Houseboats

One of the unintended consequences of my change in status from a relatively well-off management consultant to a ‘scrounging-around-with-a-wild-gleam-in-the-eye’ entrepreneur, has been the big change my relationship with Cars.  Over the last 5 years it has swung from ‘quite interested’ to ‘fairly uninterested’. And a corollary to that has been my growing fascination with another form of transport – Boats.

I love the quiet non-motorised types.  This obsession with boats seems to be genetic – like some of those namelessly horrid diseases, this one too seems to skip a generation and latch on to every alternate one. My grandfather was so besotted with the whole boat thing (although I can pardon him for it, for he lived in a part of Kerala where boats were a natural form of transport), that he published a longish ditty on his boat wanderings and presented it as one of his gifts to my mom when she got married to his son. And, if you are interested,  it was titled Mankombu yatra – although  you would be hard-pressed to find it in the sinister book collection that Google is putting together, you can always write to me to get a copy. Of course, a pre-requisite is that you be able to read and write Malayalam.

Anyway…so boating is in my genes, so to speak. Latent for the most part, but there nonetheless.

A number of years ago, I was on a training course (in Kathmandu, I recollect) and the course instructor turned out to be pretty interesting. He was an Englishman who had forsaken his country to go to Spain and live on a boat. Yup, that is right. He had no home anywhere in the world other than on a boat. And his job required him to hare off to various countries of the world to help with training courses and then come back always to his boat/home. I couldn’t think of a better life then and I cannot think of one now.

View of Dubai from a helicopter

Anshul & Rashi took their 5 year old up in a helicopter over Dubai. It costs US$ 800 for a 30 minute (max. 5 adults) and they say it is well worth it. Here is some of what they saw. Check it out the next time you are in Dubai.

A Dubai Panorama

The Burj Al Arab & Jumeirah beach Hotel

The Burj Dubai on its way to becoming the world’s tallest building

Cranes over Hotel Atlantis

Click on for a few more photos.

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Sailing from the Dona Paula jetty in Goa

The Swift anchored in the deserted Butterfly beach in Goa

(The Swift at anchor in the deserted cove at Butterfly Beach, near Palolem, Goa)

Ashwin Tombat left a journalist’s career in (then) Bombay to settle down in Goa. And he confesses it has been a great ride. And now he combines his professional role as the Editor of Herald, Goa’s second most circulated English newspaper, with his passion for sailing as a coordinator for the Goa Yachting Association.

I have never sailed before although the idea has always held appeal. So, I took up on Ashwin’s offer to take me sailing. And on a fine, sunny afternoon last week, I joined Ashwin on his 20 ft sailboat, The Swift at the Don Paula jetty for what turned out a bad case of amour. The last time this happened to me was when I was 20 years old and as you would suspect it was a girl. This time it was the absolutely seductive charm of softly lapping waves, the breeze across your face and the companionable silence of men on a voyage of no purpose.

We set sail at about 2 pm and held course for the small & relatively less visited beach Continue reading