Whale watching with a marine biologist
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Sri Lanka’s unique location just underneath a giant continent and touching three different oceans (the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean, and the Arabian sea,) means that many migratory marine species can be found in the waters surrounding the island. Dolphins and whales, in fact, have become such a common sight in Sri Lanka that a sighting is almost 90% guaranteed during the whale watching season. Sri Lanka’s waters are filled with a diverse array of fascinating animals such as dugongs, whale sharks, and rare species of marine turtle, but on a whale watching trip you can expect to see something a little larger: blue whales, bryde’s whales, eden’s whales, sperm whales, spinner dolphins are all common sights and, if you are lucky, you might even see an orca whale. Getting out onto the ocean to spot these majestic creatures is the stuff that dreams are made of. On this expedition you will set out with Sri Lanka’s leading marine biologist on a luxury catamaran for an exclusive opportunity to get up close and personal with the giants of the ocean.
EXPERIENCE DESCRIPTION: Leaving shore at 6.30am you will head out for your whale watching expedition under the guidance of your host, a marine biologist who knows the Sri Lankan oceans like the back of his hand. As you sail out to sea, your host will begin to introduce you to the many forms of marine life living in Sri Lankan waters and explain about whale conservation and tracking. You will be served a full breakfast on board the boat and then make your way to the main whale watching site. Your host has keen eyes for whale watching and will guide you towards the best areas to see them. He is an encyclopedia of knowledge on these animals and will not shy away from sharing this knowledge with you. Each whale will be identified and its behaviors fully explained. Seeing these giant mammals in the wild is an unforgettable experience. At around 12pm you will head back towards Mirissa, stopping along the way to eat a delicious three course lunch on the boat and try some snorkeling and stand up paddle boarding.
Your host: Born in Sri Lanka, but having studied and worked for most of his life in Canada, your host returned to Sri Lanka after an early retirement to pursue his passion for marine life research in 2002. These days he is the Director of Research at the Centre for Research on Indian Ocean Marine Mammals and he has earned much acclaim for his book – a guide to the marine mammals of Sri Lanka, which was published in 2013.
Includes: host, boat ride, experienced crew and skipper, snorkeling gear, stand up paddle board, canoes, freshly prepared breakfast, three course lunch, water.
duration: Approx. 7 hours
difficulty: Moderate. We categorize this as Moderate because of the heat and occasionally rough seas which may cause sea sickness at certain times of year.
suitable for children: Yes, children will love it
times: 6.30am – 1.30am
what to wear or bring along: Cool, light clothing, a cap, sunscreen and your camera, sea sickness tablets to be taken 1.5 hours ahead of time.
important to know: Depending on the weather, the ride can be a little bumpy. Take anti-sickness tablets ahead of time. For protocol reasons you are compelled to wear a life jacket as you leave the harbour. During the Peak season, especially around Christmas time the fishing lanes tend to get crowded with dozens of other boats out to see whales. Although sightings of blue whales are common, sightings are not guaranteed.
private or not? This experience is private.