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June 2017    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 32, No. 6   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Diving in Sri Lanka is Not All Bad

from the June, 2017 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Reading the report in Undercurrent of the woes of the Sri Lanka Aggressor, Tim Hedrick and Phil Niccolls from Chicago, IL, both experienced divers who were on board the Aggressor for a week in February, wrote to emphasize the pros of wreck diving there.

"Yes, the wrecks were deep. And the absence of nitrox was inexcusable for such an itinerary -- tantamount to a tech-dive itinerary without trimix. Repeated, exclusively deep dives on plain air pushed us further into diving limits than we normally venture. Given the pitiful bottom times allowed with air, it took us three full dives to explore the entirety of the [wreck of the] Chief Dragon."

"But luckily our charter was one of the few able to make every dive without weather interrupting the schedule. Previous Captain's Logs, when the boat was operating, detailed many missed dives and missed days due to weather."

"We actually enjoyed it! We knew when we booked this trip that the itinerary would be mostly wreck diving, and while the reefs were barren of life, the wrecks surely were not, with schooling fish, octopus, lobsters, soft coral and more. Most of the wrecks were in great condition, littered with the cars, construction equipment and building materials they carried when they went down. The stories and legends behind their sinking were equally fascinating. In an unplanned move, we actually dove on the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the SS Perseus. We found the wreck-heavy itinerary to be a unique departure from other liveaboard trips we have experienced."

Naren Gunasekeras, a local dive business owner in Sri Lanka at the time, helped set up the Sri Lanka Aggressor operation. Naren told Undercurrent, "Overall, I think the vessel's owner underestimated the complexities of getting anything done in Sri Lanka. While a fair amount of the country has rubbish diving, Colombo is an exception with the 15 wrecks. They represent some of the healthiest reef systems in the country, and the wrecks are quite interesting, as well ranging from WWI Merchant Navy ships to a 150m long bulk carrier, which went down in 2012. The diving is quite deep, however, and challenging. Visibility can be low, especially in October, November and April, but December through March is usually good, with February/March being the best." More information is available: www.srilanka-divingtours.com

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