Monday, February 7, 2011

A few photos

We finally have working internet again -- after three 3-G modems and 3 different provider companies.  Cochin has had difficulty providing quality service to all locations.  The marina is located on Bolghatty Island and service is sketchy out here.  Thanks to Bill & Amy on S/V ESTRELLITA we finally found the right provider and now have fast internet again.  So I will take this opportunity to upload a few not-so-great photos.  Our old Canon A95 camera finally died and we are now forced to use the Land & Sea Sealife camera, which might be good for deep diving underwater photos but kind of sucks for regular land use.  The quality of the photos is barely adequate but this is not the place to be shopping for a new camera.

The day we departed Sri Lanka the Navy guy who handled our inbound clearance dropped by and gave us a pretty photo of women carrying pots of drinking water on their heads -- a traditional Sri Lankan activity.  Lalith turned out to be a great guy to know on friendly terms.  He is the one who managed to get our boat docked on the concrete wharf with electrical shore power.   We took a photo of Bill standing with Lalith and our agent, Nana of Don Windsor Navigation Reef.  
Catching up on Facebook

Then we promptly sailed away from Sri Lanka.

When boats arrive in Cochin they are directed to anchor in front of the Malabar Hotel -- over to the right side only, please.   After completing clearance processing, boats are then allowed to move to the Bolghatty Anchorage or to the new Bolghatty House Marina.  Yachts are not allowed anywhere else in this busy commercial port.  The Malabar Hotel is on the point on the left; a very old church is next door; and on the right is the Taj resort Vivante Hotel.  This spit of land is bordered by 2 rivers on either side and it is all quite shallow.   

Looking back toward the entrance channel one sees the northern tip of land where Fort Kochi is located.  We hope to visit this trendy touristy place later this week.

Directly across the main shipping channel from the Malabar Hotel is the new port terminal area.  The Prime Minister of India is in Cochin today and tomorrow to dedicate the opening of this new container terminal.  Cochin has plans to take a lot of the commercial shipping away from the port of Colombo at Sri Lanka.

Weeds float down the rivers during descending tidal flow; then float back up the rivers during ascending tides.  White birds that look like some sort of crane sit atop the floating weeds and go zooming by in the strong currents.  Wish I had a video camera to show this strange sight.  The large city of Cochin is barely visible through the haze in the background in this photo.

Moving from the clearance arrival point in front of the Malabar Hotel to the Bolghatty Anchorage or the Bolghatty House Marina requires high tide.  The channel to the anchorage and marina is extremely shallow.  We moved during a .9 meter high tide and saw lowest depth of 0 beneath our 2.2 meter draft.  Inside our marina slip on the outside southern-facing pier the depth was .9 foot beneath our keel at 15 minutes past highest tide.  They are dredging that channel again at the moment, but I think with the constant river flow and tidal flow back and forth that this dredging will be required constantly in order to keep the channel deep enough for sailboats to use.   

This marina opened during the first quarter of 2010 and is the first marina in India.  It is owned and operated by the government.  I think someone should have done a lot more research.  It has been built to accommodate yachts in the 30-32 foot size.  The average size cruising yacht today is 46-50 foot, and that average goes up each year.  We are seeing more and more cruising yachts in the 60-foot range.  They thought we cruisers would want to stay in a hotel when our boats are berthed in the marina, so they built a very nice large hotel next to the marina.  But they didn't think about toilets and showers and garbage disposal for the yachties.  Operating this new marina is a learning experience that is still evolving.  Trash and garbage containers have been added.  And 2 of the hotel rooms have been converted to storage spaces for visiting yachts and the bathrooms of those 2 hotel rooms now serve as showers and toilets for yachts berthed in the marina.  The marina is managed by a former naval commander, Jose -- pronounced Joes, as in Joe's Cafe.

Across the river from the marina on the mainland side is the Ernakulam section of Cochin.  Cochin is a very large, very crowded city.  Ferries run every half hour all day long from this marina over to Ernakulam.  Then you walk to another ferry terminal to catch ferries to Fort Kochi or to Willingdon Island or any number of other destinations.  A ferry ride costs about 9 cents USD per person.
On our first evening in the marina, this man paddled in front of our boat just before sunset.  Love the hand-carved wooden boat.


  1. We have an indian contractor on our project also named 'Jose' pronounced 'Joes' as well.

    Very confusing name for us southerners so used to the latino Jose.

  2. Love the boat as well, all the hand carving ... they're like works of art! The picture of the women with the pots is beautiful! Thinking of ya'll during this crazy time in Egypt!


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