Tuk Selfie #12

Colombo, Sri Lanka. February 2023.

Island Ferry

The heavily laden mid-morning ferry from Nainativu arrives to pick me up at the Kurikadduwan jetty, in northern Sri Lanka, in March 2014. While most of the islands closer to the Jaffna Peninsula are connected to the mainland by causeways, the islands further out in the Palk Straits, such as Nainativu, Analativu, and Delft, can only be reached by ferry. These boats are double-decker jobs (as can be seen from the one in the foreground); bulky cargo, motorcycles, and the occasional tuk, go on the upper deck, open to the elements, while passengers shelter below. During the civil war that ended in 2009, getting out to the islands could be a risky affair as they, and the waters around them, were often contested by the Sri Lanka Navy and the navy of the separatist rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the Sea Tigers. Today, the only danger is the weather and the skills of the ferrymen and their mechanics.