Monday, June 30, 2008


Location : At Anchor, off Genoa, Italy
Puja is coming over to the ship today, and since my thoughts are in Mumbai, might as well put up a snap from there. 
This is a snap taken on  Madh Island, Mumbai.


Came in to the anchorage as dawn was creeping in itself. Sunrise caught us dropping our anchor and the countryside in a beautiful vista of mountain ranges covered in morning mist.


 These mosques are the first thing that come to mind when I think of Istanbul. Took this picture a few days back as we passed the Bosphorous. It was evening and the setting sun painted the mosques in a magical golden color.
If you are wondering about the three minars on the right, they seem to have some scaffolding on at present for maintainence.
In the foreground are the many many small ferry's that keep going up and down the channel the whole day. Good thing they keep out of the way of people like us. Almost at this exact location the Turks are building an underwater tunnel that is built more than half way. We'll probably have less of these guys once that gets built. But then they are also planning a Oil Pipeline to the Med from the Black sea. So it might very well be that they will see a lot less of us. :)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Italy - The Scouts

Posn - East Coast Sardegna - 40 30 N / 10 38 E

The institution of Scouts completed a hundred years of its existence in the
year 2007 and everyone other then the Indian govt seems to have issued reams
of stamps to commemorate the occasion. Pictured above is one of the sheets
released by the Italians for the occasion. I am putting this here simply
because so many people have been asking for Scouts stamps on the internet
bulletin boards, that I am sure that I am missing out on their significance.

I actually was in the scouts. I distinctly remember wearing my brothers
hand-me-downs to the parades. The only thing I took to those parades, which
was my own, was this round ferrule type thing through which we knot the
scarf and a fierce will not to parade.

And that is what we did in the scouts, I swear. We paraded, saluted that
three fingered salute and read some rules off some blue book. Which was
immediately taken back as soon as the parade was finished.

Of course the stamps prove that some scouts play the guitar around the
campfire and do canoeing, but I assure you that the only thing remotely like
that in my two years with the scouts was to move some stones near a hill.
And I don't like hills and I didn't like those stones.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Map

Posn : South East of Sicily - 36 18 N 018 11 E

First off, please forgive me for the long absense off the blog. I wish I
could say that it was for a good reason like global hunger, but I was
actually busy killing friends and strangers on the Team Fortress servers.
After a moth or so of that, I find myself again in the safe sanity of
bobbing along in the middle of the sea. This time in the middle of the
Lagoon - Something the US Navy calls the Mediterian. I don't particularly
like the Medi. Too crowded for my taste and some of the worst weathers that
I have faced in my seafaring life has been in these waters.

But hey new waters translate into new stamps don't they? I had gone to the
beautiful Italian city of Trieste and actually stepped out to visit the
International Maritime Institute to have a look-see, but it turns out that
the place shut down few months back. Just my luck. Someone who knows someone
tells me that there was some scandal. Money taking and all that. But don't
tell anyone.

Anyway, Not to make it a total loss, I went over to the charming post office
in the city centre where they have a really nice postal museum, with
postmarks from as far back as the 1800. Pretty neat stuff.

I got this sheet from there. I love maps of any kind and one of the
bemnifits of sailing at sea is that you are sorrounded by charts, some of
them really old. In my last ship, I came across a chart of New Zaeland,
where the credit for the plotting was given to Captain Cook.

So I'm pleased as a plum to present this map sheet. It seems to tell us the
path from the cities of L'aquila to Foggia and probably the name of the
route is "tratturo Magno. The route obviously passes through mountains and
we see in the stamp a mountain range with sheep in the fore ground. A
beautiful stamp sheet.