“Where there are ships, there will be wrecks.”
Rebuilding itself after the rigours of a lengthy civil war, the island nation of Sri Lanka is rapidly becoming recognised as an emerging tourism hot-spot and a major drawcard in the global pantheon of wreck diving destinations.
It’s a reputation that’s well deserved. Situated on the busy trading routes between Asia and Europe, the rocks, reefs and waters surrounding Sri Lanka have, over the centuries, laid claim to hundreds of wrecks, the victims of accident, weather and war. And while many of the vessels that sank in shallow water have rapidly deteriorated, those deeper and more intact wrecks are providing exciting exploration opportunities for appropriately trained and equipped divers … and underwater photographers.
A gifted writer, underwater photographer and shipwreck explorer whose discoveries and achievements have been recognised internationally, Dharshana Jayawardena’s recently published book, ‘Ghosts of the Deep: Diving The Shipwrecks Of Sri Lanka’, is a magnificently illustrated book recounting the stories and history of more than 40 of Sri Lanka’s wrecks – several of which have still to be positively identified – and the author’s experiences when diving them.
From the cover shot showing the stern of a still-to-be-identified vessel west off Colombo (that, “hath suffered a sea-change into something rich and strange”) to possibly the best known of Sri Lanka’s wreck attractions, HMS Hermes – the world’s first purpose-built aircraft carrier sunk by the Japanese during WWII – ‘Ghosts of the Deep’ is well-researched, lavishly – and beautifully – illustrated throughout, and a riveting read to boot.
Reflecting Dharshana’s passion for exploration and his talent for documenting his experiences and discoveries in both word and picture, ‘Ghosts of the Deep’ is a book that belongs on the shelf of every shipwreck enthusiast, as well as on the ‘required reading’ list of every diver fortunate enough to be planning a trip to Sri Lanka.
For further information on diving opportunities in Sri Lanka … and the book, ‘Ghosts of the Deep: Diving The Shipwrecks Of Sri Lanka’, please visit Dharshana’s website at: http://www.divesrilanka.com/
Categories: Book Reviews