Giants of the Deep Blue Sea

As with all our trips down south, we were up early in the morning and heading down the E1 highway to Galle. But unlike many of our trips down south, this time we were traveling as a pack. Together with my cousins and cousins in law, we were speeding long the highway in the wee hours of the morning with the hope of reaching the Galle Navy Base by 6:00 AM.

The Galle Navy base is situated in the vicinity of the commercial Galle Harbour. One of the most active ports in Sri Lanka, the Galle harbour is a natural harbour that has been recognized by the International yacht societies as one of the world’s best attractions for yachting. Galle harbour has been Sri Lanka’s most important harbour until the artificial harbour was built at Colombo in 1873. Along with the construction of the Galle Fort, the harbour was one of the major ports in the Indian Ocean for over 200 years.

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The first river you paddle runs through the rest of your life

17 June 2013, Kithulgala

After a somewhat of a lame safety briefing I started to make my way along a narrow foot path towards the bank of the Kelani River. It was roughly 9 am on a gloomy Monday morning. We spent the previous two days engaging in various outbound training activities, and it was finally time to go White Water Rafting. The team bonded over the past two days; working together, having fun and getting to know the person behind the face that we see everyday at office. One could taste the excitement and tension in the air. We were looking forward to an awesome experience.

Geared up in safety vests, helmets, and paddle in hand, we continue down the winding foot path as the rain beat down on us. The closer we got to the river, the sound of the rain drops hitting our helmets and vests got muffled by the roar of the raging river. It was at this moment, that it struck me. I’m going white water rafting!!! I don’t know how to swim!!! I heard my mom’s voice in my head, telling me the dangers of rafting. I took a moment to clear my mind, a moment to think. We wouldn’t do this if it was that dangerous, would we? take such a big risk? My thought process was interrupted when my team mate, put his arm around my shoulder and started to talk to me. There was no turning back now, no one was backing down, everyone was anxious to get on the water. Continue reading