The journey from Tissamaharama was painless and actually fun. We took the bus to Matara for next to no cost (Rp 540 / U$3 for both including luggage) – a bus that wasn’t as crowded as the one we let pass in Ella (and took a cab instead). There was even some decent on board entertainment – Sri Lanka cover rock. Not bad.
From Matara it was a 20min tuk tuk ride to Mirissa – the whale watch center of Sri Lanka. You are well advised to stay in the village as 🐳 tours start early (expect 6am pickup). We booked ourselves into Swedish run Satori private rooms and recommend it – good size, A/C and private beach (accessed through Satori hostel).
We had a tasty chicken and cheese roti for dinner before hitting the lively Mirissa beach for a few happy hour cocktails.
The night finished early yet again, as we prepared for our 5.50am pick up. The harbour was still sleepy. On our way out we saw several fishing boats coming back in with the mornings catch. The sunrise was truly amazing!
Type of whales
The main type of whale you spot around Mirissa is the blue whale. Blue whales are the largest animals ever known to have lived on Earth. These giant marine mammals are up to 30 meters long and weight upwards of 200 tons.Blue whales are baleen whales, they have “baleen plates” instead of teeth. Baleen, is made of keratin just like fingernails and hair. Each whale has many plates that hang down from its upper jaw, one after the other. It’s diet is small crustaceans known as krill (blue whale eat krill (2-4 tons per day).
We didn’t have to wait too long as a large group of dolphins came into sight. Beautiful animals that seemingly like the attention all the tourist boats offered.
On to the whales! We followed the route other boats had taken. They were lined up on the horizon already watching a whale in his 10min cycle of diving and breathing (10-25sec on surface). Pity you only see a fraction of the total body – still enormous animals!