Throughout my sailing days I never thought of settling ashore... I loved my ships
especially the new gadgetry that was coming on ships due to leaps and bounds in
development of computer technology... I loved to see more of the world and I was
only 33 years old with almost 5 years in command.
This changed when I met an old mentor from Cadet days... Capt Errol Dharmaratne
who had started out on his own doing survey work... We met and spent some time
on the salvage tug that I was Master on at the time. We were attending to a
tanker casualty off Trinco (he representing the P & I) when he asked me to join him doing survey work...
I was reluctant at first; but I thought OK lets try this job. So I joined
Intermarc Services and Errol taught me everything that I know today.
At the beginning we had some local clients but we were the correspondents for
one of the most important P & I Clubs in the region - The Steamship Mutual...
All our top jobs came through SIMSL though we also had a variety of other P & I
At the time everybody needed a surveyor for everything! We were asked to do
draft surveys even on vessels carrying bagged cargo! Later, this trend changed
and most of these fancy surveys dried up.
Errol and me both had strong opinions and personalities and I left my full time
position at Intermarc in 1994 to take up lecturing at the University of
By this time I got married and had my only child Tanya in 1993. While working at
the University I registered and operated my own surveying company Delta Maritime
in order to supplement my meagre salary at the University.
Delta Maritime was a huge success in the first year... I grossed Rs. 958,000/-
before taxes during 18 months of operation and this was my side business - I
also had my freedom as the university's lecturing schedule was only for 11.5
hours a week for me as a consultant...
I worked for many companies and those other surveyors who found work but was too
busy to attend to that work...
If I look back in time, the seven years I spent teaching at the Uni were the
greatest times of my life. It was the most sobering experience to find that
there are more educated and more humble human beings among us; dedicating their
lives to educate others who are total strangers...
My satisfaction comes through the fact that almost all of the first three
batches I taught are either Masters or Chief Officers now...
I never stopped learning myself; as is just like me...
There have been many firsts in my life. Two of them stood out and still stands
as beacons for my sea-going colleagues...
In 1995 I decided that being a Master was simply not enough. Institute of
Chartered Ship Brokers offered the qualification I was looking for... and I sat
their exams in 1995 and passed winning the Maritime Policy Management Award (Taylor
& Francis Award). This was a first for Sri Lanka...
In 1994 I was selected by the Senate of the Open University of Sri Lanka to
follow their LLB graduation course... it never came easy... now all Masters are