Deep Sea Lodge
Island At A Glance
The HMS Hermes is accessed from the Batticaloa lagoon, which lies approximately 100 miles south of Trincomalee on the east coast of Sri Lanka.
The Deep Sea Lodge, built inside the lagoon and protected by a sand bar, is a small and simple lodge offering comfortable but basic accommodation with 6 double/twin air-conditioned rooms, each with an en-suite shower room.
Restaurants & Bars
The charming open-sided bar and restaurant with thatched roof is built on the edge of the lagoon offering beautiful views. Fresh full breakfasts are served daily, with lunches and evening meals being a selection of local cuisine and lots of freshly caught fish and seafood. Western options, such as burgers, pizza etc. are also available.
In addition to diving and snorkelling, Batticaloa has many places of interest to visit including the Batticaloa Light House, built by the British in the year 1913 and located where the Batticaloa lagoon meets the Indian Ocean. The light house has an observatory at the top with a radius of six feet and offers magnificent views of the lagoon and sand bar. The Deep Sea Lodge can organise bicycle hire so you can explore the Batticaloa Pennisular for yourself! The lodge is also the only hotel in Batticaloa with its own swimming pool.
It is from the Deep Sea Lodge that you can access what is, without doubt, one of the most outstanding wreck dives in the world, with incredible history and abundant marine life. At dawn, on 9 April 1942, in the Indian Ocean just off the east coast of Sri Lanka, the 167m long, 12,900 ton aircraft carrier HMS Hermes, was attacked in a devastating raid by 70 Japanese aircraft. Taking 40 hits in just 10 minutes, HMS Hermes capsized and disappeared beneath the waves, with the loss of 307 men. Lying in 45-58m of water, 8km off the coast of Batticaloa, the wreck has been off-limits to divers for many years. Now, more than sixty years after sinking, the area has been opened to tourism and the HMS Hermes has finally become available for extended range and technically trained divers to explore. One of just three aircraft carriers accessible to divers, (the others being the USS Oriskany located in Florida, and the USS Saratoga located in Bikini Atoll) the HMS Hermes is unique in that she was the only ship sunk in battle. With an average depth of 43 – 45m, and the maximum depth of the wreck being 56m, we recommend technical divers are trained to a minimum of 50 metres plus Advanced Nitrox certified. The dive base is fully set up for technical diving with a cylinder set up as follows; twin 11ltr luxfer aluminium cylinders with isolator manifolds filled with normal clean air (21% 02), plus a decompression single sling tank 1 x 11ltr aluminium cylinder NITROX 50%. Two dives are planned each day. Divers will need to bring their own Tec BCD, 3 x Din Regulators, mask, fins, 2 x multi-gas dive computers and slates. All divers must have 2 Safety Marker Buoys (1 red and 1 yellow) with a line and reel for decompression stops. The red buoy is deployed by the diver who is doing his depression stops while drifting. If the diver should become low on air, or has a 50% deco gas problem, he should deploy the yellow buoy to alert the surface boat team that he needs more gas and a new tank will be lowered down by line. Rebreathers are also welcome, however, this must be advised at the time of booking, we recommend a minimum of 3 months prior to departure, to enable the right sorb to be ordered and shipped on your behalf. This must be paid for in full prior to travel. Helium is available on prior request. The HMS Hermes is a ‘Military Maritime Grave’ therefore no artifacts of any kind can be taken from the wreck. Photography is restricted to exterior only, and no human remains are allowed to be filmed, photographed or disturbed, and under no circumstances can they be published or broadcast if filmed inadvertently.
Sri Lankan Airlines offer daily flights from London Heathrow to Colombo so you can be very flexible with your itinerary. The flight time from Heathrow to Colombo is approximately 10 hours and 30 minutes. From Colombo, Batticaloa is approximately 6-8 hours by road, with lots of places of interest to visit on route.
Evening departure from London for overnight international flight to Colombo.
Early afternoon arrival into Colombo and transfer to Palwehera Village Eco Resort, or similar, Dambulla for 1 night.
Set off from Dambulla to Batticaloa. The drive will take approximately 3-6 hours and includes sight-seeing stops en-route before reaching the Deep Sea Lodge in Batticaloa.
Begin 5 days of fabulous diving on the HMS Hermes, diving 2 dives per day.
Check out of the Deep Sea Lodge and enjoy a scenic 3 hour drive to the ancient rock fortress of Sigiriya (Lions Rock) 1200 steps. Proceed to Kandy for overnight stay at the Senani Hotel (or similar) for 1 night.
Depart Colombo for late morning check in for your international flight to the UK. Arriving London Heathrow approximately 1945hrs.
8nts Sri Lanka - HMS Hermes from £1740 per person plus £116 departure taxes
Price includes return international flights from the UK on Sri Lankan Airlines, all transfers, 8nts accommodation based on twin/double share with breakfast and 5 days diving with 2 dives per day with tank/weights on air.