Mirissa beach is known for cool Eurotrash, beautiful surfing and whale-watching. In common with most of the country outside the dapital, the beach community struggles with an unreliable electricity grid. But it is not known as a centre of off-grid technology – and for good reason. Like most of the country, households in Mirissa depend for backup power on diesel rather than solar. The Perkins generator at the Seastar Hotel is a relatively modern example of a near-century-old design.
It sits in the courtyard of this friendly hotel, maintained by locals, at the end of the long golden beach, that has become increasingly popular over the years.
Western surfers share the waves with Sri Lankan fishermen, who hover near the shore all day, line fishing, while most of the catch is hoovered up by industrial vessels on the horizon.
When the power goes out, about once every couple of days, the huge old generator roars into action. It certainly helped me out when I was trying to go online. Happy Birthday, Generator. You can see the film here.