Posted by: tim ellis | June 29, 2010

Saturday 10th April 2010

Stilt Fishing
Up bright an early (or at least early) for the bus ride down to the harbour at Mirissa, where our boat is waiting, passing the old Dutch fort and traditional Stilt fishermen on the way. We have the boat to ourselves (there is also a “Public” Whale watching boat) and sail out in search of Blue Whales. According to the board in the hotel reception, sightings have been good – however the first whales we find are Sperm Whales – we leave these to go to a large group of Bottlenose Dolphins, but these do not seem very interested in us, so we move on to another group of Sperm Whales.

We meet up with the Public boat, which says they saw a Blue Whale dive about 10-12 minutes ago, so hopefully it should be re-appearing soon. We wait, but see no sign of it. We do, however find a larger, more co-operative group of Bottlenose Dolphins, when we leave them to go to join more Sperm Whales, the dolphins come to catch us up.

In all we encounter 4 separate groups of Sperm Whales (one group twice) and two groups of Bottlenose Dolphins, but no Blue Whales today.

The original plan had been to visit Galle Fort this afternoon, but we are a bit late back, so the plan is amended to a 5:40 trip to a local boardwalk over a Mangrove swamp. It is very local, just around the corner at a guesthouse owned by the Lighthouse hotel (Chas and Susan have stayed here in the past). We see Purple Faced Leaf Monkeys in the trees, and Dragonfly and assorted birds on the ground. The rumble of thunder is getting closer, so we head back, discovering on the way why you need a “drivers mate” – as he helps to guide the bus as it reverses up the narrow street to allow lorries to pass.

Purple Faced Leaf Monkey

Dinner tonight is a buffet and barbecue – fortunately under cover as the rain has arrived, lit by a tremendous display of lightning, which illuminates the whole sky.


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