Standing atop the scatter of boulders lining the beach, our guides look like toy soldiers glued to outsize footballs. In their safari outfits, rangers Haritha and Steuart cut serious expressions, squinting into the crevasses of the monstrous rocks. “What are you looking for?” I ask. “Silver dollars,” comes the reply. I laugh. “No seriously,” Steuart says. “There was a shipwreck off this coast.”
He’s not entirely wrong. In 1961, only 12km from here, the great science-fiction writer, Arthur C. Clarke discovered what’s now known as the Great Basses Wreck. The ship, flying Mughal emperor Aurangzeb’s standard, was carrying silver rupees (not dollars), when it sank here in the 1700s.