Day Seven - In search of whales

Trip Start Mar 23, 2014
Trip End Mar 30, 2014

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Flag of Sri Lanka  , Andaman and Nicobar Islands,
Saturday, March 29, 2014

I couldn't believe it when we had a knock on our door at 4:30am, we had slept through our alarm! Luckily we had everything ready the night before and were out the door in no time.
It was an hour drive from Tangalle to Marrissa.
We had phoned our whale watching company the day before to book a place on the boat for us two, and lucky we did as group after group kept arriving. Soon the boat was chocker!
Saman, our driver was trying to get a free placement on the boat (Sri Lankan discount). We thought there would be no chance after seeing how full the boat became. He did though!
The whale watching company was called Raja and The Whales. We stood out to us on tripadvisor because of his great reviews.
We found our possie on top deck which had thin mattresses for seating areas and were each served yummy ginger biscuits (I ate quite a few), a cup of tea, a bottle of water and a sea sickness tablet. I think everyone was so happy they took these because the sea was choppy!
The boat began moving out towards the deeper part of the ocean where they normally spot the blue whales. We had been sailing for around an hour without any sightings, but then we all became excited when we spotted a huge pod of dolphins feeding alongside yellow fin tuna. They weren't interested in playing with our boat so we carried on in search of whales.
It felt like forever before any other sightings, but in the meantime we were fed breakfast of delicious free fruit salad and an omelet sandwich.
Our next couple of sightings involved a massive turtle and a whale shark (I could hardly see it). They had a "system" in which when one side of the boat sees something they have to be seated while the other side stands and vice versa. Nobody ever listened...
We had been traveling through the rough seas for about 3 hours when finally, a blue whale sighting! It was magnificent, two were swimming together and were heading straight for us. We bobbed on the surface watching them come up to breath for around 6minutes, then were curious to know where they were when they went underwater to feed for around 15minutes. Raja didn't use a GPS like the other boats, he had been studying these whales for so long that they knew his boat and he knew them. They knew to trust him, so when other boats (which had followed us all the way out) became to close, it changed the whales path and behaviour completely. I was so mad!
We watched them come and go a few times before Raja couldn't stand watching the other boats any longer, and he decided we should leave the whales in peace and head back.
It was a long journey back. We had all had a lot of sun, and some people were so crook, Matt and I were fine, apart from a little bit of sea legs.
Matt, Saman and I jumped in the car feeling satisfied and made for our next destination of Galle. Here we had planned for some afternoon sightseeing then spending the night, but Saman suggested we see the Galle fort and then drive 2 1/2 hours to stay at his place. We were a bit apprehensive at first, but decided that it might be a bit of an experience. We took the plunge.
The Galle fort was nice. Both feeling the holiday catching up on us we still managed to explore both inside and outside of the fort walls.
After a long day we finally arrived at Samans mansion. We couldn't believe how nice it was when we pulled into his drive, no wander he wanted us to come and stay!
We were greeted by Samans 3 children, his wife, his mother in law, and his Aunty, all of which were so welcoming and friendly.
While Matt and Saman went to his cousins for a chat and to enjoy some Sri Lankan Aruk (distilled coconut spirit), I sat and watched some Sri Lankan tv with his mother in law, this was funny, as you can imagine.
The boys finally arrived back at 10pm bringing with them a taster of Aruk for me, it was horrible. At this point all of us were starving so we sat down and enjoyed the most gorgeous home made meal. The ladies even made it non-spicy just for me! I loved it, don't think they did as much though.
Feeling extremely satisfied with our day (and sad our time in Sri Lanka was coming to an end), we headed up to our room for some well deserved shut eye.

- Jess
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