Sunday, October 4, 2020

Galle (Sri Lanka) - Still Paused


Peace Pagoda

During most of the eight years we have lived on Perry, we have been at anchor rather than at a dock. It's also been somewhat rare that we have stayed in the same spot for more than a few weeks.  And on the occasions that we haven't been moving around, we are usually hauled out and working hard to get some necessary work finished or we are on a road trip.

View of the harbor from the Peace Pagoda

This time is different (a common theme for most people these last few months) and we find ourselves on a dock, in one place, and without  major boat jobs that otherwise fully consume the day. Normally this would be the perfect opportunity for one of the aforementioned road trips, but that's off the table at the moment as well. We don't feel secure leaving our boat in the harbor here for very long due to the line chafing, fender popping surges that can come through the harbor.

Sushi made from locally caught tuna (bought, not caught, by us)

So what to do? Perry still finds ways to demand our attention: A cleat that needs rebedding after six months of strain, the discovery of some  small termites that set up shop in the engine room (good thing we don't have much wood), new faucets in the bathrooms, and some leaks seeping in from the torrential rains of the Northwest monsoon. But for the most part, we fill our days with walks around the Galle area, including the Peace Pagoda pictured at top and the rocking surf at the beaches nearby.

Our big day out was a trip to the U.S. Embassy in Colombo to renew a passport. We took the train, which was a convenient and scenic way to travel. Colombo is a rambling and bustling city, and deserving of more than just the few hours spent there running errands. Hopefully, as the seasons change and the swells diminish, the surge will decrease and we will be able to spend more time away from Galle.  

As there have been no reported cases of community transmission of Covid-19 for several months, things seem more normal. Not many people in Galle wear masks anymore except in some stores where they're required (although the train police did walk the aisles ensuring that passengers wear masks). The security guards taking your temperature before entering the supermarket no longer have the look of urgent concern in their eyes, replaced now by the bored indifference of having to repeat the same task hundreds of times each day. 

Unfortunately, even as normal life in some aspects resumes, it's clear that the country is hurting from lack of tourists and the pause in the economy during the lock down.

Paratha making--yum!

Conrad has been creating small aquariums (aquaria?) with a multitude of aquatic plants, a Betta fish and some colorful shrimp. Many of these items are much cheaper here than in the United States, though finding a place to house them is a challenge on a boat. He easily rattles off scientific names and fish/shrimp/plant care instructions. He (with help from Matt) has also used some of the wiring and mechanical knowledge he has gained over the years to put some LEDs in one of the tanks and create a filter (from an old olive jar, some sponges and other various bits and bobs) for the other. It's a great supplement to his homeschooling.


  1. Can you move PERRY to another and safer harbour?

    1. Good thought--unfortunately because of our unique situation we wouldn't really be able to change ports right now. Possibly later. When this was published, SL had an outbreak of the virus in the community, so things are tense as they try to contain it once more. Thanks for the lead on Unawatuna by the way--the boys LOVE it!


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