Here is to Arthur C. Clarke. Here is to Sri Lanka.

I just read that Arthur C. Clarke died in Sri Lanka at the age of 90. He was, no doubt, one of the coolest guys out there. Not only was he a great writer, but he was a pioneer traveler, too.

Although he was British, he moved to Sri Lanka some 50 years ago because “he loved diving.” Honestly, how many 90-year-olds do you know today who could say that?

The photo is of Kirinda, Sri Lanka, a place Clarke put on the map when he used it as his base for his diving exploration in order to write his book ‘The Treasure of the Reef’. A particularly unique feature of the Great Basses is the light-house that was actually constructed on the reef in 1860, according to EcoTeam Sri Lanka.

Times online writes that “Clarke first visited Colombo, Sri Lanka (then called Ceylon) in December 1954. He moved there in 1956 and lived there ever since, pursuing an enthusiasm for underwater exploration along that coast and on the Great Barrier Reef. His fascination with diving led to him meeting his wife Marilyn Mayfield, whom he divorced ten years later. In 1998, his lifetime work was recognized when he was honored with a knighthood – formally conferred by Prince Charles in Sri Lanka two years later.”

Marking his “90th orbit of the Sun” in December, the author said that he did not feel “a day over 89” and made three birthday wishes: for ET to call, for man to kick his oil habit and for peace in Sri Lanka. Arthur, you are cool!