Dive the Battery Barge (www.DiveSriLanka.com)
A cradle of life
By Dharshana Jayawardena.

Depth: 45 Meters.

A beautiful little place for Tec Divers!

The barge is resplendent with soft coral!

3/3/10: The stern in full technicolor

3/3/10: Cardinalfish amidst the large forest of Black Coral

Sometimes, it is cause for much wonderment that there could be so many places on earth that are pristinely beautiful, yet little known or perhaps even completely undiscovered.

This was one such place.

Spurred by tales from fisher folk (which could sometimes be taller than the fish they claim to catch), we set out to verify the potential existence of a sunken barge. Reportedly it was deep and relatively inaccessible. Therefore it was not without some skepticism and pessimism that we went about the whole business of trying to find it; scanning the sea bed with sonar, finding a small and faint blob and then dismissively casting the anchor on it. We were quite surprised therefore, when the anchor seemed to stay put; presumably planted firmly to some unknown subterranean object of significant size. Our spirits grew considerably higher and so did our new found respect for fishermen and their tales.

As we fought our way down to the depths against the current we did not know what to expect. At around 30 meters two dark and shimmering shapes seem to materialize far in the distance against the drab gray canvass of sand. Yet for some time still, we were not sure whether it was an elaborate trick of the eyes or effects of deepening narcosis. Then, a little while later, there was no doubt and elation was no longer a muted feeling.

It was one of those very rare but thrilling moments in life when one is at the threshold of discovery.

Now we could make two distinct parts of a broken barge. Then three. At this depth, the strong current that had impeded our descent earlier was almost non-existent. So we let go of the anchor line and floated eagerly towards the field of debris. The area of the wreck was very small relative to other ship wrecks in Sri Lanka. Yet it was a haven for countless marine animals from Coral to small fish. Indeed, it seems ironic that in this barren swathe of sand, death of a ship was cause for so much life.

Barge was adorned with various types of Sea Fans and Soft Coral. A multitude of Saw Tooth Feather Stars hung on various parts of the wreck. A small school of Snappers swam over the broken hull as half a dozen Lionfish floated inside the bowl of steel seemingly content with life. Hundreds of Cardinalfish formed a haze around a healthy growth of Black Coral that sprouted all around the ship.

In the vastness of the great ocean we had discovered a cradle of life.

Battery Barge Colombo
Battery Barge Colombo
Battery Barge Colombo
Battery Barge Colombo
Fishlife Battery Barge Tec Diver Battery Barge

Sea Fans and soft Coral

Black Coral

Saw Tooth Feather Stars

A thrilling first glimpse. A moment never forgetton

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