Sri Lanka, Mirissa – March 2017

Mirissa is virtually at the southern-most tip of Sri Lanka. This would be the last place we would stay before heading home. As such, we didn’t plan much here, choosing to spend most of the time relaxing.

Our hotel was right on the edge of a narrow and quiet beach. From our elevated position we could easily see large shoals of fish beneath the water, and the occasional Green Turtle popping up for air.

Green Sea Turtle

Birds were not particularly common here, but we did see Large-billed Crows, cormorants, mynas, terns and a Lesser Goldenback Woodpecker.

Fisherman, Mirissa

We took a boat south towards a busy shipping lane. On the way a pod of Striped Dolphins appeared briefly, a couple performing huge leaps a long way out from us, and others riding the sea alongside us. Photo opportunities weren’t so good, especially with the equipment I was carrying, so nothing but record shots were managed.

Striped Dolphin

As we approached some huge cargo ships, the boat slowed and we waited, scouring the water surface. Soon enough, a huge but very distant spout of water appeared, and spray drifted back down. It didn’t take long before the distinct arc of a Blue Whale broke the surface, with its comparatively small dorsal fin. Then another, much closer to the boat, surfaced 3 or 4 times before exposing its fluke as it dived deeply. We saw 5 individual Blue Whales in all.

Blue Whale

Returning back to shore we came to an abrupt stop and killed the engine as a Whale Shark passed beneath us. It was over too quickly, but this is a fish I’ve wanted to see for a long time, and certainly didn’t expect to see on this trip.

After spending 4 days in Mirissa, we finally headed back to Colombo International Airport for the lengthy journey to Dubai and lengthier journey back to Birmingham.