Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues

Closed Thread
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 5th April 2013, 17:06   #136
sajusherief's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 175
Thanked: 78 Times
Default Re: Going solo at 5 kmph - Mumbai to Goa in an inflatable kayak!

Man, literally you are taking me through a kayak ride. I was totally glued to my seat and in one stretch I reached here reading your post. Now I can feel the breeze, the wind, the salty water and even the taste of the food at Kashid beach!!!
By far the best travelogue Iíve ever come across in my life. Hats off to your dedication and passion, you truly inspire me! This thread is much more than a travelogue, truly inspirational and I learnt a lot. If not from your thread I donít think Iíll ever come to (or rather try to) know about different kayaks, kayaking techniques, Oscar Speck, Sandy and everything youíve mentioned.
I bow before you with respect, you really deserve it.
I can feel the effort and pain you had gone through during your journey, more than that I respect the pain you take in enlightening us with which is a ďTrue Inspirational StoryĒ. Canít wait to see the rest.
sajusherief is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 5th April 2013, 17:22   #137
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Pune
Posts: 12
Thanked: 10 Times
Default Re: Going solo at 5 kmph - Mumbai to Goa in an inflatable kayak!

This has to be the most hardcore thing I have ever read. Just reading this gives goose bumps. I admire and respect (from the bottom of my heart) the passion and commitment you have to pursue your dream. I have never seem a more passionate person in my life.
Milind soman ran Delhi-Mumbai few months back. That was my biggest benchmark before i read this. And now that seems like a cakewalk.

Note from the Team-BHP Support Team: Please ensure the text does not contain any [FONT] and other tags when posting content created using external word processors. For more details : http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/announ...your-post.html (Removing [FONT] [SIZE] and [COLOR] tags from your post)

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 5th April 2013 at 19:38.
Prawaal is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 5th April 2013, 19:20   #138
Senior - BHPian
vivekiny2k's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: cincinnati, jabalpur,chennai
Posts: 1,247
Thanked: 184 Times
Default Re: Going solo at 5 kmph - Mumbai to Goa in an inflatable kayak!

quick question, I think if you enter international waters, you have to return thru a port of entry. Did you keep your passport for emergencies if coastguard got involved?
vivekiny2k is offline  
Old 6th April 2013, 00:03   #139
A M's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Panchkula
Posts: 420
Thanked: 294 Times
Default Re: Going solo at 5 kmph - Mumbai to Goa in an inflatable kayak!

Hi Kamen_rider, you have left me speechless.

I can only say, I'm lovin' it and waiting eagerly for day7.
Hats off to you.

Originally Posted by vivekiny2k View Post
quick question, I think if you enter international waters, you have to return thru a port of entry. Did you keep your passport for emergencies if coastguard got involved?
Hi vivekiny2k, the Indian waters extend upto 12 nautical miles( around 22km) from the coast that includes Lakshadweep and A&N islands and Kamen_rider went into the sea for only 3-4km at the max.

But yes!! I agree with you completely that keeping the passport could come in handy in tricky situations but at the same time, wouldn't it be a risky affair to carry such an important document safe from the waters if you're travelling in a small kayak which is highly prone to capsizing.

Hey Kamen, is there a safe compartment in the kayak to keep your documents or are dry bags the only solution?
A M is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 7th April 2013, 19:48   #140
Samba's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 981
Thanked: 6,035 Times
Default Re: Going solo at 5 kmph - Mumbai to Goa in an inflatable kayak!

First of all hats off to Kamen_rider. I must admit i have become a big fan of yours. I was always interested in road trips. Before reading this i never had an idea that one can cover Mumbai to Goa at the pace of 5 Km/hr that too solo in a kayak! When i first read the heading with no second thought i opened the topic and from the first line i am totally glued to this topic. I cant really express by words how thrilled i am reading this topic. Eagerly waiting for your next write up. Am becoming impatient now to read the whole story!
Samba is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 7th April 2013, 22:03   #141
Distinguished - BHPian
phamilyman's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 5,619
Thanked: 3,526 Times
Default Re: Going solo at 5 kmph - Mumbai to Goa in an inflatable kayak!

I think the collective GDP of TBHPians were to go up if someone were to lock Kamen-rider in a room till he finishes the triplog in one go. You have no idea of the F5s we are all doing. Look at the viewer count - 46k already!
phamilyman is offline   (2) Thanks
Old 7th April 2013, 23:55   #142
Kamen_rider's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 67
Thanked: 771 Times
Default Day 4: Rest day for my thumb, and a walk around town!

The night before, I decided to peel off the bandages and let the wound heal on its own. Natural scabs do a far better job of waterproofing than any man made covering, and I knew that a day and two nights of leaving the injury open would do the trick. The human body's immune cells are serious workers, making the Japanese look like beach bums.

I woke up very early on day 4, because I wanted to check whether I could ride the high tide the next day instead of dragging my luggage to the waterline. It was 4.45 am, and I slowly tiptoed towards the main entrance, stepping around the bodies of the sleeping hotel staff. The door was locked, so I undid the latches without making any noise. I am very good at this kind of thing. Many years ago, when I was in a boarding school, I used to steal chocolates and other snacks from other selfish kids who refused to share with the rest. I stole a lot of food in those wonder years, so after a few heists, I knew which materials made what kind of noise in the dark. How much pressure to apply on latches. How to handle crinkly potato chips packets without making a racket. What the heck, I even could open locks with nothing more than a metal compass. Ever seen one of those big, brass Harrison locks with small keyholes? Give me a geometry box today, and I can open these locks within five minutes. This skill is not mentioned on my Linkedin profile, but now you know.

After the Ninja style exit from the main building, I walked towards the main gate, which was also locked. So I slid myself skillfully through one of the gaps and crossed the road to head over the beach. And when I looked at the beach, my fears had come true. The high tide had already gone. I switched on my powerful Maglite, bathing a portion of the beach in white light. Some dogs started barking in the distance. I shone the light at them, and the howls went up. Ha ha.

I leaned down and touched the sand. It was wet, holding a lot of water. It squished like a sponge as I pressed down with my fingers. The high tide had recently passed, and I guessed the time was around 3.30 am. Damn. This was too early to launch tomorrow, so I would have to drag everything into the low tide. My finger better heal, I thought to myself. I decided to walk further down the beach, and into the town of Murud. It was pitch dark, and the whole beach was deserted. The sea breeze carried the sound of the waves crashing on the beach, and in the distance, I could see lights from fishing boats bobbing up and down the water. They must have gone out at high tide.

Name:  Murudmorning1.jpg
Views: 4675
Size:  268.2 KB
Name:  Murudmorning2.jpg
Views: 4682
Size:  249.2 KB
Name:  Murudmorning3.jpg
Views: 4641
Size:  212.1 KB
Name:  nightvisoncam.jpg
Views: 4556
Size:  220.0 KB

I soon reached the end of the beach, and turned into the city. It was not yet five, and still very dark. Two more hours to sunrise. I have to tell you - it is absolutely amazing to walk through a small Indian town when everyone else is asleep. The silent houses and streets have a eerie feeling, as if someone had sprinkled a magical sleep dust over everything. I walked past completely empty roads, without the noises, smells and bustle of the day. Just a few dogs, street lights and me. As I walked, I could hear my own footsteps, crunching over the fine gravel and debris on the street. I reached what I thought was the town square, and I saw night vision camera's mounted on a building nearby. Wondered what that was for. I walked around for an hour, and I looked at my watch. It was nearing six, and the faint light from the horizon filtered through the morning clouds. People slowly began to stir , and lazily began the start of the day. Brushing their teeth in front of their houses. Women carrying pails to fill from the nearby well. A mosque adjusting their speakers for the sunrise prayer.

Name:  Murudmorning5.jpg
Views: 4586
Size:  269.0 KB
Name:  Murudmorning6.jpg
Views: 4566
Size:  273.2 KB
Name:  school.jpg
Views: 4502
Size:  291.6 KB
Going solo at 5 kmph - Mumbai to Goa in an inflatable kayak!-spiralstaircase.jpg

I walked a loop around the town, crossing the primary school and an interesting looking water tank with a spiral staircase. I also crossed a tree with a Rooster and a couple of hens perched majestically on the tree. I had seen them an hour ago and they were on the same tree then. Maybe a way to escape from cats. The Rooster with the regal plumes looked down at me, and let out a loud 'Ku ku ri kooo' a few times. I bet the hens were impressed.

Name:  henontree.jpg
Views: 4387
Size:  408.4 KB
Name:  beach.jpg
Views: 4585
Size:  217.8 KB
Name:  beach1.jpg
Views: 4297
Size:  221.7 KB
Name:  sandartist.jpg
Views: 4235
Size:  286.6 KB

The beach came into view soon and I started retracing my steps back to the hotel. All the while I could help thinking the dragging I would have to do the next day to get to the water. I looked at my thumb. A thin layer of tissue had already formed over the wound, and it looked like it'd be much better by tomorrow. Good.

Name:  segullsonrocks.jpg
Views: 4220
Size:  313.4 KB
Name:  segullsonrocks1.jpg
Views: 4135
Size:  243.7 KB
Name:  nawabpalace.jpg
Views: 4159
Size:  232.3 KB
Name:  sunrise.jpg
Views: 4210
Size:  186.8 KB
Name:  bats.jpg
Views: 4145
Size:  440.6 KB

At the far end of the beach, the sand ended and rocks began. A large group of swallows sat on the rocks, pecking at something. As I approached them, they flew away, wings furiously fluttering, in a well synchronized swarm to another section of the rock. I walked further down to come closer to the Nawab's palace which I saw yesterday. Even in the faint morning light, it looked surreal. Something out of a fairy tale. Around 7 am, the sun came over the trees, sending the enormous colony of bats into a shrill cacophony.

Name:  seashelltobeach.jpg
Views: 4142
Size:  311.8 KB
Name:  seashellresort.jpg
Views: 4155
Size:  410.0 KB
Name:  room.jpg
Views: 4122
Size:  262.4 KB
Name:  viewfromwindow.jpg
Views: 4133
Size:  451.0 KB
Name:  breakfast.jpg
Views: 4102
Size:  300.4 KB

Soon after sunrise, I walked into the hotel, and ordered a hearty breakfast - toast, eggs and milk (Yay!) - and decided to camp in the hotel, catching up on emails and Facebook updates. I knew that there would be little internet connectivity from day 5, so I made the most of it.

Name:  Murudstreetnight.jpg
Views: 4083
Size:  220.7 KB
Name:  Muruddinner.jpg
Views: 4060
Size:  199.8 KB

I headed towards the town in the evening. It could have been a different place altogether, compared to what I had seen in the darkness. Noise. Traffic. Hawkers. Busloads of tourists. Beat constables with their shiny Lathis. But it was fun, and I had the most delicious prawn curry and fried fish. I also got a few plates of some really tasty Vada Pav's wrapped in old newspaper. Tomorrow was going to be an early day and a long day, and I would need breakfast. Deep fried Vadas were perfect - for once, calories were welcome. I slept early, for I was to wake up at 4 am tomorrow.

Next Episode: Day 5; Murud to Shivardhan. An unique experience at the Murud fort, and a 10 hour paddle to amazing accommodation for the night.

Last edited by Kamen_rider : 8th April 2013 at 00:10.
Kamen_rider is offline   (29) Thanks
Old 8th April 2013, 09:26   #143
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 594
Thanked: 31 Times
Default Re: Going solo at 5 kmph - Mumbai to Goa in an inflatable kayak!

My Monday started well with your day 4. Though it was not exciting as it would be in waters but you kept me hooked through the post. Eagerly waiting for day 5.
Keep the excitement flow
aka_iitd is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 8th April 2013, 15:19   #144
amitkb's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Pune
Posts: 58
Thanked: 363 Times
Default Re: Going solo at 5 kmph - Mumbai to Goa in an inflatable kayak!

Kamen Rider, I read somewhere that god is no supernatural being. Its a human being thinking and doing supernatural things that makes a god. I'd reckon your feat puts you smack bang in the middle of god territory based on that definition. :-) Just kidding!

I admire your writing and enjoyed very much your description of your boarding school antics.
amitkb is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 8th April 2013, 15:57   #145
Senior - BHPian
danlalan's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: mumbai,JUHU
Posts: 1,597
Thanked: 135 Times
Default Re: Going solo at 5 kmph - Mumbai to Goa in an inflatable kayak!

Awesome stuff. Truly Epic. Iam sure you've got popeye's fore arm's at the end of this trip. Not to mention Arnolds's back.
A couple of us Bhpians recently went to palolem, goa. Hired kayaks and rode in a km or two. Man!!! Was it tough. To endure those rough sea's and crazy currents.

Ive been thinking for sometime now as to what i should get. ( Live bang on the beach) And iam definitely getting my self a single seater sea kayak.
danlalan is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 11th April 2013, 19:28   #146
Kamen_rider's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 67
Thanked: 771 Times
Default Day 5: Murud to Shivardhan, tea on high sea, and lovely accommodations for the night!

Day 5: 50 kilometers of paddling, 10.5 hours. Total distance/time: 145 kilometers/30 hours

Name:  route.jpg
Views: 3242
Size:  375.2 KB
Name:  LaptopandVadaPaav.jpg
Views: 3208
Size:  327.4 KB

I did not have to be a fortune teller to predict that I was going to have a tough time launching on day five. I had to go out on a low tide, which meant dragging everything a few hundred meters to the water. I had an injured thumb, which made use of my left arm limited. So after eating last night's Vada Pav for breakfast, I started moving everything to the beach, and it was exactly as difficult as I imagined. But after one hour, I had everything on the wet sand, a few feet away from the sea. And for the twelfth time in a week, I begun to assemble my kayak. It was still dark, but with the promise of sunlight in the horizon. Shrieking bats started coming back home to roost, while crows started waking from their slumber, ready to take on another day.

Not very far away from where I was, a little boy was walking around, half heatedly chasing dogs and skipping small shells over the water. He saw me, and hurried his steps, now very interested in what I was doing. When he came very close, he stood there and waited till I finished inflating my kayak. 'Where're you going?' he asked. 'Shivardhan,' I answer. He retreated into a brief moment of silence, trying very hard to think where that place might be. He gives up. 'How far is it?' he finally asks. 'Fifty kilometers from here. I will reach there by five thirty today.' Now the young boy is very confused, his brows furrowing. 'Why don't you go by road?'

I looked at him, the young chap of around nine years, dressed in a white shirt and a pair of brown shorts. The top of the shirt had two missing buttons. I could tell he wasn't being sarcastic. Just genuinely curious on why would a person go through the trouble of paddling for ten hours when one could easily catch a bus and reach Shivardhan in less than half the time. I really didn't know what to say. So I told him, 'the roads are not good, and there is no traffic. When I go by sea, there is no traffic. And I don't have to pay for the bus ticket.' The boy nodded, somewhat satisfied by my answer. He was quite young, but he knew that getting on a bus costs money.

Name:  Murudindistance.jpg
Views: 3293
Size:  245.6 KB
Name:  Murudcloseby.jpg
Views: 3292
Size:  239.8 KB

I was on the water by six, and I paddled away from the shore carefully, trying to avoid any pressure on the thumb. I could see a speck on my left; the fort of Murud Janjira. When it perpendicularly lined up with my kayak, I steered left and headed towards it. As the sun came up, the wind picked up, and the waves became choppy, rocking me side to side. It was a tough hour of paddling, and after what seemed an eternity, the ominous silhouette of the mighty sea fort loomed in the distance, with the sun rising right behind it. It was quite a sight.

Name:  Murudturret.jpg
Views: 3680
Size:  361.7 KB
Name:  TurretwithCanon.jpg
Views: 3471
Size:  363.3 KB

No less than fifteen forts grace the Konkan coastline, but none is more imposing or impressive than the impregnable fortress of Murud Janjira, built by the Siddis in the fifteenth century. It's sheer presence has to seen to be believed; and it is every bit as formidable as it looks. Sample this - in its 600 year history, it has the distinction of being the only fort (on the Konkan coast) to be unconquered despite attacks from the Dutch, English and the Marathas. Even great Shivaji's army, with their battle lizards, failed to scale the great walls of the gigantic marine citadel. So needless to say, the fort's reputation preceded it. So here I was, trying to paddle around Murud Janjira in an inflatable kayak, an experience I knew very few had the good fortune to have. Ancient canons from an era gone by peeped out from the turrets and bastions, a reminder of the fort's once deadly nature.

Name:  Murudgateapproach.jpg
Views: 3182
Size:  257.3 KB

The sun was still in my eye, and I couldn't take good pictures, so I paddled left towards the main entrance, trying to get a better shot. I soon emerged on the touristy side of the fort, with sail boats trying to squeeze in through the small opening. Only sailboats are allowed to go to Murud Janjira, and dozens of these watercrafts ferry sightseeing passengers from the mainland. The entrance is quite narrow, so once near the walls, the sailboats would have to fold and lower their sails to pass through. It is said that in its heyday, the small opening in the fort was almost invisible, and hence very difficult for the enemies to plan their attacks. I had a quick look at the tiny gate, and I completely believed it.

Name:  Boat1.jpg
Views: 3237
Size:  359.0 KB
Name:  Boat3.jpg
Views: 3181
Size:  356.0 KB

There were a few people in one of the boats moored near the fort, and they called out to me. I waved my hand, and paddled towards the blue, wooden boat with a canopy. When I drew close, I made some sharp steering adjustments, and lined up my kayak against the boat. The water was a bit bouncy, so the end of my kayak rubbed against the sides of the boat, and the tip of my kayak got some flakes of blue paint. The crew saw this, and immediately lowered their docking tyres on the sides, so my kayak could rest easy without being damaged. We soon got talking, and they were very curious about the stranger on an inflatable boat, the likes of which they had probably never seen before. Questions came quickly. Where are you coming from? How much did this boat cost? How many days will you take to reach Goa? Don't your arms hurt? How do you eat on water? What do you do?

Going solo at 5 kmph - Mumbai to Goa in an inflatable kayak!-boat2.jpg

After answering them, they wanted me to come aboard and have tea with them. I laughed and politely refused, saying that my kayak would most likely capsize if I stood in it. So I ended up having tea in my kayak compliments of the kind gentlemen of the blue boat. I still look back on that day, and think of the simple but rather extraordinary experience I had. After all, how many people can claim to have paddled to a sea fort in an inflatable kayak, and then have tea from a boat, while trying to steady your kayak and avoid spilling your drink at the same time?

Name:  Murud1.jpg
Views: 3283
Size:  300.5 KB
Name:  Murudfromdistance.jpg
Views: 3144
Size:  240.5 KB
Name:  watermarker.jpg
Views: 3089
Size:  238.1 KB
Name:  Murudleftbehind.jpg
Views: 3124
Size:  208.6 KB

I had to paddle a long distance, so I thanked the magnificent boatmen and exchanged numbers, promising to stay in touch. As a parting gift, they told me to stay clear off the walls of the Murud fort because unseen rocks lurked just below the water, and that might be a danger to my kayak. They pointed at a rock column projecting out of water a few hundred feet away. They said that as long as I went around it, the water would be deep enough, and safe from underwater rocks. With that, I paddled away from the majestic fort and the wonderful seamen. If you visit Murud, and see these gents, just go up to them and talk about the guy (and later Sandy Robson) who had tea with them in their kayaks!

Name:  Lighthouse.jpg
Views: 3350
Size:  269.3 KB

By ten in the morning, I crossed the currents of the Murud creek and came around to the next tip of the coastline. Today was going to be a long day, with fifty kilometers of non-stop paddling ahead. Many might think that being there out in the ocean, alone in a kayak, is a grand, enthralling adventure. Well, adventure it is, but it is not always enthralling. Especially the long bay crossings which takes a few hours to cover. One across nothing but the ocean water, with the land a few kilometers to your left. Today, I had to cross the bay of Diveagar, which is around 13 kms when measured between the tips. With my current speed, it would have take a shade over three hours for the crossing. I could have paddled closer to the Diveagar beach, which would have been more interesting, but that would have been a detour of five-six kilometers. So I chose to paddle right across the bay. Two hours passed, and I still had a third to go. As my torso twisted left-right-left countless times like a machine, I felt my ancient back injury flaring up. When I was seventeen, I was into extreme inline skating, jumping off wooden ramps and doing 360's over benches. In one such jump, I took off from a ramp, went 10 feet up into the air, and fell on my back. It hurt like mad at the time, and when the pain subsided, I let it be. But the back continued to pain whenever I sat in one position for a long time. Like driving a car for more than six hours. I should have got it checked long time ago. I also had a shoulder injury - swimmer's shoulder to be exact, and though I had spent six months recuperating, I was afraid it might flare up during this trip, but it didn't.

Name:  RockyCliffsail.jpg
Views: 3091
Size:  241.5 KB
Name:  RockyCliff1.jpg
Views: 3067
Size:  223.1 KB

I found it very irritating that I had headwind most of the time, which made my paddling very hard. Not only do you have to move ahead at your targeted speed, but also compensate for the headwind. I had to paddle harder, and I felt my back pain increase in intensity. Not good, not good at all.

Name:  VadaPav.jpg
Views: 3122
Size:  288.0 KB

I felt hungry and I pulled out the last Vada Pav from its waterproof packaging. The December sun had done a good job of heating the food, so the desi burger felt like it had just been microwaved. I took a much needed bite, washing down the food with some drinking water. Someone asked me how did I managed to keep important documents or wallets safe from sea water. The answer is a zip lock bag. Lots of high quality, triple seal zip-lock bags. The document would be in a three layers of zip-lock bags, and when that is kept in a dry bag, you'd need an extremely unfortunate stroke of bad luck for water to go inside them.

The other question, which I know lot of people want to ask, but don't ask is - how does one do it while in a kayak? Do what? You know, call of the nature, relieving yourself, or whatever euphemism people choose to call a leak and dump. I have a nice poo cycle which keeps me from hitting the toilets once I am done with it in the morning. I never had the 'pressure' while kayaking, and I had a plan for it if it ever happened. I would simply paddle to the coast and do it. As for the more frequent 'No.1', I had a bailing sponge which took care of it. When I felt like it, I would pee into the sponge and then get rid of it in the ocean, and rinse the sponge with seawater. The bailing sponge I had was of extremely good quality, made in USA by a company called Seal Line. Its capacity for holding liquids, organic or otherwise, is unmatched. So now you know, and I hope your itch for asking that question is gone.

Name:  Turniprock.jpg
Views: 3103
Size:  273.9 KB

I crossed a strangely shaped rock after the bay of Diveagar, and it looked like a Turnip. Thousands of years of waves bashing against that rock had eroded its base, and it stood there bravely, facing the tumultuous ocean. Perhaps another million years, and little pieces of that huge rock would line the ocean bed.

Name:  Arshibeach.jpg
Views: 3521
Size:  275.6 KB

My back was hurting so bad, I had to take a break and lay flat on the sand for a few minutes. Before Shivardhan, I would cross the Aaravi beach, so I decided to land there and rest for ten minutes before going back into the water. I turned left, and headed towards sandy, but deserted beach. As I approached, I saw that the waves were not as gentle as they seemed from a distance. Strong rolls, each of them powerful enough to churn a kayak. So I waited. I waited till I was absolutely sure I could make a run for it and then, go!!! I paddled as fast as I could, going flat out till the tip of my kayak scraped the sand on the beach. I got out of my kayak, pulled it a few meters out of the water, and took off my life vest. Then I lay down on the wet sand, stretching my sore back. I still remember that moment like it was yesterday; the heavenly feeling of lying down after eight hours in a narrow kayak cockpit.

I glanced at my watch. Three in the afternoon. And I still had some distance to go before I could reach Shivardhan. I reluctantly got up, found my first aid kit, and had a half a tablet of painkiller with Electrolytes. I put my vest back on, and then pushed my kayak into knee deep water. I straddled it, put my legs one after another and then gave a mighty push with my paddle.

I was on a tight schedule. I had limited sunlight, and I had at least an hour and half of paddle left. I sped up, and around five, I saw the bay of Shivardhan open up. The previous night, I saw a small guesthouse marked on Google Earth, so I tried to visually locate it. I saw a structure on the beach, partly obscured by coconut trees, and I wasn't very sure. I decided to head towards the small jetty. Around fifty fishing boats were moored in the sheltered bay, and after weaving in and around stationary boats, I saw a boat with some people on it. I asked them about the guesthouse, but they mumbled something about a guesthouse in the city. They had no clue. So I changed course towards the thatch and concrete structure I saw earlier, and landed right in front of it.

I saw a man in his twenties on the beach who looked very friendly, so I called out to him. I asked him whether there was a place to stay nearby, and he pointed at the same place which I assumed to be a guesthouse. He said he knew the owner of that place, and made a call using his cellphone. A few minutes, a person emerged from the small gate, and he came towards us. He introduced himself as Nadeem, and he was the owner of the place called Subhan resorts. Without wasting any time, he and the person who I befriended earlier helped me carry my stuff to the guesthouse. It wasn't a long walk; just right on the beach, so we reached in a few minutes.

Subhan beach house was an amazing place. It was run by Nadeem and his father, both of whom were soft spoken, polite gentlemen. They spoke perfect English too. The resort had accommodation in form of small rooms and two huts on stilts, with a narrow wooden staircases leading up to them. Nadeem told me that did not have any of the regular rooms available, but they had the huts available. Perfect! With that, I carried my things upstairs, and then carried my kayak to the open shower (pictures on Day 6 episode) and scrubbed the tubes with fresh water. Though I must admit, I found it slightly funny that Nadeem carried at least four cellphones, each serviced by a different network. Signal was scarce in those parts. I had Airtel and Reliance, and none of them worked. Don't trust any of those commercials which show a deserted place with the sound of a ringtone in the background, or any of those cute dog commercials. As soon as I left Mumbai, I barely had any signal on these so called 'national networks'. Bah.

Like I've said before, it is amazing how little you need when you come into land after ten hours of kayaking. Just a place to sleep, and some freshwater. That is it, really. Nothing else. After washing my kayak dry, I stepped under the tap attached to the plastic tank overhead, and felt the salt on my skin wash away. The dinner had a delicious, home cooked flavor, and throughout the dinner, the resident white cat hovered dangerously close over my dinner. Fat chance, kitty. This grub was mine.

Name:  Catontable.jpg
Views: 3103
Size:  178.4 KB

During dinner, Nadeem mentioned that this was the second time he had an ocean kayaker as a guest. He spoke of two guys who came to his guesthouse a few years ago, and I guessed it might be the same people who I spoke of in my earlier episodes. And during the course of the conversation, he pointed out that the beach house was built around the trees, so they did not cut any trees to build the structure. It explained the abundance of trees inside the boundaries of the Subhan resort. I thought it was very thoughtful. I highly recommend this place, so if you ever happen to go to Shrivardhan, stay at the lovely Subhan guest house.

Name:  Hut1.jpg
Views: 3374
Size:  302.4 KB
Name:  Hutmattress.jpg
Views: 3556
Size:  245.0 KB

My room was fantastic. It was open on two sides, with no windows and doors. This meant I had great sea breeze throughout the night, and for a view I just had to stand up and look up front. I could see the night sea, with the lights from the docked fishing boats visible a few hundred meter away. My floor was made of wooden planks covered with a plastic mat, but there were plenty of mattresses and pillows stored in one corner, so I made myself comfortable. But I would soon find out the open nature of the room let in a lot more than just sea breeze.

Name:  topofhut.jpg
Views: 3045
Size:  177.7 KB

'Ah.' I thought to myself as I looked towards the sea. I had found the adventure I was looking for.

Next Episode: Day 6, part I - 10 hours of paddle, lots of Dolphins and I get some tailwind for the first time. Sail up!

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 12th April 2013 at 07:31. Reason: Small typos here and there
Kamen_rider is offline   (35) Thanks
Old 11th April 2013, 20:14   #147
Senior - BHPian
ninjatalli's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: BOM
Posts: 1,668
Thanked: 1,333 Times
Default Re: Going solo at 5 kmph - Mumbai to Goa in an inflatable kayak!

Excellent thread, and a lovely writing style. And I'm glad you addressed that question - been intending to ask it since ages

Btw Subhan Beach Resort seems to be the place that you just mentioned. Seems to be an extremely simple, laid-back place!
ninjatalli is online now   (1) Thanks
Old 11th April 2013, 21:04   #148
Senior - BHPian
parsh's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Bombay
Posts: 1,563
Thanked: 1,022 Times
Default Re: Going solo at 5 kmph - Mumbai to Goa in an inflatable kayak!

Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
Excellent thread, and a lovely writing style. And I'm glad you addressed that question - been intending to ask it since ages

Btw Subhan Beach Resort seems to be the place that you just mentioned. Seems to be an extremely simple, laid-back place!
Yes that is the one. It is an amazing place and we had the adventure of driving our Innovas through the sea to reach it last summer. The only place on Srivardhan to give that kind of experience for sure, alone in its neighborhood of the fishing village. Anybody going to Srivardhan, don't miss this place, just ask for Khalcha Jivana through parked fishing boats and then a nice drive on the shore to reach there middle of nowhere. However, thing to remember, it gets flooded till its gates and insides too at high tide. If one has to leave from there, watch the tide and drive out at low tide or before high tide is still atleast a hundred meters away. We had the pleasure of driving out our Innovas through the (lower) high tide with water nearly at the gate. Amazing experience.
parsh is online now   (4) Thanks
Old 12th April 2013, 11:15   #149
Senior - BHPian
Jignesh's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Near Frankfurt
Posts: 1,603
Thanked: 933 Times
Default Re: Going solo at 5 kmph - Mumbai to Goa in an inflatable kayak!

Hello Kamen,

Thans for your clarification on my question on how to keep your documents & wallet dry. Further even bigger thank for information on how did you attend nature's calls while kayaking.

The place - Subhan beach resort seems to be very basic but very inviting. I checked their website & found the pictures of place where you stayed:

Name:  Temp.bmp
Views: 3049
Size:  343.7 KB

Name:  Temp1.JPG
Views: 2937
Size:  39.7 KB

The tree top room (hut) looks great & a overnight stay (sleep) there will be a adventure for lesser mortals like us.

Jignesh is offline   (2) Thanks
Old 12th April 2013, 14:00   #150
Senior - BHPian
adc's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 1,346
Thanked: 2,103 Times
Default Re: Going solo at 5 kmph - Mumbai to Goa in an inflatable kayak!

Being a reader of quite a few travelogues on the internet as and when I get time - but then once a while comes a travel story that is at the same time a brilliant narration as well as an adventure of a different dimension. This the fourth time I went through all and surely by the time you finish, would lose count.

One question: As you speak of tides - inexperienced or less prepared paddlers with no/less tide knowledge or in situations where you paddle further out and with less energy and endurance to travel in - how does one recover from such a situation?

Last edited by adc : 12th April 2013 at 14:07.
adc is offline   (1) Thanks
Closed Thread

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mumbai : Paragliding, rock climbing, kayak surfing, mountain biking, archery & more! GTO Shifting gears 6 4th April 2013 17:39
Ford Introduces First Inflatable Seat Belts hanmust The International Automotive Scene 4 12th November 2009 15:54

All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 09:32.

Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks