Saying goodbye to friends is hard enough. Saying goodbye to friends we’ll probably never see again had me choked. It caught me by surprise but as I hugged Gladwin, my Indian brother, I was lost for words and my eyes welled up. The pontoon at Kochi marina was a hotch-potch of our close friends, our Indian ‘family’ and the marina staff. They all waved us off as Esper slipped her lines and it was at that moment it struck me exactly how much I would miss India. Surely a passage to the Maldives was just the tonic we needed. If only!
Ever been to a wine tasting in India? Did you know that “terroir” is a term that has no English translation? It is like the fifth element, and is that “je ne c’est quoi” produced by the environment in which the vine grows: the fungus that grows in the soil, the insects which crawl in the soil, the strength of the sun and the amount of rainfall. They all affect the taste of the wine in your glass. Apparently.
Yesterday we were visited by a camera crew. Apparently, in our absence over the summer, they ran a story on Nazer, the man who looks after our cat, Millie, whilst we were back in the UK. Yesterday they returned for a follow-up story, so you should see us all in the news very soon – if you live in Kerala, that is! Below is the original story that ran some time this summer. I’m pleased to say those awful blue tarps are now off as we busy ourselves for our departure to the Maldives early next year.
‘When Nazar met our coddled cat, he fell in love. Unlike many Indians, he adores pets, but the few ragamuffin moggies you see in India are tiny. To him Millie was an exotic sleek-coated giant. When he discovered she knew the word “fish” he’d arrive at the boat calling “Fish! Fish! Fish!”… ‘
Our autumn series of followtheboat posts take us to the Himalayas. It’s an exhausting trek into the moody, cloud-covered mountains, but before we head north we’re going to take two weekend breaks on the beach in Kerala. Stupidly we booked our driver through the same company who arranged our fateful Western Ghats adventure. And guess who our driver was? Yep, the very same chap who claimed never to have had an accident in 21 years of driving, forgetting the accident Liz and I were involved in within 20 minutes of jumping into his car on our first trip (I think the definition of an accident in India has to include at least one fatality)
Boating is about pleasure but if there is one thing that gets me down it’s having to repair yet another puncture in my dinghy. The coral beaches of Eritrea gave our Tinker a real thrashing and quite frankly I got fed up with lugging this huge weight on and off Esper every time we wanted to go ashore. Liz and I decided, therefore, to treat ourselves to an unsinkable, indestructible, lightweight, folding Portabote. It stows like a surfboard, commissions in minutes and is fast! Check out the first of two reviews of this boat, including a video clip of the assembly. Worth every penny? Quite possibly. Strangest looking thing on our boat? Very definitely…