Whale watching in Mirissa

You know how I always brag about being The Luckiest Girl in the World and having some supernatural powers looking over me? Whale watching in Mirissa was yet another case study to confirm my theory.

I have been staying in wonderful Three Villa by Jetwing in Ahangama. I was hoping to catch sight of real stilt fishermen in this area, it wasn’t that easy! I have found the spot, but to my disappointment there were no fishermen.

But don’t you worry dear reader, after all I’m The Luckiest Girl and I have managed to get some great shots of the fishermen in Talpe, but about this in another post.

So I have been staying in Ahangama and it was just right next to Mirissa, you see how my mind works? Real genius, don’t you think? ha ha ha

Tree Villa by Jetwing, Ahangama, Sri Lanka

Tree Villa by Jetwing, Ahangama, Sri Lanka

Stilt fishing, Ahangama Beach, Sri Lanka

Stilt fishing, Ahangama Beach, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is situated within the International Whaling Commission’s protected zone in the Indian Ocean. Of the 80 species of cetaceans observed and identified worldwide, 26 are found in the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal. Therefore Trincomalee and Kalpitya along with Mirissa are the best places in Sri Lanka for whale and dolphin watching.

If you know me well you know I’m obsessed with elephants and blue whales so I couldn’t miss this opportunity, and I didn’t, eventually!

Whale watching Mirissa, Sri Lanka, Dolphin watching

I was all set up with Adenue to do whale watching with them. As my friend Miss Earring is not an early riser she decided to give it a pass but I simply couldn’t.

I woke up at 5am to have some tea and reach Mirissa Port on time (Ahangama is 25 minutes rickshaw drive from Mirissa) from where I supposed to start the tour.

When I reached the port I have realized I didn’t have any phone number to contact the tour operator and to addition my phone went all crazy on me. I couldn’t even show the website to all those tour operators that tried to help me with finding my boat.

Whale watching Mirissa, Sri Lanka, Dolphin watching

And here again I would like to underline how amazing Sri Lankan people are, they all tried to help me and two of the tour operators offered to take me on their boats for free! Amazing, beautiful and so genuine!

But I was determinate to try whale watching with Adenue so I went back to my hotel.

Whale watching Mirissa, Sri Lanka, Dolphin watching

Adenue people have been more than wonderful and sort everything out without one word of complain, and lets be honest it was kind of my fault of not having all the details with me! They are great company that can help you to to discover activities in places you travel, not only Sri Lanka. 

I know what you are thinking dear reader! Marysia always claim to be so super organzied, oh well, what can I say? We all have our worser days!

Later I have found out it was yet again my luck looking over me! But be patient, we are getting to the explanation real soon. Bare with me!

Whale watching Mirissa

Next day, yet again I woke up at 5am to be on time in Mirissa Port. This time well prepared with phone numbers to right people. And no, I do not talk about Tony Soprano ha ha ha

I loved my whale watching experience and reason are numerous. First the all the tour was very intimate. We were only three people, me and a lovely British couple. If you are reading this guys, I hope you all both great back in England!

Whale watching Mirissa, Sri Lanka, Dolphin watching

The team was great, they had a huge knowledge about marine life and they, for peace of my mind, obeyed all the rules of sustainable whale watching like not approaching whales closer than 100m, which to my disappointment many boats didn’t! I hated that.

Whale watching Mirissa, Sri Lanka, Dolphin watching

I understand that boat skippers try to make tourists happy but by such behaves whales may feel in danger and in distress! And as we still do not know all short- and long-term impacts of repeated whale watching, we better keep it safe as factors to be considered include changes in behaviour and habitat use that may potentially affect feeding, reproductive success and even mortality rates.

And that would be more than terrible for the spices which already occupy The Red List.

Whale watching Mirissa, Sri Lanka, Dolphin watching

Of course, I myself wanted to see whales and snap some great shots too, but not this way! So I loved our boat and environment considered team! Kudos to those ‘green thinking’ people that obeyed all the limits of speeds, approach distances and time spent with whales. I would really dislike being on the boat that wouldn’t.

Whale watching Mirissa, Sri Lanka, Dolphin watching

And we were rewarded big, big time! Yes, we have seen eight blue whales and like thirty spinner dolphins, green turtle and many crazy flying fishes!

Flying fishes where insane, I have never seen them before and I was amazed! No photos here, because those little creatures seems to move with a speed of light! Meaning crazy fast!

Whale watching Mirissa, Sri Lanka, Dolphin watching

Whale watching Mirissa, Sri Lanka, Dolphin watching

Whale watching Mirissa, Sri Lanka, Dolphin watching

The dolphins where truly wonderful! So playful, they swam in front of our boat for quiet long time, it seemed like they were playing some game with us. I had smile on my face for whole time! I was a super happy Marysia even before seeing whales. 

Whale watching Mirissa, Sri Lanka, Dolphin watching

It started slow, the skipper got a call from another boat with location where the whales been seen few minutes before and off we went in that direction. Once we started approaching we slowed down and kept safe distance. It was too far away to see anything properly, we saw the spouts but no body. The biggest mammals in the world and they were playing it safe! Go figure!

Whale watching Mirissa, Sri Lanka, Dolphin watching

But we were super patient, and yet again it paid off big time. After seeing seven of them in three different location our guide ask if we are ready to head back or we prefer to stay and wait with a hope that the one that just dove didn’t go too deep and will be back soon? Of course we wanted to wait!

Whale watching Mirissa, Sri Lanka, Dolphin watching

Whale watching Mirissa, Sri Lanka, Dolphin watching

And once we were waiting, the miracle happened. We noticed another one coming straight on our boat. It was so close to us! it was a real treat to watch such a beauty in their natural habitat from so close. The whale swam next to our boat, spouted and dove into the deep blue waving his tale at us to say good bye.

Whale watching Mirissa, Sri Lanka, Dolphin watching

Fully satisfied we have decided to head back! We were one and half hour away from the port! After some short conversation I have decided to doze off in the sun. Soft pillows were so inviting and after all I got up at 5am!

I woke up shortly before the port, just in time to observe fishermen boat coming back from night fishing. 

Whale watching Mirissa, Sri Lanka, Dolphin watching

I started talking with our guide to make sure I have all my facts straight and names correctly and he told me that I’m very lucky because for three days in the row they have seen no whales and than it hit me why I missed the tour the previous day!! I was meant to do it on absolute record day of 2014! Eight blue whales! Even our boat people who are seeing whales almost every day were excited!

Or maybe it is the other way, maybe if I went the previous day that would be the record day!? Nevertheless, yet again I have managed to have a fabulous travel experience, so if you are in Sri Lanka try Adenue, seems like their boats are lucky charms!

Follow the rest of my Sri Lanka Adventure here!

Disclaimer: My stay in Three Villa was sponsored by Jetwings Hotels. The whale watching Mirissa tour was sponsored by Adenue company. Having said that, all thoughts, opinions and observations are always my own. 

29 thoughts on “Whale watching in Mirissa

  1. Chaminda

    Hi Marysia. The government has fully regulated whale watching in Mirissa for the benefit of both Marine life and travellers. Hope you will visit us again!

    • Hello Chaminda, I’m so super happy that the changes are being made, I did read about it but sometimes the law is one thing and the execution another. I loved Sri Lanka and more than happy to go back!
      Marysia recently posted…The best things to do in Italy on New Year’s EveMy Profile

  2. Madelyn

    Amazing place, I like this place so much, a few months ago I was there.

  3. Asanka Miah

    I got mesmerised with all your pictures, seriously they are breathtaking. Glad you had a great time there…
    Sri Lanka never disappoints their travellers and everything in abundance.

  4. Eve

    wish to see whale live in the sea, Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures with us.

  5. Deepak

    Nice picks, I honestly thankful to you for sharing. It seem amazing.

  6. Erica

    You took really impressive photo! you are rare person to see whales. They are rare species. I’v enjoyed your post.

  7. Barbora

    Beautiful! We’ve done whale watch in Kaikoura in New Zealand and it was absolutely amazing experience!!

  8. Its looks amazing…This just made me want to book it right now. However I don’t know if I’ll have the time.

  9. The Wander Girls

    Honestly had no idea about this! Certainly seems like a uber cool experience! Will certainly add this to our bucket list!

  10. Iga Motylska

    How spectacular! I spent quite some time in Mirissa – that’s where I tried the best avocado smoothies, in fact I had one after the other. Sri Lanka is still one of the top three countries I have visited. :)

  11. BALDO

    This looks amazing! I see these first time in my life. Thanks for you for amazing post. I am very happy to see whale watching..

  12. Fabiana

    This looks amazing! I just heard that a similar tour is being offered near where I am (Guatemala). This just made me want to book it right now. However I don’t know if I’ll have the time.

  13. All Graduates

    Whale watching is such a spectacular experience, thank you for sharing your photos. It’s good to know that whales are being protected in Sri Lanka. I hope to see more photos of your travels soon. Thanks for sharing, those dolphins look amazing and so playful.

  14. Eight! Pretty stellar experience. And those beach photos, wow! These are amazing animals and I hope their protection is more strictly enforced. Mother nature’s link is strongest when we’re in the wild, seeing animals in their proper home.
    Shaun’s Cracked Compass recently posted…Boston – Part 2: It’s Fenway or the HighwayMy Profile

    • Totally agree Shaun, we should put much more pressure on our governments to take care about those amazing animals!
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #101My Profile

  15. Hi Marysia,
    Great post, whales are amazing. We took the kids whale watching at Eden on the southern coast of NSW, Australia in Sep 2013, they loved it. We saw loads of whales and even had one spy hop on us at the rear of the boat, I got an awesome pic of it almost looking at us. Alannah and I (my oldest) went out twice because once just wasn’t enough!
    Beautiful creatures, hope to return to Eden one day and do it again.

    • Sally you should give it to me for the Friday Lens Affair, didn’t see it on your blog! I would love to be so close to them!
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #101My Profile

  16. Anna

    You truly are the luckiest girl in the world, and these are INCREDIBLE photos!! As a marine bio geek, seeing a baleen whale in the wild has been on my bucket list for a while. One of my personal favorite memories was whale watching off Vancouver Island, where we saw hundreds of Orca Whales. Marine life (… well, all life really! :) ) is so incredible.
    Anna recently posted…Let’s (Not) Run Away to Someplace BeautifulMy Profile

    • Oh Anna, I did the whale watching in Orcas Island in San Juan Archipelago, we were on Canadian waters and been super lucky as well, two pods of orcas met in front of out little boat, I have a picture of two Orcas fully outside the water, they look like they standing on their tales and the background is a hill with a little lovely house, it is like a postcard! And you are so right, all life so incredible, I love Mother Nature!
      Marysia recently posted…Whale watching in MirissaMy Profile

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