The Reefs of Taprobane
Arthur C. Clarke
Publisher: ibooks, 2002
$22.00 (Includes Shipping to Canada or the U.S.)
Looking for new underwater worlds to conquer, Arthur Clarke and Mike Wilson followed up their expedition to Australia's Great Barrier Reef (described in The Coast of Coral) by exploring the romantic seas surrounding Ceylon. Meetings with dangerous and beautiful marine creatures were only one side of the expedition's activities. Their adventures included the discovery of a 3,000-year-old Hindu temple lying on the ocean bed. Clarke and Wilson lived among the Ceylonese natives, their contact with Europeans virtually limited to the dozen members of the Ceylonese Reefcombers Club, who shared many of their underwater adventures. When weather conditions ruled out skin diving, the explored the awe-inspiring ruins of ancient Sinhalese cities, made trips into the jungles in search of wild life, and visited Buddhist monasteries.
Clarke and Wilson's experiences provide vivid impressions of old and new Ceylon, one of the key countries of the Far East, and give vivid impressions of the fantastic life of the tropical reefs and the strange transformations which lost ships undergo when the sea works its will on them.