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 roommate Buddhika.


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 surfaced.


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 after.


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.
If you want to experience the best whale watching operator then Whale Watching Mirissa it is. You can visit their website on - or visit their facebook page-
Also for accommodation you can check out I&I guest house. A simple but very comfortable place for a reasonable price right at the heart of Mirissa-


  1. Nice images and its quite thrilling experience to see the large blue whale..