Monday, 1 November 2010

Captain's blog October 2010

Were now still in Goa and it is good as we don't have to cope with all the pollution as in Mumbai. The good weather is still eluding us as occasional thunderstorms keeps pelting us with water but in general the weather is good. We're still rolling at the Aguada Bay anchorage as the swell is coming in from the Indian Ocean.

Having Gujarati thali

Kalpu's birthday

In Mumbai we were the first yacht to anchor outside the Gateway of India, on the 1st m/y Tian arrived from Goa and on the 2nd m/y Ashena came from Elephanta as well. They were very very busy as a party had been set for the 8th. Not to say that weren't either as we had to finish the bow wood work repairs.

Carpenter's carving our front piece

On the 3rd Sunil arrived back from UK having successfully completed is Y3 certification. He was very pleased to be in the warmth of India instead of the ghastly cold dampness of Southampton and of course having his NOE warmed even better.

This steam roller must from the Colonial times

Then on the 4th we got the orders to prepare for Goa so our busy status went to frantic. Provisioning, contacting contractors for last minute jobs like our Dish TV setting up, Bose sytem service, OBM overhaul etc. etc. Also bunkering of DO and LO had to be done. The car had to be serviced as we would drive it down to Goa and so on.

Limatola and Kalpana

Later in the afternoon I went with Richard to try out an allegedly delicious thali. It turned out the restaurant near Churchgate was serving Gujarati cuisine and I learned then that in Gujarat they put sugar in every dish, everything tasted sweet. Even the sada pan outside tasted sweeter than elsewhere.

Rajaram, Dubey, Atu, Me, Richie, Kalpana, Saini, Ruman, Sunil

On the 8th was Kalpana's birthday and we celebrated it duly with cake and softdrinks. She is a very liked person onboard as she got many presents from the crew.

Then on the 11th I got a temporary stewardess from Niladri estate to follow us to Goa, Ms. Limatola Aier. Limatola is actually one of the Indian Empress stewardesses but she was on leave and so was appointed to help out in Goa for a week. Same evening Asen had an accident by a falling wall panel that hit her foot and she got a fracture confirmed form the hospital.

Kalpana in the Bom Iesus cathedral

On the 12th I signed Asen off as there is no place for convalescing onboard, especially with a person on crutches. In the afternoon at HW I got the compass adjusters and engine technician embarked with pilot coming last. After doing our adjustments and calibrations we finally headed off to Goa.

We arrived Goa in good order on the morning 14th and by 1020hrs I had the formalities done. The weather became bad though with swell rolling in and sweeping fronts of thunderstorms kept coming in and pouring water. The satellite picture showed us the long plumes of cloud cover extending out in the Indian Ocean.

Then the weekend of the 15th I got Commodore Mongia onboard and we anticipated the Owner, but the weather was not in favor so the whole weekend we sat looking at the sky. Eventually it turned out to a long wait.

Dubey outside the cathedral

On the 19th we got the bad news that our driver had decided to take our car for a joyride or some extracurricular taxi activities and subsequently he smashed it in an Electrical pole. The car was wrecked beyond repair. The Driver offered some story that he had not driven but a guy had come out of nowhere and referred to Saini that he needed to go to Baga beach and offered to drive and blah blah blah. The night watchman confirmed that the driver had been alone. Needless to say I dismissed the driver straight away and Saini & Sunil had to deal with towing the wreck and doing the insurance paper work. Luckily nobody was injured and we managed to get an "out of court" settlement for the Electrical pole as well.

Fishermen at Santa Paula unloading their catch

24th Richard and Dubey took the girls around to Old Goa and Santa Paula to see the old churches, they asked me if I wanted to follow so I did. The churches still looked the same, then we visited the Santa Paula market, and we finished the evening with dinner at Souza Lobo at Calingute beach. The food was good but lacked kick eventhough we asked for hot.

On 25th I went with Kenneth Pereira and Sunil to visit the Western Shipyards for a possible drydocking site. The prices they quoted were quite high for a small yacht like us, clearly they were geared for handling big bulk carriers frequenting Goa. Afterwards Kenny treated me and Sunil to a delicious lunch at his favorite restaurant beside the Pereira Building.

Kalpana and Karuna at Santa Paula

On 29th I had lunch with Richard at the Calamari restaurant on Candolim beach. The setting is nice but the view might be considered obscured by the grounded River Princess (someone else might consider it a curiosity). The food was a disappointment, it was bland and tasteless. We had a dhal and pork vindaloo and I did not even break a sweat, although I specifically asked for the native stuff, not watered out tourist food. We had same experience at the famous Souza Lobo restaurant at Calingute beach and a few others as well. Seems many restaurants are geared up to cater exclusively for the prevalent Russian crowd. Until now I can only recommend the Flambee' restaurant being up to the mark with their food.

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