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By No owner — last modified May 24, 2018 11:15 AM

 Sri Lanka - Profile

Facts

  • Sri Lanka is a useful stop for yachts en route to the Red Sea and a good point of departure for cruising the Maldives, Chagos and Seychelles.
  • Whilst the northern parts of the country were out of bounds for many years, Trincomalee on the NE coast has now opened up to cruising yachts. Special permission must still be obtained before travelling to other northern states.
  • Colombo, on the central west coast of Sri Lanka, has a large commercial harbour with little provision for yachts and formalities are complex.
  • Refuelling and provisioning at the old port of Galle (a tourist port on the SW corner of Sri Lanka) is straightforward and this is where most yachts clear-in. Conditions for visiting yachts have improved slightly here, however it's likely a not a port you would want to spend much time in.
  • Whilst Trincomalee is a military port and therefore unfamiliar with pleasure boat clearance, it is a port of entry and cruising boats have successfully cleared into Sri Lanka here. Delays may be possible however due to officials being more familiar with commercial vessels.
  • It is highly likely on your approach to Sri Lanka you will be accosted by fishing boats at full speed (despite waves and wind) shouting and waving at you wanting gifts. Wave them away and proceed west as fast as possible. Don't be surprised if you have to bear off or start an engine to avoid them.
  • An agent is required to clear into and out of Sri Lanka and basically organise everything. Selecting the right agent is very important. Do your research carefully.

Security

On 17 March the government lifted the state of emergency imposed after recent violent clashes.

If you’re in Sri Lanka or due to travel, you’re advised to exercise caution, avoid protests and rallies, and follow the advice of the local authorities. In addition to our travel advice, you may wish to consult the Sri Lankan Tourism Development Authority website, which has issued regular updates on the impact on tourist travel.

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/sri-lanka

Weather

Tropical climate with distinct dry and wet seasons. The seasons are slightly complicated by having two distinct monsoon seasons.

From May to August the Yala monsoon brings rain to the island’s southwestern half, while the dry season lasts from October to March. The southwest has the highest rainfall – up to 4000mm a year.

The Maha monsoon blows from October to January, bringing rain to the North and East, while the dry season is from May to September. The North and East are comparatively dry, with around 1000mm of rain annually.

There is also an inter-monsoonal period in October and November when rain can occur in many parts of the island.

Colombo and the low-lying coastal regions have an average temperature of 27°C. At Kandy (altitude 500m), the average temperature is 20°C, while Nuwara Eliya (at 1889m) has a temperate 16°C average. The sea stays at around 27°C all year.

Sri Lanka Weather Forecast

For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page.

Main Ports

Colombo * , Galle * , Trincomalee *

* indicates port of entry

Joana Amen
Joana Amen says:
May 23, 2018 04:27 PM

When we arrived to Sri Lanka we called for Tango Shipping Agency on the Ch 16 – Mr. Chatura and Nilusha where great and went beyond the formalities to enter the country. Mr. Chatura is a man of sea, very experienced in many areas and helped us a lot in electrical problems for free! They were clear, helpful and kind and we became friends. We also made friendship with the helpful and smiley Ekka, the tuk tuk driver that knows everything and everyone – www.ekkatours.com +94723371116. We loved Sri Lanka, thank you all!

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Apr 13, 2018 01:01 PM

Steve - the best group to get involved with is the Red Sea Passage Facebook Group. See http://www.noonsite.com/General/Piracy/red-sea-passage-facebook-group.
There is also a facebook group for Crossing the Indian Ocean (on passage)

steve gould
steve gould says:
Mar 20, 2018 01:41 AM

I am plannng to sail from Sri Lanka to the Red Sea early in 2019 and would like to communicate with other sailors (owners and / or crew) interested in doing he same.

Rchildress
Rchildress says:
Mar 01, 2018 05:57 PM

To everyone planning to go to Trincomalee Sri Lanka...
TWO important points....

NIGHT TIME ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE

Be advised that entrance or exit in or out of Trincomalee Port is NOT allowed at night. There will be no circumstance that will permit entrance at night. There are no lighted buoys, and the harbor master is not willing to be responsible for your night time entrance/departure. You must heave to or drift until morning if you arrive at night. Plan your arrivals accordingly.

CUSTOMS CLEARANCE TO PORT

Be advised that it is a big problem if you arrive to Trincomalee with clearance to a port of “Maldives” or anything besides “Trincolamee, Sri Lanka” or “High Seas”. GAC agent Sandeep worked hard for many hours today to get the problem cleared up with customs, and it is now resolved, but be aware that common practice elsewhere is not common practice here.

Southern Wing
Southern Wing says:
Feb 03, 2018 02:11 PM

We cannot speak highly enough of our agent, Sandeep Kavinda Wickramarathne, from GAC Shipping Ltd. (Ph +94764675451). We paid US$310 to GAC Shipping for their services for a one month stay in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka. We found them to be very professional and efficient. Clearing in was no problem and very friendly. Nobody asked for any extra fees.
The harbour is an excellent place to anchor and leave your boat for a few days exploring inland. Trincomalee is a nice sized town to use as a base for further travel inland. We had an excellent and well priced guide - Yoosef Ph.+94778802557. His price included all his expenses and then we paid for our meals and hotel on top of that. We were not approached by any fishermen upon entering the harbour.
We chose Trincomalee because we had heard that the concrete plant in Gal leaves concrete dust all over your boat.
Overall a great anchorage with good holding, easy access and great people.

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