I spent my first week at Rockside Cabanas Unawatuna, a sweet small familiar run place right at the beach 2 h away from Colombo to the south. A nice garden area with Cabanas gives you the chance of awesome sunsets. I got a big room on the 2 nd floor with huge terrace on the sea view side. The restaurant offers lovely local curry specialties but also some more westerly tuned dishes. Their staff is very friendly and will help you with all kind of advice for sightseeing or doing things around. At night a ready bed with mosquito net entry is waiting for you. Dreamlike awesome beaches stretch along to the north and south. Right in front is a place for surfers, next to it a protected bay, where no surf reaches the beach, ideal for kids to play in. To Unawatuna dive center it´s only 2 km, they arrange free Tuk Tuk transfers. It´s run by a German Hans, who operates a neat and efficient business. Dive guides from all over the world work here and I very much enjoyed my dives with these guys.
My very first impression when I hit the water, was ups, more rocks. There was some fish life around, small schools of baby barracuda, octopus, surgeons, angel, vis less than 10 m water temperature 29 degrees. Second dive was a wreck which was ripped apart and scattered all over the place, vis worse here, the area more a field of rubble. Next dive we found one electric ray and a small turtle rushed away from us. On Galle ship wreck we found better fish life and good coral growth, sweetlips were hiding beneath the structure, a small bunch of snappers floating around. After 40 min the dive guide shrugged his shoulder, nothing else or more to offer and inflated his smb. Next day started a rather busy day at the dive center where hurly burly reigns, students, open water course, discover scuba guests, was a bit crowded when everybody looked for his/her gear, started assembling tanks etc. Boats are waiting on the beach, we load them and in a common effort turn these around and push them into the sea. Dive guide this time was Pavel a Tschech, the first who mentioned oxygen on board and lost diver procedure. All guides were excellent, each had his idea how to approach items and address things. Portugese Gulliermo did the best job blowing bubble rings under water he easily managed 3 – 5 in a row, which slowly rose to the surface. I envy this, often I practice it, when a dive starts to get boring, but I only managed a big one once in a while. We mostly had small groups of six divers in one boat, but it still was a bit crowded with all gear and second tanks waiting for us, so most of our group geared up in the water. On Rangon Wreck we had some bat fish, one sting ray, schools of different snappers and 3 cuddle fish where I got real close and managed to get some nice footage video with my Hero 3. I love to watch these animals. Often I turned around like I always do in the hope to spot something big in the blue water. Nothing however turned up and it was more greenish brown than blue water dive. Sometimes I imagined myself in one of our gravel lakes, so bad were the conditions. Most dives were around 15 to 25 m. One afternoon I was the only customer and offered to skip the dive or do some exploratory thing. I had booked a 10 dive package from home for 275 €.
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