This blog contains my personal memoirs of my travels, experiences and adventures into the wilds of Sri Lanka. I hope that through this blog I can impart my love for this wonderful country and its natural beauty to the reader and encourage them to conserve and preserve this heritage for future generations.
Monday, April 13, 2015
Marine Madness- Two days of Whale watching in Mirissa
The Avurudhu holidays were coming and I still didn’t have
any solid plans. During last few days coming on to the holidays I made a last
moment decision to do a two day trip to the great blue oceans in Mirissa. My
friend Ganindu runs the best whale watching operation in the area named as
Whale Watching Mirissa and I let him know of my plans. I didn’t have a car
hence I hired the services of my office van driver Premeratne and was also
joined by Indika a friend I met at the adventure shop Borderlands and his
We left at 3.30 am on Saturday in order to catch the boat on
time. Taking the expressway it took us 1 hour and 45 minutes to reach the
Kokkmaduwa exit. This lead to the Weligama town from where we took the Galle
road to the Mirissa Harbour. It was very crowded that morning with a lot of
fishermen bringing in their catch. We reached the boat by 6.30 am. The boats
name is Speed Liner and it’s a big trimarine which can accommodate over 100
guests. We got the best spot up front where the view was best and waited till
the other guests came in. At around 7.30 am we left the docks and headed to
wards the open water. On the way to deep waters we came across a pod of around
25 Spinner dolphins. They were not as active as they usually are and did not
jump up in the air.
Continuing on our journey we came across a lone blue whale
who we saw briefly, but decided to continue ahead as the captain of the boat
has seen two blue whales further up. Moving along we came to the correct spot where
we saw the blows from far away. When we reached there we waited for the whales
to surface. Normally it takes around 15-16 min. suddenly with a loud blow a
massive blue whale emerged. Its size was immense and much bigger than any whale
I had seen before. Close to it there was another blue much smaller which
The guests were thrilled, and so was I, despite seeing blues
many times, it always brings a smile to ones face when coming face to face with
the largest animal on the planet. The boat captain was amazing as he knew the right
angle and distance to keep from the whale without making a disturbance.
Unfortunately one boat which was also there didn’t pay heed and almost went
over the whale while surfacing. These kind of irresponsible boat handling is
very common and hence the reason that Whale Watching Mirissa is so special. The
staff are very professional, polite and also very helpful, and the captain is a
very good driver and hence imo the best boat in Mirissa.
After having our fill of photographs we decided to head back
to shore. It was very hot and sunny and we felt dehydrated. Wanting a nice cool
beer we headed towards Weligama where we came to a small bar, where we quenched
our thirst with our favorite brew- Lion Lager. The food we ordered was very
tasty and the bill was quite reasonable.
We were quite impressed and decided to
come there at night for a few drinks with my friend Ganindu.
Heading back to Mirissa we reached the guest house were were
staying in- I&I guest house which was run by Indunil another of Ganindu’s
partners in Whale Watching Mirissa. It was on the roadside hence quite noisy
but the rooms were very clean and quite comfortable. After a quick shower we
hit the sack for a few hours.
In the evening we headed to Weligama to meet up with
Ganindu. After a great night of drinks, great food and great friends we went to
bed as we had to get up early for yet another day of whale watching.
Up early morning, we asked Premaratne to get some good fish
for us while we went on the boat. The harbor had some fresh catch arriving in
the morning hence it was great to try and get some for the home.
Leaving the dock we noticed the sea was much calmer than the
day before. We came across one lone blue whale. Much smaller than the big guy
seen the day before, we managed to photograph the signature tail movement when
it dives a few times before coming back to shore. On the way we observed an
Olive Ridley Turtle as well. It was a good change from the mammals we went
Back at home I reminisce the great time I had in Mirissa and
the great hospitality and service provided by my friend Ganindu and his team at
Whale Watching Mirissa.