|Whales seen on our Trip - Thank you Amy Hong - For more amazing Amy Shots - http://www.flickr.com/photos/25838550@N04/|
Sri Lanka is said to be the best place in the world for whale watching, and the town of Mirissa in the South of Sri Lanka, around 20KM from the city of Galle is supposed to be the best place in the country to see them. That said whale watching is a seasonal activity. However there is something special about the whales of the Sri Lankan territorial seas. These whales tend to stick around the island nation all year round. I found this rather interesting blog regarding the study of these whales, which can be found here. The blog is written by a Sri Lankan born Marine Biologist called Asha de Vos. Asha is doing a great job with the research and for those of you who are interested in knowing more visit her blog . There is also this amazing documentary which features Asha, see below.
Whale watching did not quite kick off till after the end of the civil war in 2009. That all said our Journey started on the 2nd Jan 2012, a giant start to the new year. We joined a group in Mirissa called Club Mirissa. The guys had a lot of bad luck on the day, starting with a dead boat and plastic stuck in the second boats engine. There are many operators in Mirissa however and prices range from around Rs 5000 to Rs 8000. We noticed that the Paradise Club Mirissa boat was much bigger and much more comfortable.
Club Mirissa charged us Rs 5000 for the half day whale watching trip. Which is roughly $50 US per person. The tours generally start around 7AM, and you need to be at the hotel (or pickup points) by around 6 30 AM, that said we did not get to the boat till 6 50 AM as we were travelling from Colombo that morning. Thanks to the new Southern Expressway our journey from Colombo to Mirissa took us around 1 hour 30 Mins. Our scheduled time to leave was 4:30 AM however due to tiredness and lack of sleep we did not quite get up till 4:30 and thus only left home at 5:20AM roughly.
Our Journey to Mirissa from Colombo can be seen in the below video,