Day 16 – Colombo, Sri Lanka–June 6th 2015

Alongside Colombo – 07:00 – 20:00

Our first port outside of Australia and with the number of passengers up in the buffet, I suspect it is eagerly awaited after seven days at sea. This morning we are heading off to a Tea Plantation and will complete a separate post on the tour. The other notable point is our good friend and fellow blogger Dean Lenz is joining the ship today and will be with us until Dubai. Dean works for Princess Corporate Security, travelling around the world conducting port inspections. 

Temperature: High 31C/87F, Low 26C/79F

Wind/Weather: Light airs with broken overcast

Sunrise/Sunset: 05:53/18:24

Clox: Z+5.5 (no change)

Distance Fremantle to Colombo – 3,133 miles

Navigation

Sea Princess maintained NW’ly courses across the Indian Ocean until making landfall abeam of Punte de Galle, where a N’ly course was set along the Sri Lanka coast towards the Port of Colombo. On approaching the port, various courses were steered on approach to the pilot station, where the pilot boarded about 05:50.

Pilot boat approaching at Colombo

 

Pilot boarding Sea Princess approaching Colombo

Sea Princess entered the harbour, berthing Stbd side alongside shortly after 07:00. Sea Princess departed Colombo about 20:00 and once clear of the harbour set a WNW’ly course to clear the south of India.

 

Sunrise over Sri Lanks on approach to Colombo

Sunrise over Sri Lanka

Colombo, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, an independent state since attaining independence from Britain in 1948, it is located off the SE Coast of India. Until 1972, it was known as Ceylon. The island has a rich history dating back hundreds of thousands of years, as far back as the Palaeolithic Period, or Era.

European colonisation of the island started with the Portuguese in the early 1500’s, with them consolidating control by building a fort in Colombo about 1520, and then expanding their influence across all coastal regions. Intermittent warfare between locals and the Portuguese continued until about 1620, when the Europeans defeated the local forces.

Dutch explorers arrived on the island and in 1638 the King signed a treaty with the Dutch East India Company to rid the island of the Portuguese, which resulted in a Dutch victory, in the Dutch – Portuguese War. The Dutch took control of Colombo in 1656 and violated the treaty by retaining control of the land they captured from the Portuguese. During the Napoleonic Wars, concerned that France may assume control, the British moved into Ceylon and took control, so as to gain access to the deep water harbours. Britain ceded control back to Ceylon on February 4th 1948.

The government is a mixture of Presidential and Parliamentary Government and it is a diverse country with many religions, ethnicities and languages. Major exports include tea, coffee, rubber and cinnamon.

Port of Colombo harbour

Port of Colombo from our berth in the container section

Activities

Pilot boat departing Sea Princess approaching Colombo

Pilot Boat departing

Being a full day in port, very little is included in the Princess Patter, so I have not copied today’s edition. Today we planned on a 6 hour tour to the tea plantation, departing about 08:30 and returning about 14:30. Since we were planning a birthday dinner at 20:00 in the steakhouse for our friend Dean, with the SECO & Captain also invited, we hit the Afternoon Tea, shortly after returning from the tour. Enjoying a few cups of tea and scones, we got a shock when chatting with our Head Waiter, while departing the restaurant. Due to the late departure this evening they cancelled the steakhouse and are using the entire Horizon Court for the buffet at dinner. To make matters even worse, I called to make a reservation the following night and the first available is June 10th, the night before Dubai.

No steakhouse tonight, so we headed down to our regular table at 19:45. Only 4 of us tonight after a busy port day, but we did enjoy dinner from this evening’s South Pacific menu. 

 

As another day closes, we bid you farewell, till tomorrow and hope for fair skies and following seas.

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