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Sri Lanka - Unawatuna/Marissa

Discovering marine wildlife.

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Our next stop was Unawatuna. A town in southern Sri Lanka known for its coral reef and palm-lined beaches, like Unawatuna Beach. Nestled in nearby jungle, the Japanese Peace Pagoda has a large stupa (Buddhist monument.) with ocean views.
It also offered some great snorkeling, so we didn’t waste any time getting back to the beach to get our heads wet and find some underwater wildlife. We were not disappointed. We saw many Puffer/Porcupine fish, Moorish Idol fish, Blackfins, Pennant Bannerfish and loads more.

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Further along Sri Lanka south coast is a place called Marissa. Now we had come here for one reason only. Whale watching!
Hannah had extensively researched legitimate and reputable companies that provide this service. As much as we wanted to sea wildlife on our travels we have been extremely careful not support companies that are unscrupulous with their business practices. Like feeding the animals before the tourists arrive so they can guarantee sightings or scare the animals when approached by boats or trucks. We wanted to ensure that we observe them in their natural habitat with no human coercion.

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We finally found a company who we were happy to go with. Slightly more expensive but we could enjoy the whales with a clear conscience.
Setting off at six in the morning we boarded the boat and were treated to breakfast and coffee. (Scott can’t operate without coffee!) and we sped off out to sea.

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We must have been travelling for at least three hours before we saw anything but we finally saw the whale watchers getting excited, this certainly woke us all up from our sleepless stupor! They were aware of sightings of a pod of fin whales in the area and they knew they were close by.
At last a break in the water’s surface, a noise as the whale exhaled and then the huge long body slowly curling as it swam back under water. We even managed to see this several times for nearly fifteen minutes before they disappeared.
And then we searched some more.

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We probably didn’t see anything for a very long hour after that moving from one patch of water to another.
Then someone spotted something else! This time it was Orcas!
The excitement in the boat was huge. Everybody clamoring for a good position to see them. We must have been blessed as we could spot numerous Killer Whales for the next half an hour or so. Truly wonderful!
Unfortunately I was only able to successfully snap a couple of whales as they were too quick for me. So I’ve cheekily included some of the shots that the whale watcher crew took in our gallery.
Link to the Unawatuna/Marissa gallery here
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Posted by philosipha 22:33 Archived in Sri Lanka Tagged snorkelling whales

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