Can you see a whale here? No, I can’t either but Ray swears there’s one in here somewhere!
Knowing that we’re coming home soon, sadly, we’ve been trying to cram a lot into our last few days so I’ve not had time to do much writing,
So, an update on our whale watching trip, first of all. We decided to go from Mirissa with Raja and the Whales rather than risk using one of the locals not known for their conservation policies – apparently they get too close and scare the whales off.
So, a desperately early start – we were up at 4:30, leaving here at 5:30 to arrive at 6:30 for a 7:00am sailing. We’d planned to stay overnight in Mirissa but no chance! All the hotels and guest houses we fancied were full so an early start it had to be – something I’m well known for being really bad at!
The boat had an upper and lower level and we got there just in time to take a lower level seat – the upper deck was already completely taken. And I’m so glad we didn’t find room because – well, you’ll see.
Rajeesh (Raja) the captain, gave us a talk about safety and what he hoped would happen then we headed out. The sea seemed relatively calm at first and I was enjoying the cool sea breezes after the heat of Hikkaduwa but, it soon picked up and before long, a number of people started being ill. Plastic bags were handed out but I was fine.
We went further out – it got rougher – and rougher. Ray (who suffers from “vertigo” an imbalance problem of the middle ear) was in his element and we slowed to watch a huge manta ray swimming close to the boat. At which point, for some reason, I started to feel ill.
We went out into deep waters, sailing close to colossal tankers as more and more people grabbed plastic bags and so did I. Soon whales were sighted! Great excitement but where was I looking? Into the inside of a plastic bag. Ray saw loads of different kinds of whales and all I managed was to raise my head once and see two blue whales about 100 metres away. The crew were encouraging me to stand up and look – but I simply couldn’t.
I must have looked pretty bad because, although loads of people were being ill (they actually ran out of plastic bags!) Raja had my hand firmly grasped and was pumping a pressure point in my wrist for all he was worth whilst checking my pulse. Having an attractive young fishing captain holding your hand could have been a highlight but hey, the inside of that plastic bag was all I could think about.
They served loads of food on the boat – fruit, biscuits cake – all went past me lots of times. But did they really have to serve friend eggs? The smell really isn’t that good when you’re feeling foul. None the less, Ray tucked into his happily sitting next to me – until I told him to go away and eat somewhere else!
Raja kept saying “Right, we’re heading back” and then we’d spot another whale so we stayed a bit longer, and a bit longer. I sweat the whole whale population might have been out there that morning but I saw nothing more than two humped backs and a flip of tail!
Finally, heading back properly, we came across the biggest pod of dolphins I’ve ever seen – there were hundreds of them all around us. But I couldn’t even get to the side of the boat to look – all I really saw was their disturbance on the surface of the water.
Back on dry land at last I headed for a loo – there was a big queue but they all took one look at me and stood aside! I think I’ll watch my whales on t.v. in future!