Friday, January 30, 2009

Aboard a Dredger!

Genre: Out-of-the-world!

Duration: 3 hours

Some Facts/Details
Name of the Dredger: Nehru-Shatabdi
Home Port: Kochi
Specifics: Grab Hopper - 1992 built with 1500 m3 hopper capacity

The Process
The 4 cranes on the ship operate simultaneously carrying out the dredging process. The clam shell grab of the onboard cranes splashes itself into the water and collects the silt and other seabed material. It then majestically rises from the water with the catch which is nothing but a bucket full of dirt! It is a sight worth seeing!!! This is deposited into the large tank, called hopper, with a heavy mesh on top to block larger objects.

The process continues for almost 2 hours and once the tank is full to the level it should, the anchors are lifted and we’re game for one of the most memorable journeys! The ship travels to the outer sea in order to deposit the collected silt there. The entire sea-line of Kochi unveils itself in front of our eyes while we’re on our way! Goshree Bridge that enhanced the connectivity of multiple islands of Kochi with the mainland & International Container Trans-shipment Terminal at Vallarpadam gives us an idea of how Kochi is going to grow! It is big!!! The fishing boats that return after the day’s catch is another fascinating view which even reminds you of a fleet of frigates!

Another spectacular picture on the trip is the natural wonder that that awaits us of a clear-cut demarcation of the shallow & deep sea! You’ll be stunned to see a line that divides these two right in the middle of the sea!!! That is the pinnacle of the voyage!!!

Once the ship reaches the outer sea, the doors on either side of the hopper is opened alternatively to empty the contents. The ship will still be in motion and the whole process of emptying gets over in a matter of minutes and then it returns to the base.

My Pictures

Useful links

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Backwaters - A slice of God's own Country!

Boat Trip from Changanacherry to Alappuzha [Dec 2008]

One of the activities during my X’mas vacation 2008, was a boat trip to Alappuzha from Changanacherry [my home town]. Sharing some details herewith… If you are expecting another bunch of pictures of a ‘house boat’ you are in for a surprise!

Genre: Half-day trip

Changanacherry – A small town in Kottayam district in Kerala
Alappuzha – The district in Kerala known as Venice of the East

Boat Service from Changanacherry Boat Jetty
Departure – 7:30, 13:00, 16:30

Duration – 2 hours 30 minutes

Some Facts/Details
This is not one of the exotic ‘House Boat’ experiences you would’ve heard!
The boat is owned by Kerala Water Transport Corporation and can be equated to buses which form part of the land transport. In places where backwaters are plenty, water is a pretty common mode of transport
The boat will take you through one of the most beautiful stretches of Kerala, the backwaters. This essentially is the route which any House Boat will take you through. Of course, this will be no frills :)
Both Changanacherry and Alappuzha are well connected with land with frequent bus services. You could reach out to other parts of Kerala from any of these Bus Stands managed by KSRTC [Kerala State Road Transport Corporation]
If you are looking for a private time with your family, this is not an option. But, if you are looking at an experience of economy travel as well as to know how people live and commute at these places, this is worth a try!

My Pictures

Useful links

Planning Your Trip

It is a well-known truth that nothing is more refreshing than travelling to locations, especially new ones. Many families do this at least...