Dive Site of Great and Little Basses – Kirinda
Great and Little Basses reefs are found on the island's South East coast, off the tiny fishing village Kirinda. Albeit a natural barrier guarding the southeastern coastal belt, the Basses have also wrecked many ships that unsuspectingly left too close to the shoreline. In 1873 and 1878, the ruling British government made two lighthouses in both reefs, still in operation.
Diving in the Basses is a much-anticipated activity. Regrettably, due to strong currents and rough sea situations, driving can be done only during mid-March till the end of April every year, when the North-East monsoons lot and South-West monsoons are about to start.
Great Basses can be accessible within half an hour from the Kirinda pier; the most famous wreck in the basses is the coin ship that rests at a depth of twenty meters. The 24 gunships of the Mogul Emperor Aurangzeb (1658-1707) was caught in the wind and sank with a shipload of thousands of silver coins. It was found by the late Arthur C. Clarke (author of 2001, A Space Odyssey) and Mike Wilson in 1961. Available only through the tears of the reef, strong currents make this dive slightly challenging.
Placed in shallow pits near the Great Basses lighthouse is another shipwreck that carried a large haul of pointed bottom glass bottles. Parts of these glasses can be observed even today.
Little Basses: With a travel time of about two hours from the Kirinda pier, there are two shipwrecks in the shallow streams of Little Basses reef.
The copper ship is a Dutch source wooden steamship, where the hull did construct copper plates. It is reclining at a depth of 18 – 20 meters.
The massive 'iron wreck' that occupies approximately 4 kilometres west of Little Basses.