During our Sri Lanka trip last year, whale watching was one of the most interesting activity. Earlier during our research we found one of the best whale watching trips are done by Raja & the Whales in Mirissa. As they are in demand, we booked our slots by sending an email.
One need to send an email with their full name, passport number and nationality.
Cost: 6000 Sri Lankan rupees ( around 3000 INR) and 3000 Sri Lankan rupees for kids of 6 to 12 years
Phone: +94 (0) 77 695 3452 (daily from 2 pm to 8 pm Sri Lankan time)
You can hire their Small boat for private trips at $750 (45000 INR)
One need to be at their office to collect the boarding pass at 6 AM. The office is located at Mirissa harbor opposite a small temple. As we boarded the boat, it seemed to be a well maintained one and equipped with required instruments. In all it carries about 35 people in two decks apart from the crew members. Wearing life jackets were mandatory and safety tips were given after people settled in their seats. We sat on the upper deck which make for better view and more thrill. As the boat sailed, the sun was just rising from the sea shore. The fresh air of the early morning was even more refreshing as we ventured into the Indian ocean. Slowly the shore line started diminishing in size and we knew we were sailing deep into the ocean. After sometime into the voyage, we were asked about our choice of breakfast. I went for slightly fried egg, bread & butter with Salad.
Into our voyage, we encountered fish trawlers, other tourist boats, Sri Lankan army boats and container ships. Till now probably they were the largest container ships I have seen. And then the time came for which we took this voyage for the first place – first hand sighting of marine life. We saw a sea turtle. This was just the starting but people wanted to see whales as quick as possible. As people were wondering, they gave a valuable advice that with patience we will have whale sightings. Yes, we need to understand that we are going in their kingdom and they will give sightings as per their wish. After looking for whale in a couple of locations, we had sightings of the biggest of the mammals of the ocean. The whales are a real giant mean machine. They come to the surface of the ocean periodically to breath. This is when we can see then. It is also during these times that they puff water through their nose. What a spectacular moment that is! All through the sightings I tried my best to get shots at the whales with my camera but my 55-250 mm lens was not good enough in terms of zoom to produce a shot that I desired. However, watching the majestic whale roaming around in its kingdom was treat in itself.
The life at ocean for the aquatic life there and the humans who go there for a living is very interesting. During this voyage was able to catch a glimpse of this people’s unique daily life. I had seen innovative fishing boats, which I had never seen before. It is here I realized the might of the ocean first hand. Apart from the waves at the sea shore, the ocean looks clam. But it is not so. The ocean is never stale. I saw water rising to about half feet to one feet over a large area, then going down. Again rising in another adjacent area, then going down and so on it continues. For me it was a moment of truth for the oceanic might! After spending around 6 plus hours in the ocean, we started our return journey to the harbor. During the onward journey we were sailing along with the wind. So we traveled faster but in the return journey we had to sail against the wind. The crew told that it is going to take little more time to reach the shore.
On the return journey, people had become relaxed after the sightings of aquatic life. Some were even enjoying sun bath. But we were not lucky enough to sight dolphins. I positioned myself on the right hand side railings of the upper deck with one leg outside. For safety, I was holding the nearby pillar. It was thrilling to see the ocean and the oceanic life from there. After sometime walked down to the lower deck to explore the boat. Around that time the shoreline started to get visible again. During this voyage one can also see the shoreline of Weligama and Galle from a distance. We reached the harbor around 1 PM and it looked busy on our return. It had stationed different kind of boats and yachts.
Whale watching is a must do activity, I would say. And it is done in a very professional way by the Raja & The Whales crew. By the way, crew members are friendly and a big fan of Bollywood movie & Songs. They also know little bit of Hindi. I would recommend their service so that you can also enjoy like the way I did.
To view more images of Sri Lanka visit, Travelingbeats Photo Gallery.