we (my GF and I) are big animal lovers.
So that was no surprise we found out about the big whale population off the coast around Sri Lankas. After having all our points settled down for our tour, we started looking up whether its possible to dive with them or not. Whale-Watching seasons & locations where to do it, all can be found online with. You will find so many different sites with information about whale watching. They all have one in common; they vary in the best season to see them as well as the location. If you don't know too much about it, that gets confusing. Since I found out there are whales in Trincomalee around the time we are there (even best time according to some sites) I decided giving it a go.
Mistake 1: Checking online the "best season"
Actually arriving there locals told us its not a good season to see them. Well ok, - great. :(
If your travel-plan is fix, this doesn't so much matter. But if you travel to Sri Lanka especially for Whales, check more trusted websites -> stay away from various sites offering day-tours for checking the right season!
Mistake 2: Booking locally.
Once arriving in Trincomalee we listen to local recommendation rather than trusting online sources or guides. You can imagine, everyone wanna sell you their "deals", recommends you their friends business or the ones they get a profit from.
Mistake 3: Seeing the situation and didn't leave.
The tour came along with a 100% dolphin sight guarantee and a high chance of whales sights. After arriving at the beach pretty early (around 6 am) you could already see many boats leaving towards the deeper water and many more which are ready to take off.
Don't act like stupid people we told our-self and jumped in one of these boats. Probably space for 8 people. Already in a bad mood we left shore and directed the open waters which was already crowded with other small whale watching boats + fisherman.
The captains of these boats had wild discussions with each other with all their walkie-talkies, so if a whale or dolphin shows up, each and every boat drives there as fast as they could.
Water was so busy so even if there would have been any animals, you would risk your life going in there.
Long Story Short: Whale Watching in Trincomalee Sri Lanka
If you are a diver: Don't book a day-tour!
Book a tour where you actually can dive, mostly liveaboard. Guess what, more expensive than day trips, but definitely worth it.
If you are a backpacker or regular turist: Don't book a tour!
You sit on a small boat and chasing animals for no reason to take crappy pictures.
Never dive alone and let the stress at the surface! =)