In April of 2010 I went to visit the Dharavi slums of Mumbai. Twice. It was a most incredible experience and we really got to grips with the society and culture there. This is a large set of almost 100 images, all in different styles, documenting many aspects of the slums. For the record I’m a little uncomfortable using the word ‘slum’ as it’s both a little insulting and a misrepresentation of Dharavi.
Colaba is downtown Mumbai. It’s the gentrified part of the city where university buildings sit next to the law courts, art deco apartment blocks and 60s prefabs. It is also the first part of Mumbai that we, as yotties having arrived by boat, get to see. My brother, having seen the photographs, described it as a tropical London. That’s not far off the mark.
What with our Through The Porthole podcasts and previous efforts at amateur journalism we’re quite used to asking questions of other people. It was a pleasant surprise, therefore, to receive an invitation to answer some questions directed at ourselves.
Livia is a sailor who has recently embarked on a project entitled ‘Interview with a Cruiser’, where she asks 10 questions to cruisers from around the world. The interviews are published weekly. Livia’s idea is to build a database of different questions and answers to help future or would-be cruisers make informed decisions on switching to this lifestyle.It was quite a treat being able to respond to some questions that we would normally be putting to others to answer.
You understand why we are doing this whole trip, don’t you? We’ve left the rat-race and are off to discover new places. Places that inspire and excite. Really we are looking for that perfect idyllic sea where no man can be seen for miles around. So imagine sailing 4,000 miles, only to discover this…
Finally we leave Salalah! Long haul ahead of us so time to grab a book and get reading.
My brother, Tim, bought me ‘Unknown Seas, How Vasco Da Gama Opened The East’, by Ronald Watkins. I couldn’t think of a more suitable book to be reading on this journey, since we were taking part in the Vasco Da Gama Rally. Right now we are in the middle of the Arabian Sea, very much aware of the recent pirate activity.
It seems, however, that we were not alone in keeping a keen eye open for the odd marauder in these waters. According to the book, which opens with the early spice trade scenario, Watkins notes thus:
Our one and only stop after leaving Salalah, Oman, before arriving in India would be Ras Al Hallaniya island, which is part of the Kuria Muria Islands, 30 miles away from the piracy attack Liz and I overheard on the VHF the other week. What a place to celebrate my 15,000th nautical mile, especially after catching a beautiful dorado…