Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Three months in Galle Port (Sri Lanka)

Old deflated volleyball +
plastic bags = 'bowl'. Not
for soup though!

You know it's been boring when the best we can lead off with is a knitted bowl.  Not much has changed here for us in Sri Lanka. From what we can gather from our brief, Navy-escorted forays and reports from those fortunate enough to be able to leave the port, Galle seems to have returned to 'normal'.

A net to keep garbage from collecting
alongside the boat. Otherwise it builds up and

bumps, bumps, bumps, the boat all night long

We got our hopes raised and then dashed when the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka told us that they had talked to an Immigration official that said we could go to Colombo (the Capital) to request visas, which might allow us to go outside the port on our own. Unfortunately (frustratingly), the trip to Colombo didn't get organized in time and we supposedly lost our 'window of opportunity'.

There have been some rumblings that Sri Lanka might open up to tourism on August 1 with strict restrictions (including 3 Covid-19 tests and being required to stay in a 5-star hotel). This plan has not been made official and there is no guarantee that we would be given visas.

We are fortunate to be relatively safe in a place that has made good efforts on the Covid-19 front. Things could definitely be worse. 

But they could be better. It is hard to see other tourists being allowed to go about their business and spend much-needed tourism dollars, when we have to go through extraordinary measures just to get groceries. It is now over two and a half weeks since our last outing and our agent has been too busy to take us shopping.

In other minor grumblings, there doesn't seem to be any real garbage disposal here in the port, so we do our best to reduce the amount of waste that we produce. I'm back to crocheting plastic bags into something more useful (see photos above). It also helps keep my insanity at bay.

Let's see, what else? It rains most days, if only briefly. We continue to fight the rubbish in the water (it collects between our boat and the wall and clunks loudly against the boat in the wee hours) and the crows (they drop bits of food and poo on the boat and have managed to bend one of the tabs on our Windex). The cement factory is gearing up for business again. When operating it sounds like the worlds largest commercial clothes drier where someone is trying to dry their shoes.

We have received permission to go to the Seychelles, which is Covid-19 free, and are considering whether or not to go. Unfortunately, the trip to the Seychelles would be a couple weeks and the start would be an ugly bash into wind and waves. Also, the path to South Africa is still blocked for now as both it and Madagascar have closed borders. 

Once in the the Seychelles, there is a pretty small weather window to make it to South Africa (basically the month of October) and if South Africa (and probably Madagascar) doesn't open up by then, we would have to figure out what to do and where to go.  With the virus ramping up in mainland Africa right now, the best plan may just to be to stay put.  


  1. Hi there, I know that C'est let Vent are leaving Langkawi for Seychelles and then onwards to S Africa this week. They plan to anchor off the coat if S Africa if they can't go in, and have stocked up so they can last to the Caribbean. They say Tanzania is open, but I'm sure you know that.
    We're thinking if you xxx

    1. Hi Malene! Thanks for the info. We're still pondering--stay confined to the port here for another 2+ months or bash into the wind and squalls towards Seychelles. Decisions, decisions! Hope you're all well!


Add a comment: