Posted by: tim ellis | June 29, 2010

Wednesday 14th April 2010

Happy New Year

Woken around 2:45 by an enormous clap of thunder very close. The thunderstorm rolls around for much of the rest of the night. It has stopped when the alarm goes off, but it is still raining quite hard – the trees outside my door have become a mini-mangrove swamp, and a new pool has appeared on the lawn between my balcony and the real pool. It does seem strange to be putting on sun cream when it is pouring with rain, but who knows what the weather will be like out at sea?

Someone from the hotel phoned Mirissa Water Sports at 5:30 and they said it should be OK, so we set off at 6:15 to see whether we will be sailing or not. When we get to the harbour (just as the New Year Firecrackers go off) the Captain says “No”, so we return to the bus.

Chas says there will be an afternoon excursion around 3:30 to the other bit of rainforest, (which is also shut for New Year, it is a 2 day festival), he will confirm details later. When we return to the Lighthouse we are given our packed breakfasts, which we can exchange for the buffet breakfast.

During breakfast, Chas arrives to say Mirissa Water Sports have sent a boat out, and it is not as bad as they thought, so we may be on for a second try around 10:15 – they are just trying to confirm with our captain. Breakfast is also interrupted by the lighting of the new year candelabra and fire in the veranda lobby.
We are warned that the weather is not brilliant, and the sea is quite choppy, but we elect to go for it anyway, so set off tor the harbour and board the boat. The sky is overcast and the swell is quite high. We get a brief sighting of some dolphins, but they don’t hang around (I’m not sure anyone got a good enough view to confirm the species), after which it starts to rain!

We are out for a total of about 3½ hours, in which time we see no other cetaceans (and very few sea birds either) and are all completely soaked. The poor weather has also postponed the hotel’s planned activities this afternoon (though we would probably have missed most of them by the time we got back anyway!) Things look calmer in the evening, so we hope for a better day tomorrow (especially Susan and Robert, who will be joining us for the trip.

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