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Whale Watching

Arugam BaySri Lanka has now become a well known destination among nature lovers as the world's one of the best places to spot blue whales and sperm whales. The conditions for whale watching in Sri Lanka are possibly some of the finest you will find; hot tropical sun, mainly clement weather conditions, an hour's boat journey from the shore and dazzlingly clear water make for a completely unique experience.

Blue whales are the largest animal on planet earth, up to 100 feet long and weighing over 200 tons. Ever wonder how these sea creatures become so gigantic? Yes you are correct, it's there meal. An adult blue whale consumes about 4 tons of tiny shrimp like animals called krill. Blue whales swim in almost all the world's oceans and reach near Equator waters in the winter. Most of the times they can be seen either alone or in pairs, but occasionally swim with small groups.

Sperm whales are toothed whales that live in pods. It has the largest brain of any animal and has only one blow hole. Sperm whales are the deepest diving whales. They can be seen bit further off shore in the shipping lanes.

Your first encounter with an animal as much as big as a jet plane will definitely be a memorable life time experience. Just imagine how these big mammals plough through sea waters few feet away from you spraying water with its huge blow holes. The ship will sail up to 60km far from the coast to take you in to the play grounds of these sea giants.

Spouting with their large blow holes they will present a breath taking live performance you will ever remember. For kids it will definitely be a lesson on marine biology, the crew will explain all the details of whale habitat you want to know.

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These marine giants can be spotted along the deep seas of Mirissa (in the south coast) in Sri Lanka during the months of November to April and of Trincomalee (in the East coast) during the months of May to September.

Setting off from Mirissa there is a 90% opportunity to come across Sperm whales and Blue whales. These amazing marine mammals migrate through these vast and fertile stretches during their annual breeding season while some reside throughout the year.

In addition to those Blue & sperm whales, there is a much possibility you to see Bryde's, Fin, Minke, Killer, False Killer, Humback, Beaked, and Pygmy Sperm whales and the well-loved dolphins in the off shore of Sri Lanka.

Continental Shelf off South Sri Lanka

One of the reasons this area of sea is so good for whale watching is because the continental shelf is at its closest near Mirissa and Dondra, about 6 km sq way from the coast. Due to the calm seas, Sperm Whales and Blue Whales come within sight of the land - and the period between December and April - offers an outstanding window of opportunity for observing these magnificent marine mammals. Marine biologist Dr Charles Anderson believes that sightings peak between December and April because of a migration of whales.

Migration of Whales

Dr Anderson has been developing a theory that there is an annual migration of whales between the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea which takes them near the shores of Sri Lanka. He believes that the whales, especially Blue Whales and Sperm Whales, travel past the south coast in January from the Arabian Sea to the Bay of Bengal. In April, they return past the south coast on the return journey travelling west to the Arabian Sea passing Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

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