Batticaloa is a coastal town on the east coast of Sri Lanka. It sits on a narrow strip of land between the Indian Ocean and an estuarine lagoon. The area is known for its gorgeous natural lagoons and idyllic beaches.
The journey to Batticaloa from the international airport in Colombo takes you through some of Sri Lanka’s most beautiful reserves and parks. We highly recommend you make an adventure of the journey and take some time to explore.
Batticaloa is a simple coastal town which provides a great base to explore the east coast, with a range of peaceful swimming and snorkelling spots to enjoy. It’s also the perfect base to explore Sri Lanka’s most famed wreck diving site, the H.M.S. Hermes.
Batticaloa’s climate is temperate throughout the year. March to May is the warmest time of the year with a maximum average temperature around 32°C. During the monsoon season from November to February heavy rains are recorded, with an average temperature of 15°C.
There are over a dozen dive sites that are accessible from Batticaloa in the Bay of Bengal. It is known as Sri Lanka’s diving paradise due to the number of sites available. The conditions are warm, often with fantastic visibility. There is a range of sites available, from numerous wrecks to delightful rocky terrain bustling with life.
You also have the opportunity to see and possibly swim with whales, of which there are two species commonly found in the area; blue whales and sperm whales.
The main attraction for divers to the area is the H.M.S. Hermes, which was opened up to tec divers in 2008. This wreck is known as one of the best tec diving sites in the world, offering up an exciting history, flourishing marine life and spectacular visibility.
Many other wrecks were lost in battle on the same day as the H.M.S. Hermes. These include the S.S. British Sergeant merchant ship, British oil tanker R.F.A. Athelstane, and corvette H.M.S. Hollyhock. Several boiler wrecks and cargo ships have also been discovered int he area. The wreckage of H.M.S. Hermes’ Australian escort ship, HMAS Vampire, is still to be found.
27°C – 3-5mm wetsuit
Mid-February to October offers the best diving conditions, with the conditions on the H.M.S. Hermes being at their optimum from April to September.
H.M.S. Hermes is recommended for divers with minimum technical training to 50 metres. She lies in 45 - 58 metres of water, port side down and is surrounded by abundant marine life and coral growth. Moderate to strong currents can be experienced on the dive.
The wreck is a "military maritime grave" and as such no attempt should be made to gain access to penetrate, touch, disturb, or in any way interfere with the wreck. There must be no attempt to remove artefacts of any kind from the wreckage.
While there is no objection to still photography or filming of the wreck, the dive team should only photograph or film the exterior.
Every effort must be made to avoid photographing or filming any human remains. Any photographs or film inadvertently taken of human remains should under no circumstances be published or broadcast.
Technical Diving & Diver Requirements
Cylinder Set Up: 11 litre X 2 luxfer twin Aluminum cylinders with Isolator manifolds as back gas Normal Clean air (21% O2) 11-litre x 1 Aluminium cylinder EANX 50% for the decompression to start at 18m (similar gear twice a day)
The maximum depth of the wreck is 56m, and the water temperature is approximately 27 C° at 40m.
Note: The above dives are not on Trimix. Helium is available. (must be ordered in advance)
Diver Training: The minimum training requirement to dive the Hermes is as follows:
Technical dive qualification to a minimum of 50m plus Advanced Nitrox certified.
Rebreather Divers: We can cater for rebreather divers. To ensure that the sorb is available for you on arrival, we will need to know what type of rebreathers are being used. We can then obtain a quotation for the purchasing and shipping costs of the sorb. Full payment will be required before purchasing and shipping. Please allow a minimum of 3 months for ordering and shipping of sorb.
Equipment required: Divers will need to bring their own B.C.D., 3 x Din Regulators, mask, fins, wetsuit, dive computer and slates. All divers must have a Safety Marker Buoy with line and reel for decompressions stops.
A trip to Sri Lanka would not be complete without a journey into the wild to see a whole swathe of native species including elephant, leopard, langur, bears, civets, loris and a whole menagerie of exotic birds and reptiles.
Sri Lanka has a deep and fascinating cultural heritage. Make sure to visit the numerous points of interest such as Sigiriya, the famed rock fortress. And the lost city of Polonnaruwa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which was the centre of the kingdom of Sri Lanka between 377 BC and 1017.
Start your Dive Adventure here!
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Pay balance 60 to 90 Days prior to travel*
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*Time period is a guide only, subject to change according to your specific booking.