Wednesday, December 20, 2017

some bights and southern lights

20 Dec 17



There is pleasure in pathless seas 
There is a rapture on the lonely shore
There  is a society where none intrudes
By the deep sea and the music in its roar
I love not the man less but the nature more

It is always a surprise when nature catches you unaware just when you are lost into its mesmerising beauty such was our awe when we witnessed AURORAS the southern lights.. mind you ...only a lucky few get to witness this at sea,let me share some wonders of nature we witnessed on our way to lyttelton new zealand our second pit stop and some wonderful moments we had over there..we were fortunate to have witnessed auroras three consecutive nights on our way to lyttelton... they were these green streak of lights strewn across the sky glowing dark somewhere and not so bright elsewhere we were smitten watching them and even tried to capture them but i guess we need special lenses for wonder people plan a trip to ice land to witness the northern lights ...some wonders of nature can only be experienced .it is supposed to happen because of the high magnetic forces that exist at the poles and at that time around we were at the southernmost tip of leg 2 just about to climb our way up to lyttelton. when we were climbing our way up and were quite close to the shore hugging the coast to gain some speed one pleasant morning, we saw some dolphins from far closing in on us upon closer examination we discovered that they were quite huge in size and fins located closer to the tail they were so huge that their proximity  the boat was got us worried but smart mammals that they are one wandering dolphin dived below the boat and surfaced on the other side as we watched it dumbstruck.  a little research on the internet a while later told us that these were pilot whales which are a kind of dolphin found usually in the region this part of the year. i feel  like alice in the wonderland narrating all the wonders i get to witness here,  you wouldn’t need a magnifying glass to look though
coming to our brief sojourn in lyttelton and christchurch it went like a breeze ..thanks to many people starting with our Director Indian Naval Sailing Association Cdr neel manjooran who came as our shore support and was true to his word a  great shore support planning ahead our activities and being a great support in facilitating repairs on board we also celebrated his birthday in NZ in a very special way also.. had long intellectual talks and debates regarding various internal and external aspects regarding our voyage probably  driving him to wits end..also joining him was Capt Jayant Mhadik an experienced seafarer himself for being with us every step of our stay in new zealand we also enjoyed great company of his good lady mrs sharyu and of course our Defence Attache Capt Chetan Chandagawe  yet again joined us and we became a great gang of ten to tango..
moving on..difficult to start but let’s start with first dignitary to visit our boat  mr sanjeev kohli the high commissioner of new zealand and his team at the high commission of india NZ..over dinner on the day of our arrival we realised that he was the same government official who helped coordinate the “ Airlift” in real...if you don’t believe me then invoke the google god and you will get your answers ..
mr sandeep sachdev his lovely wife ruchika and their most adorable daughter Aria for our stay and all the events in the lovely city of christchurch we had the most memorable time all thanks to them.. 
our agent peter shanklan for being best friend who’s always a phone call away both to us and to tarini and help out with anything and everything we wanted for our next leg as he said looking at us work on board  “ you take good care of the boat and the boat takes good care of you” 
All the indian families at christchurch who hosted us and also took good care of us reminding of our families across boundaries 
all the kiwis and their families for making us feel at home wherever we went and of course we also learnt a lot about their rich maori culture and heritage and how they still keep these traditions alive just like how we do  back in our country we discovered it on the day of our arrival where they
welcomed us in their traditional way “kia ora”   accepting us as their friends and keeping a memoir of us with them i guess they did the same for our mentor Capt Donde when he visited littleton in2009 a de ja vu for indian seafarers visiting littleton i believe we learnt a lot about their rich culture and how they always narrate story of their ancestors and tell about what everything replicates and represents it was a unique experience so we consider it good luck and best wishes for rest of the voyage
Andrew who coordinated our tie up with the navy and newzealand navy for their support
we also met the mayor of christchurch and it was a delight to meet the kids from school
  Viki moore president of little ship club of canterbury  yacht club for being secret santa leaving us gifts on the boat and hosting us both at the yacht club and at her homework had a great time interacting with fellow seafarers..something she said that really intrigued me was she was visiting her parents for the weekend and she was going to sail 8 hrs by sea to her parents place lovely isn’t it?guess it will take a while for us to take our boats and go out on holiday and visit family or even consider it a mode of transport-come and think of it less traffic,no pollution,fresh oxygen,starlit dinners and moonlit bedtime stories wouldn’t that be just amazing to find solace at sea?food for thought ...
Mrs Archana Tandon for hosting us with “shakti” and all the women across newzealand who volunteer to support the cause for women and for what they do for women all across newzealand and finally to ARA institute for inviting us over..forgive me if i am missing out on someone but we had a truly memorable time at our second pit stop every place we halt at teaches us something new some wisdom gained..
Another nature’s wonder that we witnessed during our stay was one day when we were working on board and this beautiful Halo appears around the sun it’s called a sun bow and forms when the sun rays fall over ice crystals in the atmosphere at an angle of 23degrees precisely we managed to take a photograph making it look like halo on our heads 
During our stay in New Zealand we also celebrated the Navy Day and dressed Tarini for the occasion and were fortunate to talk to our honourable defence minister who conveyed her best regards to us 
our stay in new zealand was also strange weather wise as on the day we entered the weather turned out sunny and hot which was otherwise cold and surprisingly became cold the day we were leaving probably to let us warm up before we head out to touch the southernmost tip of our voyage and maybe because the love and warmth we received from people there made the weather also warmer  
we set Asail from newzealand after Deepti from the indian community conducted a small prayer for strength and courage at sea just after which a very large gathering gave us emotional and teary eyed farewell we guys are hands down most emotional people when it comes to farewell ...the bonds that we developed in a very short span of time were so strong and loved showered over us was overwhelming but it gave us strength and courage to step ahead with determination 
we thank our DA’s good lady mrs chandagawe for staying up all night a day before our departure and preparing the most delicious meal of methi ke paranthe  that we devoured for next 2 days at sea it’s not everyday that someone goes out of the way to do it for you and this blog is the only way we can thankyou for all the efforts put in by you 
so here we are out in the southern ocean...stay tuned for more updates on our leg 3 and significant milestones achieved and some magnificent creatures we saw from so close...we publish this blog today as we celebrate 100 days after our departure from goa (a reminder from gators dad as he strikes of each day in indicate how long she’s gone or how long before she gets back?she wouldn’t dare ask..) also coming up.. some celebrations and another poem from skippers mom (no wonder why she’s secretly munching on heaps of chocolates that are supposed to be souvenirs and also treating us to her skipper famous pasta these days) finally this blog might have seen light of day much later had it not been for skipper who did not publish something that’s going on in her mind for a while (she might after reading this) and i publish after exasperatingly waiting for her and as always our nag master puko my watchmate who kept on nagging me to write the blog (gosh! time to change watch) and someone whom i guiltily say “i will soon” so pledge to self is to keep the blogs coming rapid so readers might find it repetitive that’s probably a new years resolution what’s yours?happy reading folks cheerios!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Rubber legs??Naah!

The Ace Team
 So here we are again sailing the second leg of our journey another leap of faith another step into the unknown and wilderness… back to where we belong... We are always asked this question how does it feel to be at sea for so long? Believe me...nothing brings more calm and peace to me than seeing water all around waves surging past seeing the sun raise and set into the horizon between the sky and sea…frankly we have grown our sea legs to become amphibians over the past two years.. and we like going back to the sea in fact we surrender ourselves to the sea with Tarini our saviour.  I was missing this all the time we got to be on land and was secretly yearning for it for the past two weeks and I’m sure my shipmates will agree more with me. Did we actually get to rest and recuperate over the past two weeks? I can only recollect running around the boat preparing it for Leg 2 and then going for all social engagements whenever we could find a little spare time..My cheeks still hurt for smiling for so many photographs thanks to a very packed up schedule by Defence Attaché India Navy and the Consulate General Perth.  And now we are more at ease when at sea. Just us, Tarini and the pacific it’s a perfect  harmony trust me surreal but true... our mentor was telling us all the time and now I totally get it(Respect sir @first Indian don’t you think we get to talk to you more when at sea?)...sometimes I wonder what we are going to do when we culminate this voyage but that’s a far ask…I might just turn to the skipper and say “where to next captain?”
A quick recap of what happened since our last blog update..First and foremost we were informed that we would be receiving a call from prime minister’s office on Diwali whoa! How about that? So the day was quite busy with the crew setting up the cameras to record the video call with NaMo(I know everyone knows it .This is first-hand information readers!)… we were also calling home to wish family and friends on the occasion … Despite all technical glitches and phone hangovers and some more murphys law that’s sometimes inevitable.. we successfully completed the call with prime minister. Prime minister was updated on our progress in voyage and He informed us about our reception in Australia he also wished skipper and Puko in advance for their birthdays wow quite an captivating personality he is don’t you agree?…the phone call was then was followed by Diwali celebrations onboard with the crew lighting up “Tarini” made diyas of aata ghee and surgical cotton and thus absolutely eco friendly ,smoke and soundfree Diwali was celebrated onboard.
Blue as Sea Skipper
The next few days were spent preparing for our approach to the first port of call a lot of scrubbing and cleaning was carried out onboard to flaunt the Indian made Indian maker Indian women crewed boat. We were ready for our first port of call…when prime minister informed us over the phone call on Diwali that a lot of preparations are going on in Australia with fanfare and fervour for our welcome little did we know what was coming our way… as we slowly made our approach to the allotted berth at the Fremantle sailing club we spotted a large gathering standing with boards calling out welcoming and cheering us. It was extremely overwhelming and we were taken aback a little. Felt like we were home again…everyone was so warm and friendly. Even before we finished our pleasantries and secured the boat, all our personal belongings had reached the vehicle and even before we could correct our rubber legs and start walking around …off we went for dinner with Indian High Commission. 
The entire duration of stay at Fremantle we were kept busy all along primarily for preparing the boat and then the Consulate General of Perth and our Defence attaché with a hour by hour chalked out schedule kept us busy with a lot of official engagements we got to meet and interact with a lot of eminent personalities of the her excellency governor of Western Australia. Minister of tourism Minister of women interests and vital ministers of the parliament also got to interact with Perth US Asia members, students of Modern Perth school and a tour of the local university amongst this jam-packed session we celebrated a grand birthday of our woman of women “The skipper “we totally nailed a surprise at midnight as we caught her asleep after a long tiring day of course. And got her a cake with an icing as blue as the sky and the sea and as cool as the skipper herself. The candles representing the various tools we use on board what a day it was
The entire duration of stay at Fremantle we were kept busy all along primarily for preparing the boat and then the Consulate General of Perth and our Defence attaché with a hour by hour chalked out schedule kept us busy with a lot of official engagements we got to meet and interact with a lot of eminent personalities of the her excellency governor of Western Australia. Minister of tourism Minister of women interests and vital ministers of the parliament also got to interact with Perth US Asia members, students of Modern Perth school and a tour of the local university amongst this jam-packed session we celebrated a grand birthday of our woman of women “The skipper “we totally nailed a surprise at midnight as we caught her asleep after a long tiring day of course. And got her a cake with an icing as blue as the sky and the sea and as cool as the skipper herself. The candles representing the various tools we use on board what a day it was..

We also use this blog as a medium to thank a lot of people
First our Defence Attaché Capt Chetan Chandegave for taking care and organizing and arranging for all our requirements both personal and on the boat.. Staying with us onboard and helping us out.
Our shore support from India Cdr Paras Gosain for being with us through each and every step past 2 weeks
The high Commissioner of India-Australia Dr A M Gondane for hosting us and being kind enough to spare time come all the way and meet us
The Counsel General of Perth Mr Amit Mishra and his wife Meenakshi for being our local guardian keeping us busy with all the official and unofficial engagements at shore the entire team of Counsel General of Perth for a smooth stay and working even on weekends..
Families of Retired Armed forces Officers in Perth for hosting excellent dinner and luncheons for us and coming all the way to receive and see us off
All the Indian families who came to meet us and hosted dinner for us we felt like we were home when with you
All the Australian Families who visited our boat and attended the lectures organised it was really pleasant sharing our journey with you we will keep in touch with you over emails
“Be “ Fremantle for an excellent stay
Fremantle sailing club for taking us in and helping us out when coming in and going out
veerender who was driving us around when we were driving him crazy thank you buddy
oh! Almost forgot.. thank you to each and every one who packed a bit of home and a bit of love on the day we departed and Mrs Preeti and mrs maneesha  for giving an emotional farewell with tilak and sweets we looked like soldiers ready for battle.
We apologise to the families and friends who wanted to host dinner for us but we could not make it there and regret not being there because of all our commitments and other requirements
True to our word we celebrated a grand birthday for puko too and blessed she is celebrating her birthday at sea the day started with puko waking us all up and yelling at the top of her voice coaxing us to decorate the boat with ribbons and balloons jumping around merrily singing “its my birthday” her enthusiasm got to us and soon enough entire boat was decorated cake was over decorated and after cutting the cake our beloved puko was decorated with cake on her face and the traditional fauji Dhaap on her backi believe she will share an anecdote from pukos diary soon.
It’s been five days at sea and we have crossed 40 Degree latitude the area is generally called Roaring forties why so?
Western winds move in both the hemispheres (northern and southern) between 35 to 60 degrees latitudes. In the southern hemisphere, these winds show a very stormy nature after 40 degree latitude.This remains constant in summer as well as in winter. In the olden days, sailors called them 'roaring forties' since these winds create a very noisy atmosphere and were not favourable for them at all.
we have also achieved another big milestone of our journey we rounded one of the three great capes of our voyage that’s Cape Leewin Most south-westerly mainland point of the Australian-Continent Due to the significant hazards they presented to shipping, the great capes became significant landmarks in ocean voyaging Quoting one of the great seafarers “Bernard Moitessier“as I recently finished reading his book “the long way” a little modified to suit us 
A seafarer’s geography is not always that of the cartographer, for whom a cape is a cape, with a latitude and longitude. For the seafarer, a great cape is both a very simple and an extremely complicated whole of rocks, currents, breaking seas and huge waves, fair winds and gales, joys and fears, fatigue, dreams, painful hands, empty stomachs, wonderful moments, and suffering at times.
A great cape, for us, can't be expressed in longitude and latitude alone. A great cape has a soul, with very soft, very violent shadows and colours. A soul as smooth as a child's, as hard as a criminal's.

And that is why we go.

 So here we go ready on our toes for any battle the ocean sends our way. although we are yet to hear the roars or land a complicated situation but surely not denying the fact that we see it coming constantly checking our barometers and temperature gauge which dips down and in our battle wear all the time on vigil we do notice nature changing its spectacle slowly around us with low lying dark clouds covering the sky like a blanket at distance saying watch out! And our weather prediction shows a cold front passing by us pretty soon there is no room for surprises.
Never the less I cannot help sharing what a sight It is at the sea…seeing the sun set into the horizon the sky changing colours from orange to purple and then black and just a while later we see moon raise from the other side it was as if a volcano erupted in the middle of the sea the moon was orange ball of fire in the middle of the ocean it’s a pity we couldn’t capture this wonder. I think to myself whatever we have traded to be here… today.. Now.. It’s totally worth it …there are a lot of compromises, sacrifices, fights, differences in opinion, jealousy ,bitterness, anger and hatred we had to face from the world outside and inside to feel this moment and where we are now is beyond all these emotions and beyond any feeling. Just a slight dose of vitamin “Sea” and everything else dissolves you need see it to know it until then lost in thoughts we wander further into the sea!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Gratitude’s at Horse latitudes and "The Cold front"

The Serendipitous Six 

  Horse latitudes-Between 30 Degrees to 38 Degrees in the north and south of equator a layer of high pressure bet extends which is marked by subsiding air that gets heated during descent. It is said that Spanish sailors ferrying horses to the West Indies were usually struck for months in these calm waters and had to throw their horses into the sea to conserve water for themselves. This led to use of the term Horse Latitudes.
Boom Boom!
 Few days after crossing the Tropic of Capricorn we approached the Latitude to our destination Fremantle, Australia  the strong south easterly winds gave way to very light north westerly winds which came as quite a relief after the strong south easterlies made us toss and turn we spread our wings a little and took our gennekar for some light downwind sailing the gen smelled fresher than any of us onboard reminding of the fresh water wash we gave to it back at home port before taking it onboard we offered a little gratitude to these light winds that helped us stretch a bit and soon prepare for the approaching cold front which gave us south westerly winds taking us east towards destination.
Cold front- Defined as a transition zone where a cold air mass is replacing a warmer air mass in the wake of developing extra tropical cyclone. The air behind a cold front is noticeably colder and drier than the air ahead of tithe replacement is often sudden so that the warm air rapidly rises to form cumulus or cumulonimbus clouds the associated weather results in squall and thunderstorms leading to heavy precipitation the tail left behind by a cold front results in further wave depressions.-source-mariners handbook
Climbing the Mountains
As soon as the weather prediction system on board pointed to us the approaching cold front ahead and the strong winds that it was getting along ,sea securing of the boat commenced on-board five days before the approach ..all loose items were tightly tied all screws blocks and shackles were checked..the winter gears were taken out to accompany wet weather gears all internal arrangement shifted from starboard to port the crew also started aligning themselves shifting weight from the right to the left supposedly two cold fronts became one The barometric pressure was noted and observed to be falling every hour with the temperature turning colder.. every watch was on their toes noting the pressure at every tick of the hour. And there it came was exactly the way we read it and we were all there to witness it the sky darkened even in the middle hour of the day clouds were packed right next to each other like an army of soldiers behind enemy lane there was sudden chill in the air that our teeth started clattering. The cold front got along winds stronger than we have ever seen colder beyond what we thought and rain heavier than we could ever fathom.. It blinded our view making it impossible to see the person standing right ahead the rain hurt any exposed area of the skin the wind screamed in the ears that weren’t covered and the swell tossed the crew that wasn’t tethered.. The sail that was fully up until few days ago taking all the wind it could get came down reef after reef and reduced to fourth reef …Head sail furled..the high waves(atleast 5m high)could be witnessed breaking at their crest.. And skipper sends PCS stating “sea-Very Rough” 
Water Water everywhere

I believe now the readers can excuse us for the late blog post we try to update at the earliest given opportunity
All the philosophy preached by the crew went for a toss once hit by cold front as skipper quoted Gita saying “do the work dont worry about the results” but hell we were in the battlefield in the blink of an eye and thrown in warzone…So cold front has left us cold from back and front also…cooking reduced to preparing maggi and consuming it from the cauldron itself to reduce the number of dishes a crew that eats together stays together. how many layers of clothes are you wearing ??ask the crew 9 says swat cat 6 says Gator we are from the hills this is how it is there say the rest stepping out for a you know why we don’t have refrigerator onboard..sleeping space for 4 offwatchkeepers has reduced to three bunks still they don’t mind bunding up in one bunk while sleeping “cold enough to chill my bones….i don’t understand why youre so cold to me..” puko hums as she steps out for her watch finding it difficult to fit inside her undersized winter gear-wardrobe malfunction the girl has overlooked her vanity and has landed into trouble with her boatgear hopefully we will find a solution in the next port of call that we are soon going to hit..although her attention overlooked her own wintergear some attention to detail has won her applause from the crew(one dhaap in the back from each) for the following 
1. Storing extra drinking water in the boat that the crew is lavishly devouring after trouble with watermaker coming up with water management  for next few days
2. Getting to the bottom of looking into watermaker aage peeche upar neeche up and down driving Croc to open every joint collectively detect the trouble area and rectifying it –Yeah the watermaker is functional!
3. Her never give up attitude to open waste water tank with  skipper is highly appreciated 
(Now go puko leave me to continue writing the blog you’ve occupied enough space already)
A few days ago a splash of wave got threw some squids on the deck as they lay there swatcat and shou did not let their sacrifice go waste and immediately marinated them that day both girls had tastiest meal in a long time while giving a hard time to vegetarians(Croc and Gator) onboard as the odour cannot escape the boat with closed portholes(too cold outside) gosh! did they just take out tinned fish? come croc lets go hangout for a while!
The Patila Maggi

Shou has finshed her book sense and sensibility lets see how much sense she makes now she is now shifed from preparing lunch to making dinner(middle watch to dog watch) is busy making the perfect paranthas that she is so amused with that others aren’t allowed to do it..

That’s all folks Happy Dhanteras May you gets lots of new utensils while we eat maggi from the same “Patila” spreading love and togetherness 
561 miles from first port of call
Not as cold as it was until yesterday(that’s why the blog)-sweaters off

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Hi Readers! It's been long since my team has been telling me to write something or publish a poem which i have written recently, though it's devoid of all the poetry formate. I have been idle for quite a long time. Today i thought why not, so here i am and this is me... well well don't go too far it's not Bryan Adams song! I have just given my thought to a poem about our team, hope you all like it and here it goes "THE SIX".

The Six

 Set out on Sails
The team of “Six”
Into the blue ocean!
Making a history of its kind
With a smile as they sail.

Flagging the nation’s pride
To circle the globe!
A responsibility to comply
For the challenge undertaken!

“Six” blend the team,
From all region of the country.
Into the mercy of weather
Advanced with a baby step
As they grow in their service.

With a little known ‘sea-leg’
Here goes the “Six!”
To the known unknown
Exploring a marine life
With their spirit held high.

Enthralled with adventure
Something different from the norm,
With a desire burning bright
Within the heart of these “Six “
To see the world yet unknown!

Now in the hands of Nature
Here Sails the “Six”
With their wits and wise
Braving with the waves
Gushing through the winds

Mystery yet to unfold
And time binding stories
As the “Six” sails deep
Into the no-men lands’
Of the deep blue ocean!

                                                                      ­SVD ...

Friday, October 6, 2017

Sanctity of a seafarer lies in the solitude she finds at sea

This is how we Rock !

Clouds with Rainbow lining

 Here is the long and much awaited post..  hope it doesn’t disappoint you..apologies for the delay..boat and weather is what keeps us occupied actually…priorities in life! 

“Life and death is uncertain” says Shou she immediately corrects herself saying “life is uncertain but death is certain”… people on land..don’t worry it’s the Tarini crew getting philosophical as we catch the trades and stride ahead the winds taking us south..I’m sure skippers last blog was informative on the doldrums Now a little information on the Trade winds before we dwell upon what’s going deep inside our minds here at sea..
Trade Winds--Between 30 Degree North and 30 Degree South of equator the earth’s rotation causes air  to slant toward the equator in a westerly  direction due to coriolis effect. These are the trade winds that blow predominantly from the north east in the northern hemisphere and from the south east in the southern hemisphere. The trade winds have been used by captains of sailing ships to cross the world’s oceans for century’s .During the age of sail the pattern of prevailing winds made various points of globe easy or difficult to access and had a direct impact on modern political geography and that’s how they got this name as these winds were also used by merchants and mariners for trading across the seas and monitoring and protecting the same even till date.
Creator Gator
Here we are sailing south using the “Trades” of course! past few days haven’t been very smooth though! we witnessed winds gusting upto 35 kn and the sea swell hitting us hard..initially it was difficult for the crew to adjust to these conditions at sea..All portholes and hatches of the boat were closed giving some sleepless time to people inside without cross ventilation..watchkeepers are always in their raingears protecting themselves from the frequent sea splashes  outside,they remain tethered even in the doghouse to avoid falling off. Cooking at the galley has become difficult with all the shaking up we have to tether ourselves to the galley handhold while cooking to prevent ourselves from falling or we might just go flying and fall on the skippers bunk directly opposite the galley…  we also stand like cricket fielders next to the galley ready to catch everything that comes rolling out of the shelves when opened the crew has been showered with jeera,rai and ajwain in one such failed attempt to catch…sometimes when hungry we open the shelf and eat what falls out first. The constant banging of the boat with sea has made the crew a little restless few have developed constant head aches and backaches. We know its hard to imagine for you but this is how it is.Never the less spirit of the super six is unmoved with such small irks… we gradually adapted to this sea condition over the past few days. The temperature has come down a bit making it pleasant inside the boat and the thudding and banging of the boat with water has become a lullaby that’s putting us to sleep..back aches and headaches gone and the music is on!! And cooking??Hey skipper!! Didn’t we just have Rajma pulao for lunch??And what’s that being made for dinner??what?Dosa?? Come-on! Readers here are finding it hard to believe!
And we go Swoooooosh!
So coming to the topic of the blog…Sanctity of a seafarer lies in the solitude she finds at sea have you ever wondered what you would do when left all by yourself. There must be something you do when nobody is watching what is it?? Do you yearn to be left alone to your own spirits From an outsiders eye you will find the crew each one of them at some point of the day looking outside what do they see? The ferocity of the waves..The loom given out by the stars and the moon.. the brilliant colours in which the sky lits up at different hours in a day.. The winds breezing past or gusting past. The clouds taking different shapes and changing colours. Constellations on a clear night even shooting stars waoh..bioluminisence..dolphins flying fishes sea birds what not and what does it make us think?? ?? Each member of the crew is found lost in their own thought sometimes makes me wonder what’s going on in there? Here is a little mind reading presented by gator :-
 “Maybe we will pick up some speed if we tighten or loosen the sail a bit”(depending on the wind)
“Shall we hoist or dump the sail now or maybe wait a little longer” (again depending on the wind)
“Woah what a beautiful sunset/sunrise shall I wake others up?”
“Oh! Its raining let me adjust the sails a bit then il go get my shampoo and soap and take a shower”
“Its cloudy and breeze is so cool I just need some hot tea shall I ask puko or skipper to make while im standby here??”
Little comforts in life-a cozy perch
“The moon is shimmering over the sea how lovely! So want to share this sight”
“Poor birdie how long it must have flown to come so far”
“What do I make for breakfast/lunch/dinner?”(depending on the time of the day) 
“Gosh! so many dirty dishes whos turn was it to do them?”
“Hey! that’s my pillow she is using..grrrrrr”
“Dolphins!!!yay everyone comeout the dolphins have come to race with us”(they always win)
“What a brilliantly lit sky tonight.. so that’s the south cross there and I think we are doing a good course now”
Guess I have given away too much sometime we feel  that we should be left to our free spirits left to do anything we like and when we find time for it.. yes,  we do get to pursue our hobbies once in a while but that’s not what we have come here for isn’t it?? for example., a  post in the blog should be written when the scribe wants to share their thoughts and not when asked to do so.A photograph should be snapped after the beauty  and the moment has been relished by the person witnessing it .when at sea so when we spot a school of dolphins we would like to sit back relax and enjoy the sight rather that running inside to grab the camera take photographs and flaunt it for the world to see(whats the fuss going on about the facebook page??).. These mesmerising sunsets and sunrises that we witness at sea can only be appreciated when witnessed in person and no lens can capture it. sometimes it just ruins the moment for the person relishing taking a flash photograph of a sleeping child only to make it cry. sometimes when things go overboard and we are just sharing our thoughts. Don’t you think the camera should capture the life that we live instead of us leading a life because there is a camera? This is not a big boss house so sometimes such information that comes out might not actually be true but glorified more that what has happened because the situation demands it to grab attention so be careful what you ask for...instead if there is no timeline and no deadlines set ,the piece of such will be a work of pure brilliance. 
The crew onboard these days are however finding solace in their own respective way but when they get to talk to each other this brain storm sessions start about anything under the sky right from talking about our families future plans how certain things should be in the boat planning our approach to destination and preplanning the preparation and maintenance onboard that we will be undertaking in the next port of call-looks like too much in hand isn’t it?
A lot has been going on lately within us and entire crew seems to be in a philosophical mode these days to start with Croc when she gets free time on the boat is reading a book named Law of attraction this book tells us how we attract a lot of unwarranted stuff in life just by thinking about it instead if we rather think that it will all be alright then we are going to attract the same-good peace of advice before we go more south isn’t it its easier said than done 
Gator is in a different mode altogether she’s listening to Ramayan on her MP3 and giving pravachan to everyone explaining the inner meaning behind the story-Spiritually philosophical…
Skipper has just finished reading a book called journey to the centre of the earth { planning for next voyage already??} the next book she picked up is Bhagvad Gita although puko is ususally found with this book left abandoned in the doghouse {still waiting for some insights from her}
Shou is trying her hand on numerology these days determining the characteristics of a person depending on their name and date of birth she just told gator that she is a very creative person by nature according to numerology so gator immediately entered her creative space here in doghouse and got into the business of creating this blog-talent identified 
So lets bring back the “Age of Sail” save the earth and atmosphere from the harmful gases make the air more breathable lets allow the trees to grow protect the oceans and save humanity make this world a better place to live for our future generations I think that’s the basic idea behind ocean sailing don’t you think? more than expedition or an activity it has become more of way of life for us seafarers  So next time It rains or the winds pick up I wont turn on the camera we have got enough footage already.. so I believe that sums up most of it until next time kindly read and reread this blog its got a lot of deep thinking and inner meaning will take a while to understand oh! we just crossed Tropic of Capricon-located at 23 Degree 26’ 13” south of equator it is the southern most latitude where the sun can be over head and it is so named because 2000 years ago the sun was in the direction of the constellation Capricornus. its position is not fixed and varies in a complex manner over time .any legends and myths about It you know? Feel free to share..
Upcoming blog- Gratitude's for Horse Latitudes !!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Dol-Drums of the southern hemisphere

I am sure this blog must have been a much awaited one, we all had taken a temporary exit to get into what we call our 'meditative mode'. This is only to revive our energies to get back on the tedious task of blogging. Haha! Jokes apart, we actually got a tad bit lazy, a bit occupied too with all these days' doings. We try and spend most of our 'off watch' time relaxing and sleeping as much we can because thats supposed to be the most essential thing for smooth sailing in a not so smooth sea!

While the 'Doldrums' had drummed us to the beats of windlessness couple of days back, the wind Gods in this part of the planet seem to be all dolled up to make us beat to the drums of a swelly and stormy sea. No wonder why its named as 'Beating'!.(In sailing parlance, beating=upwind sailing and is also directly proportional to being beaten. The more you do it, the more you deserve to get it!)
Now who's beating whom is a debatable point!

I will leave the next blog to my friend who had promised to write to the readers on a nice topic-'Sanctity of a Seafarer lies in her solitude". A little more patience and the blog would soon hit this window. Until then, we let the seafarer (Gator) enjoy her share of solitude.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Revisiting Lord Neptune-Equator crossing number 6

Blast from the Past
 Yet another equator crossing 6th for the Tarunis as a team and 3rd for Tarini as we steadily paved our way for another tryst with lord Neptune we did have quite funny interactions with Neptune at equator in the past some fun some lull and some squall so we were quite prepared to meet Neptune this time around.. Let us give a small brief of time tested tradition that has been carried out by seafarers when they cross equator. For the benefit of readers …Seafarers who have already crossed the equator are called as shell backs and those who have not are nicknamed Pollywogs.
Earth and Equator Choco Walnut Cake
The ritual is an initiation ceremony presided over by King Neptune (the ancient ruler of the seas) with a crown over his head and trident in his hand The oldest shellback in the ship/boat acts as lord Neptune. As a tradition the pollywogs are dunked into water at sea to cleanse them of dirt and impurities first physically i've heard they are even made to drink seawater for some internal cleansing.. And then mentally by being punished by Lord Neptune the punishment can be of any nature and the pollywog has no option but to bear the brunt…(Source Cdr Niel Manjooran)
Right foot first
Makes me remember our first ever equator crossing when Swatcat the only shellback in our team had a ball of time with us pollywogs.. Dunking in the sea wasn’t required as we already take frequent showers with water from our water maker and even drink it..she gave us all some punishments which has us in splits when performing. We had offered some halwa to lord neptune..Guess he likes us... Because since that equator crossing Neptune called us back many a times to get some tasty treats and surprise us with a different weather phenomenon on each visit we made since then. .Glassy calm Sea, Squally night ,brilliantly lit starry night, absolutely cloudy night, Heat in the middle of the day that roasted us, Mesmerizing sunrise and sunsets Fair winds and following seas but also winds from nowhere and we at a standstill…you name it and we have witnessed it at the equator.
So this equator crossing was quite an event as we have upgraded our cooking skills also since we sailed out first a Delicious chocolate walnut Cake Prepared by Swtacat awaited lord Neptune as we approached equator.. now from our past visits we have also learnt that Neptune is quite cranky and acts funny even if one of us is not up and about to greet him so despite being 0450 in the morning the entire team was up to say hello. Our youngster Puko cut the cake and we sang a reprised version of Happy equator crossing (Happy birthday glorified) after counting down the seconds that showed our position changing from North to South Oh! We did not find a line going across the sea so we drew a Zero degree line as a icing on our round cake which represented the earth and cut across it-Symbolic isn’t it? That adds another shell to our backs. Fiberglass sandwich shellbacks…lol (That one was for the boat builder)
This was the time when we realized that from now on we will be in the southern hemisphere rest of the year and most of the part of the voyage until we commence our last leg from cape town-our home run Nostalgic and sweet pain of separation yet again so here we stride ahead but alas! It only been a day that we have crossed equator and the lull has hit us let me tell you it’s not the stormy nights but the windless ones that really vex us there is scotching heat outside and our watermaker has developed some hypertension poor thing needs some undivided attention and cajoling to rev up again-vexed vexed! Some good rain and winds might calm down our nerves   

The family that stays together

Until then Cheerios!
Hey croc! it’s our watch now let’s put some sunscreen and step out!     
Wishing our mentor- Guruji Capt Dilip Donde SC (Retd.) a very happy birthday we dedicate this equator crossing to him… we are because you are sir…Hail Shellbacks!!  
Upcoming Blog—"Sanctity of a Seafarer lies in her solitude-A philosophical passage"