Japanese during World War II and is the 3rd deepest dive in Sri Lanka, attracting hundreds of experienced technical divers from all over the world. There are three other divable World War II wrecks in the east coast of Sri Lanka In addition; notable shipwrecks are the World War I SS Worcestershire and SS Perseus off the shores of Colombo.
There are several reefs all over the island. Pigeon Island national park fringing reef is a great place to learn diving because it is shallow. It is also the best place in Sri Lanka to reliably spot large numbers of sharks (harmless). Also there are many other fringing and rocky reefs all around island including those that are hardly talked about such as the reefs of Kalpitya, Negombo and Colombo in the west coast of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka has two seasons. The west coast season is from November to April and the east coast season is from April to October. There are many “Dive Center” all around the island where one can do a 4-5 day training to acquire the skills for diving, the first step being the “Open Water” license from either PADI or SSI, both internationally recognized standards. This training will prep a diver to dive to 18m (60ft) with an equally qualified buddy.
Article contributed by: Dharshana Jayawardena.
Dharshana is a leading shipwreck explorer and his work has been recognized internationally. Visit his site www.DiveSriLanka.com for more on diving.