Friday, 15 October 2010

Voyage Mumbai - Goa

So, we had everything done and were hurriedly putting the finishing touches on the forward wood work. I had scheduled compass adjusting and engine sensor calibration for departure and was waiting for the pilot. The Adjusters and Engine technician were onboard and soon enough I also got the pilot.

MSC Chitra

MSC Chitra has the best view of Mumbai

MSC Chitra

Once I told the pilot we're also doing compass adjusting he grumpily asked why I did not do it before I came, well, I replied, your port regulations require pilot onboard for any movements... Then he asked how long it was going to take, 2 hrs the adjusters said. Then he seemed happy he could mooch away a couple hours onboard so he called his controller and them the "bad" news. It took 5 minutes and the controller called my mobile telling me where to do my swing and to let the pilot step off immediately. Pilot told me to have a good day and so he left. I guess the Mumbai Pilot House might be a tad understaffed.

Sunrise on Indian Ocean

Anyway, so we got our compass swinging underway and soon enough I had an adjusted compass. The adjuster, Capt Aga, wrote out the card and his invoice and off he also went. Then I continued going back and forth on different rpm for the engine technician to get his readings and some 45min later he was also done and he packed his things and so we were clear to leave Mumbai waters behind us.

M/s River Pirncess in front of Candolim beach

After passing the Sunk Rock we approached the Prong Reef and we could still see the wreck of MSC Chitra stranded on it. She was now emptied of containers and was lying on her side as seen in the news. Nearby salvage cranes were anchored. I reckon the next step is to right her and tow her to whatever fate that is decided, most likely to the shipwreckers.

Once passed MSC Chitra we started getting in a swell from west but it was low and long so it did not do much for us. As the sun went down we left Mumbai behind us and headed for Goa. The speed was not very impressive as the seagrowth on our ship bottom brought it down to some 7.5 - 8kts.

Next day at sea was sunny and calm. The swell had come down some more and weather could not be better. In the early afternoon we arrived Angria Bank that is some 70' offshore and we planned to do a dive there. The only traffic we saw was a couple of fishing boats. After some time we were in the middle of the bank and we stopped for a dive. Once up we continued our voyage to Goa.

Old Aguada lighthouse

On the early morning of 14th we arrived Aguada Bay and passed the familiar landmarks like the grounded River Princess at Candolim Beach, the light house, the jail and the villa. Soon I was anchored at our old spot and I called my agent Kenneth Pereira. He arrived after 9am with the Immigration and Customs in tow. It was the usual signing papers and stamping them and around half past ten we were done. Apparently the living standards have become expensive in Goa as the officials were also asking for booze which they did not do the last time I was in Goa.

The Villa at Aguada

Well, here we were and we got busy starting to get Kalizma ready for the Owners but it was not easy as we were rolling quite a lot at the anchorage, especially when the tides were changing. Stuff would slide off the tables so we had to do minimal setup. Then the weather got worse and we were getting rain fronts rolling in from the Indian Ocean. It just reminded us that the rain season had not yet been declared over...

»»  read more

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Diving Angria Bank

We had arrived Angria Bank, it is an area 20' long by 5' wide in a NW-SE direction rising up from the seafloor some 400m depths to 23m. As we were not familiar with the currents and the pilot book did not give much information we decided to dive in the middle of the bank so as not be swept off by some odd ocean currents.

Angria Bank

We jumped off the stern and down we went. The water was a bit fuzzy to start with but it was clearing up when we got deeper and abt 5m from the bottom it got very cold, at least it felt so but in reality it just went down 2-3 degrees. Current was there but it was very weak, almost non-existing.

Star fish

The bottom proved a big disappointment, it was only dead corals covered by white coral sand spotted by some sea weeds growing in tufts here and there. The only living thing plentiful was some starfish that littered the bottom and for fish I spotted only a blue variant that was abt 1-2 inch long, no sharks no nothing swimming around. Corals that were living was also really scarce, only a few heads littered here and there.

Starfish and coral head

We swam around for awhile and as the scenery did not change nor was there any life to see we decided to surface eventhough we had not depleted our air tanks. Up we went and clambered onboard and continued our voyage for Goa.

The blue dots are the fish

In hindsight I think that if I get another chance at Angria I will try a dive at the edge of the bank to see if the flora and fauna is any different there. According to the chart there is also a wreck on the bank, maybe a spot to consider. Until then...

»»  read more

Friday, 1 October 2010

Captain's blog September 2010

September was rather hectic time for all of us. Apart from the Krishna Janmashtami & Ganesh Chaturthi festivals it has been ceaseless maintenance on Kalizma and all the UB boats.

Launching RIB I

Engine overhauls, bottom painting, varnishing, radio service & surveys, odd carpentry here and there, etc. One small refurbish and repairs of another 30yr old wooden yacht, servicing another yachts engines that proved to be like opening a can of worms, just more and more work cropping up.

Just one example of wood rot

Finally on the 22nd we lowered the 1st of our RIB's into the water and started service the 24th between Mandwa and Gateway. Same day I took a few hours off and went to see Elephanta Island as long as I had the chance to visit it.

Chicken of Killa village, Belapur

On the 30th we got orders to move in front of Gateway and so we did. The pilot was an amicable chap and was not too stressed of the slow progress we made. The bottom is now fully grown with a 30cm "grass beard" as reported by Dubey when he had gone under bottom to clean the strainers for the engine and A/C seawater intakes. We made 7 kts all the way, but we also had some counter current to deal with.
»»  read more