This is a traditional stop-over, and has much to offer despite the rather unusual arrangements for visiting yachts. Many yachts call at Galle to see something of Sri Lanka, a spectacularly beautiful country. A five day tour to Ella, Nuwara Eliya, Sigiriya and Kandy should include the mountain train journey through tea plantations from Ella to Nuwara Eliya. Joining the pilgrim’s route to see the sun rise from Adam’s Peak is another unforgettable experience. The short route is from the north side of the mountain, the longer and much more challenging route from the south is not for the faint hearted! Many yachts share transport for an inland tour and some operators have mini vans available at the same cost as a taxi. In Galle itself, a very pleasant few hours can be spent strolling around the old walled village of Galle Fort with the famous cricket ground at its feet.
A pretty overnight anchorage can be found in the bay just north of the Tr (Conspic) just inside Watering Point which is marked on most large scale charts. This tower is no longer conspicuous. Other yachts have anchored for the night off the main northern beach of Galle just outside the harbour but it may be quite busy with fishermen, and at times very rolly.
Moorings; On arrival yachts must anchor outside the harbour to allow a visit from the Navy who will inspect the hull. If arriving at night you will have to anchor off until the morning as the inner harbour is sealed off with a floating boom to deter terrorist attacks by the Tamil Tigers. Once you have been inspected you can move through into the inner harbour. There is now a cruise liner wharf alongside the creek on the north east side of the harbour and an excellent yacht berth has been created along the north side of this wharf. There is room for about eight 12 metre yachts with a minimum depth of 2.5 metres alongside the quay. These depths shoal quickly to the north of the wharf and you should keep to the south of a small black buoy (used at night to drape more anti Tamil Tiger nets) to avoid running aground. This buoy is just off the end of the quay where the harbour tug usually moors.
Two other mooring areas are used by yachts. One is just inside the harbour entrance tied between the remnants of blue plastic pontoons and laid buoys. The other berths are fore and aft anchored on the east side of the harbour with a line taken ashore. This is where the dinghy landing steps are so is quite convenient, but this berth should be treated with caution as several concrete remains have been reported visible at low tide.
Formalities; You may be required to use the services of an agent in order to complete your clearance. The Don Windsor family have been acting as agents to visiting yachts for very many years. Other agents may also be available.
Facilities; Most yachts fill up with water by jerry can from a tap in the yachtsman's shower and toilet block close by the cruise liner wharf. The water is said to be potable. Arrangement with the harbour authority can be made to obtain large quantities of water by tanker from alongside the cruise liner wharf.
Fuel; There are two pumps on the fisherman's quays. Diesel from this pump may be reserved for the fishermen. You may therefore have to make special arrangement through Mike Yacht Services. Fuel through Don Windsor is available by jerry can.
Gas; Mike Yacht Services will fill most types of can for you.
Laundry; Several local laundry services are available
Provisions; There are many local market stalls and shops. There is also a service provided by Mike Yacht Services.
Courtesy Flags; This is a good place to buy courtesy flags or a new ensign.