The Urban Wanderer

Crossing Borders ~ Bridging Cultures ~ Traveling Responsibly

Whale Watching in Mirissa ~ or in my own words, THE BOAT RIDE FROM HELL!

This post is originally from February 16, 2017
The last few days at Mirissa Beach have definitely been full of R&R. Now that we’ve been here 5 full days we’ve found our groove by knowing when to hit the beach and when to come back to our room during the heat of the day.  I’m pretty sure that I am on the mend from ‘the plague’ but I really haven’t felt myself this week so I have done a lot of afternoon napping.
The food so far has definitely been sub par (and that’s a compliment). However you really can’t complain when your table is literally on the beach and the sand is between your toes! Let me tell you my favorite ingredient – If you order anything Italian like pasta or pizza you’re guaranteed to gag a little – the tomato sauce is always a mix of spicy ketchup and if you’re really lucky a little soy sauce is added! Going from India where everything was super delicious, to this attempt to appease the tourist population has been a shock; hopefully once we are back with the tour they will know which restaurants to choose that serves something a little more authentically Sri Lankan.
The perfect place to have dinner ~ watching the sunset while your feet are in the sand!
Mirissa is well known for its whale watching so we decided that we couldn’t leave without doing this activity. Signs on the beach tally how many of each kind of whale was spotted that day, along with sea turtles and dolphins. The tally usually has over a hundred dolphins and at least 10 whales. When talking to the dude who sold us our excursion we opted for a bigger boat because then there wouldn’t be any sea sickness. Sounds like fun right?! WRONG!
Welcome to the boat ride from hell!! We left from the harbor along with probably 10-15 other boats. Ours had a safe looking number of people on board but a few others were packed like sardines on both bottom and upper deck. Some of the boats literally looked like a boat you’d see on the news with migrants trying to escape their country. We soon got out on the open sea and within five minutes I knew this was probably going to be the longest 3 hours of my life. The swells were massive and our boat was literally nose diving through the waves. Looking out at other boats in the distance you could literally see the boat in one blink and the next the wave would swallow it up. It looked completely treacherous and that boat with the ‘illegal immigrants’ swayed so far to the left that I was sure it was going to capsize!

I know that you all know where this story is leading … yes Barfy McBarfeson is back for round two! I was the first to whoof my cookies but it didn’t take long for the many, many others to follow. It could have been a horror film because there we all were, stuck in the middle of the ocean, no land in sight, no escape, but people spewing from all sides of the boat (except the Chinese woman who decided it was better to barf into her cupped hand and get it all over the boat!) And to intensify just how brutal this was that very same lady’s husband was laughing and singing in Chinese at the top of his lungs the entire time! Wish I could have thrown him overboard!

Nobody looks happy in this photo except for the man behind us who sang and laughed the entire trip!
In all of this commotion two blue whales did emerge but to hell if I could look to that side of the boat! Not a single photo taken!!
It took basically the rest of the day to recover from the boat ride from hell. But later we talked to our server at dinner and he told us that on the morning news they warned everyone of giant swells from heavy winds the night before. And when the waters are this bad the whales and dolphins are rarely spotted. Bingo! No Shit!
Thankful to be back to solid ground we savored our last night in Mirissa. Spotting monkeys and watching them play, swimming in the ocean while the sun slowly set and having dinner on the beach…these are the memories that will stay with me forever…well to be honest I will never forget that boat excursion for the rest of my life either!
Next on the agenda, Kris and I are traveling up to Negombo to meet with our tour group tonight. (I’m hoping to find a camera store on the way because my poor camera didn’t survive my face plant into the ocean).
Side note: The very next day a boat carrying locals to a religious ceremony capsized, and sadly many people lost their lives.

If you are interested in taking a tour that covers the places on my adventure check out G Adventures ~ Sri Lanka Encompassed

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