Even though I present an early morning breakfast show every weekend when that alarm goes off at O’F@ck-o-clock it never gets any easier. But today when the alarm sounded at 0450 I leapt out of bed excited by the prospect that I might see some whales.
The walk down to the boat was beautiful. The sky was that gorgeous blue just before the sun starts to break through. Also hoping to see some whales was a couple from Paris, who were lovely and very chatty and a moody pair of 20-something Russians who made no effort to communicate or smile.
Our skipper spoke no English. A common theme here. The waves while less choppy than yesterday were still producing quite a swell. The boat bounced up and smacked down hard each time we caught one. The women clung to their respective halves.
We scoured the shoreline for about two hours. Each time pulling up alongside fishermen and other tourist boats to see whether they had had any joy or knew of any sightings. Then suddenly an unfamiliar sound.
The skipper turned off his engine and we waited……….then he reached into his shorts and pulled out a mobile phone from the 80s. After some barking in the local language he cranked up the engine and zipped along going hell for leather.
“I guess this is a good sign,” I thought to myself.
After 10minutes we saw in the distance another two other stationary boats. All watching. We circled them and there in the water fins. A pod of spinning dolphins were ducking and diving in synchronised motion. It was a beautiful moment. Sadly the trip did not bring us to any whales, but I am hoping when I hit the south I might get another chance.
I packed up and left Uppuveli this morning, sad to say goodbye to the ocean but not for long. I’m heading to Habarana which is a small town which borders a national forest famed for its Asian elephants. Time to get back to nature.