Sri Lanka Aggressor Captain’s Log 4th February – 11th February 2017
Air Temp. 90 F
Water Temp. 82 F
Visibility 15-20 Meters Average
Captain Ahmed, Captain Ravi, Engineer Moustafa, Seamen Ahmed, Ashok, Chambussi, Prasaad & Zika, Chefs Casey & Kalum, Stewards Medo & Tarindu, Dive Guide Olivenzo
Cruise Directors Nick & Trisha
Luis, Carlos, Victor, Masakuzu, Hans, Markus, Suzette, Louise, Evelyn, Kimberly, David, Allen, Janelle, Lyn, William, Janie, Lydia, Peggy, Bob, Christopher, Karen, Christy, Miyuki, Mayumi & Chiemi
Sunday – Negombo Third Reef
Monday – Medhufaru Wreck & Thermopolaye Sierra Wreck
Tuesday – Pecheur Breton Wreck, Toilet Barge Wreck, Lotus Barge Wreck & Thermopolaye Sierra
Wednesday – Perseus Wreck, Taprobane Reef, Clarkes Wreck & Medhufaru Wreck
Thursday – Perseus Wreck, Chief Dragon Wreck & Cargo Wreck
Friday – Wallet Wreck
Saturday 4th February
All 25 guests arrived safely from USA, Japan, Germany & Portugal. They refreshed themselves had a lovely evening meal after receiving a welcome brief. They all retired for a good night’s sleep, to be ready for the next day’s diving.
Sunday 5th February
From Colombo, we headed North for Negombo Third Reef. The third reef is approximately 22km offshore and offers typical Sri Lanka reef diving. Hard and soft corals scatter the sea bed on white pristine sand, interspersed with rock outcrops and bommies. For the macro lover, this is a dream with lots of Nudibranchs and even one native to Sri Lanka, not to be found anywhere else in the world. A few guests were lucky to spot this elusive creature but there were many other great sightings including Turtle, Squid, Octopus, Cuttlefish amongst the many, many reef fish. After a days relaxing diving the guests were ready to tackle the wrecks in the morning, we headed back down South and anchored off Galle Face Green watching the bright lights of Sri Lankas’ Capital city.
Monday 6th February
Today we headed straight for the Medhufaru Wreck, visibility was looking good and the weather was treating us very well indeed with calm seas and fantastic sunshine. Medhufaru did not disappoint with its usual treasure of bait balls, Trevally and Tuna making foraging raids into them. An unusual sighting of a Stargazer Eel sticking its head above the sand was a highlight as was the multitude of tiny squid that greeted some of the guests each time they came back up the descent line, they even hung around to provide entertainment on the safety stop. From the Medhufaru we headed to the Thermopolaye Sierra, a short journey as she is in sight of the Medhufaru, with hers masts protruding from the water. The Sierra provides an excellent dive for those looking for penetration dives (within the light zone of course) and the maze of living quarters and mess rooms hide Giant Pufferfish, large Groupers and lots of Angelfish. At the bow we counted no less than 8 Octopus, one particularly brave Octopus refused to budge an inch posing for all to take great photos. Other things we saw were Cornet fish, Blue Spotted Stingray, the electrically charged Torpedo (Taprobane) Ray, Morays & many Scorpionfish.
Tuesday 7th February
Pecheur Breton was our first & second dive of the day. Literally translated it means ‘Fisherman from France’ and this was a fisherman who had a fantastic catch with Trevally rushing in to try to steal some of it. Many snappers and fusiliers formed bait balls around the wreck for collective protection. We spent the first dive exploring the outside and second trying out some of the many opportunities for penetration this beautiful wreck has to offer. Finger coral reaching out inside the wreck, with ropes and the deck covered in sun coral amongst many. The Toilet Barge sitting at 32m was almost invisible, hidden behind shoals of fish. A gang of Lionfish guarded the starboard side and a large grouper, the port side. Lotus Barge was our third dive, the smallest and most beautiful of all the wrecks, although because of depths we couldn’t spend too long, the time was sufficient to explore and appreciate the many corals encrusting her bows. Finally, to finish the day we descended once again onto the Sierra for a night dive. Like all the wrecks in the dusk she was covered in fish, Giant Pufferfish in shoals, Cornet fish idling by and the Octopus were still there, more active displaying their amazing texture and colour changing skills.
Wednesday 8th February
Heading out from shore we sailed to the Perseus Wreck, the oldest wreck on our itinerary which sank almost 100 years ago. At 170m long it is a two-dive wreck but because of the depth (40m/130ft) we would save the second dive for the following day. Our initial dive was at the bow where hundreds of wine bottles scatter the sea bed. Napoleon Wrasse glided by keeping a wary eye on us but the Batfish were very inquisitive. Searching the seabed, we found quite a few different species of Nudibranch, Blue Spotted Stingray and Torpedo Ray. Further out Barracuda glared at us menacingly. Out to Taprobane Reef next for some small critter spotting, scattered around the sea floor at 22m the guests saw Nudibranch, Banded Shrimp, Peacock Mantis Shrimp and a couple of Honeycomb Morays, again the Octopus were there, they seem to be a common feature this week. Clarkes Wreck (so named because the famous Arthur C. Clarke completed his last ever dive here at the age of 74) gave the guests another chance to explore the insides of a wreck with some small penetration opportunities. Again, Octopus were on show, were they following us??? Lionfish, juvenile Angelfish and snapper surrounded the sun coral encrusted wreck, another great dive. Revisiting the Medhufaru for a dusk/night dive was our final dive of the day. So many fish all coming to the wreck to rest for the night, with Trevally and Tuna chasing left and right, it was tiring just watching all the action.
Thursday 9th February
Perseus Wreck was our first dive at 7am. A World War 1 wreck sunk by a mine laid by the infamous SMS Wolf on 21st February 1917. A fantastic dive with shoals of Barracuda, Batfish and individual Blue Spotted Stingrays and Torpedo Rays, surrounding us all the time were shoals of snappers. This shipwreck is one of the most beautiful in Sri Lanka, the sand was so clean, so pure and white around and the wreck stood out starkly in the deep blue water. A definite favourite with the guests. Next wreck for two dives was the Chief Dragon Wreck (AKA Car Wreck). Lots of things to see here amongst the coral encrusted wreck. On the deck, there are many car chassis littered around. Large shoals of Blue Striped Snappers surround us and the wreck with Trevally rushing in hunting, a stunning sight to see. In one spot near the bow we find no less than 4 Honeycomb Moray and a Common Moray in a 3 metre square. A juvenile Sweetlips showed of its comical swimming ability just next to yet another Octopus. Finally on to the Cargo Wreck for a night dive
Friday 10th February
For our final day we headed out to the Wallet Wreck, so named as it, according to those who first found it, looks like a ladies purse. A very old wreck, still unidentified but very beautiful. Dropping down the guests were greeted by a young whale shark (look on Aggressor website) with so many Remora. The visitor stayed with us throughout the whole dive circling us, clearly inquisitive. By unanimous decision we has a second dive on the Wallet Wreck, even though she is quite small, basically because no-one saw it the first time due to our stunning encounter. The Whale Shark had moved on so attention turned to the wreck, black coral covers it, and snapper encircle almost making her invisible due to the amount of fish. Finishing the dive everyone made their way back to Colombo, enjoying a fantastic meal in the Taprobane Restaurant at Cinnamon Grand.
Saturday 11th February
Departing a little late the guests left with smiles and great memories of amazing wrecks, seven of whom acquired the renowned Iron Diver medal for completing 21 dives this week, well done girls and boys. So, long and thanks for visiting.
Sri Lanka Aggressor Crew