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Captain’s Log: Colombo and the Indian Ocean Crossing

Having put the vents of Phuket behind me, we made our way across the Indian Ocean towards a landfall off the southern tip of Sri Lanka, or Ceylon as it was once known. Our guests and crew enjoyed the sea-days after our somewhat hectic prior days and ports. We were, once again, blessed with calm seas and light winds for the 2-day crossing.

Colombo lies on the west coast of Sri Lanka and we make for an 0600 arrival off the pilot station. When we were here last year, a vast construction project was in progress, expanding the harbour to seaward and building a huge new terminal, the main purpose of which is to take the larger generation of container ships, which a slowly replacing the conventional size vessels. We expected to dock in the ‘Cruise’ terminal, however we had been told beforehand that this was not available. On arrival, it transpired that 2 Iranian warships were docked there; these 2 have been in the news recently, as there was much hullabaloo about Iran expanding its reach to the East and these ships had been as far as China and were now slowly on their way back.

We docked at the Unity Container pier on a hot and muggy morning, being greeted by the ubiquitous market stalls and an elephant no less, so I manage to get close to one, despite the Phuket taxi drivers………………

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It was a Sunday, so although most of the main stores in Colombo were closed, the city was bustling with activity, particularly the markets, which were in abundance. Fresh produce abounded as were the taxis, in this case the ‘tuk-tuk’, my driver complaining bitterly that they cost $1,000 to produce in India, however when they reached Sri Lankan shores, they cost $4,000 due to the tax.

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As I write, we are just about to cross the equator once more, the 3rd time we have done so this voyage.

2 Comments
  • jacquelyn

    Venting is good for the soul Capt Mercer..lol! I probably would have been annoyed also at the behaviors of the taxi drivers…maybe some day, when the cruise ships no longer stop there, they will get the message and do a lot better for all tourists! Your descriptions of the ports and your pictures continue to hold my interest…I felt as if I could just step inside of my laptop and do a little shopping in Sri Lanka! Also, I LOVED the elephant! 🙂 Thank you for sharing…

  • Mary

    Absolutely love the elephant pictures. Makes me feel as if I am right there. I hope we are going there next year for The 2014 World Cruise. Last year for the World Cruise we went to Columbo, but I don’t remember seeing a live elephant on the pier. Interesting. I do enjoy the Tuk-tuks though. See you next year Capt. Mercer.

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