Dive the Nilgiri ("TRUG") (www.DiveSriLanka.com)
It's really a tug
By Dharshana Jayawardena.

Depth:32 Meters

Lionfish stalk a pulsating baitball!
The massive propellars

Imagine being on a dark & gloomy alien planet and suddenly even a more alien looking spaceship descends and hovers right in front of you.

These fanciful thoughts take no great effort when you are diving the Nilgiri or the "TRUG" on a day of good visibility and you gaze at its towering structure from right in front of the bow. Lying upside down, fully intact and showing little damage this large Sri Lankan owned utility barge/tug boat that sank off the coast of Mount Lavenia in 1997 while attempting to escort a troubled ship to the Colombo Harbor. It is a quite a small wreck at 54.9 meters long, 11.9 at the beam and 4 meter draft.

This is a very powerful & interesting place. The large upside down cavern hides many forms of life. Pufferfish, Moray Eels, Lionfish, Batfish and when the conditions are right various types of Trevally including the Giant Trevally can be seen. One can count on the presence of many Lionfish at the TRUG. These Lionfish seem very curious towards divers. They are specially known to charge photographers with wide angle lenses or domes at great speed. Fear not for they only seem to be attracted/threatened by their own reflection; though this could be quite a disconcerting experience for the first timer.

However one does not have much time to explore this Tug. At best 20 minutes is all you have before you hit deco. Unfortunately most of the interesting stuff is at 30 meters. Only the large propellers and rudders prove to be of some interest at a higher depth. The hull and the bow is just a flat surface devoid of any coral growth.

The TRUG - a place for a close encounter with the third kind.

TRUG: Like an alien spacecraft from Stargate hovering over the ground.

Bow of the TRUG - a powerful & intimidating structure.

The imperious gaze of the guardian

A disdainful yawn

Inside out - various types of Cardinalfish

Jabba the Pufferfish

On a exceptionally murky day a day dive appears a night dive! (outside)

Hello! Who are you?
A lone diver swims towards the bow

From under the massive cavern
The rudders and the propellers
The swim through beneath the massive cavern of the TRUG

Resident Pufferfish Jabba
Various Moray Eels can be found in the nooks and crannies

The bow of the trug at about 20 meters.
Inside the TRUG

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