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Old 2nd April 2013, 14:05   #121
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Default Re: Going solo at 5 kmph - Mumbai to Goa in an inflatable kayak!

Thanks for Sharing.

It gives great hope and belief to lesser mortals like us to face and overcome all obstacles.

Cheers
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Old 2nd April 2013, 17:33   #122
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Default Re: Going solo at 5 kmph - Mumbai to Goa in an inflatable kayak!

Dear Kamen_Rider,

Guess when some wise men said "You cannot fix a price on passion and dreams" this is exactly what they meant.. . The sheer thought of Kayaking along that coastline has caused me enough Mental fatigue and I can only imagine the physical and mental toughness this journey demanded from you!

This my friend has been one of a kind Travelogue and I wish you many more unexplored sojourns ahead.. Hats off!
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Old 2nd April 2013, 19:23   #123
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Default Re: Going solo at 5 kmph - Mumbai to Goa in an inflatable kayak!

I am following your thread from the day you started, but refrained from commenting as I was too indulged in your writing and shocked by your passion. Wanted to congratulate you on your feat and comment only after reading the whole trip, but couldn't wait.

Hats off to your passion and one of its kind travelogue I am reading.

Please don't keep us waiting.

Hats off to you brother!
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Old 3rd April 2013, 22:34   #124
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I was up by 5 am. After yesterday's experience, I decided to start as early as possible so that I was left with some amount of daylight at the end of the day. That way, searching for a place to stay would be less of a pain. I began to pack my luggage, aiming for a 5.45 am departure from the house.

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My kayak was bone dry. There was a brown Usha fan which hung from a bracket on the ceiling beam. I had set it at full speed overnight, and through out the night it spun enthusiastically around, rocking from side to side as it did so. Before sleeping, I looked at it, and wondered if it was going to break free and fall on the bed. But it stayed there, and while at it, did a great job of drying my clothes on the door hook.

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The capsizing also led to some moisture entering my dry bags, so I spent some time lining the bags with bubble wrap after packing rest of the contents in. I checked my GPS to see whether it was working; it was still dead. Which meant all the time I spent marking way points on Google maps was useless. But there was a bright side - on day one, I had taken photographs of Sandy's nautical maps, so I had that as a reference. I also had GPS on my phone, and guess what, even my Nikon AW100 had GPS. With all the backup, navigation was not going to be an issue. But my Garmin was a good timekeeper. Sometimes, when you're paddling into headwind, you think you're going fast, but in reality you've just moved a few feet. The Garmin would have told me that in real time. Now I would have to rely on my 'speed sense' to figure that out. I emptied the Garmin out of its batteries, and then shoved it deep into one of the bags. I also needed a lot of water, so I emptied half a dozen bottles into my water bag. I looked at the packaging of the bottle; an attractive young woman with wet hair held the bottle seductively, and suggested that this make of water had 300% more oxygen.

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The previous night, I had asked for breakfast to be served at 5.30 am, and I was half expecting it to be ready around six. But at 5.25, someone knocked on my door. It was the same young man who, exactly twelve hours ago, stood at the Paan shop asking me if I wanted a room. And I could see he had taken great pains to get up early and serve me breakfast. He appeared groggy, his hair unkempt and spoke slowly as his brain warmed up to the idea of an early morning. I could also see that he had taken the trouble of making the breakfast himself. The breakfast was omelette Pav, and the shape of the Omelette looked exactly like the one which I used to make when I first started cooking many years ago. But it did not matter. What did was his effort towards making his guest happy. I forgot the fine gentleman's name, but for today, let's call him Ashutosh.

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After eating breakfast, which was surprisingly tasty, I stepped outside to look at the surroundings, and was amazed by how pretty the area was. The house was the last in the row, and it opened up to a pleasant scenery of green hills and morning songsters chirping on trees. A brown horse was tied to a post, trying to graze on a patch of grass a few meters away, straining at its leash as it tried to reach further.

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When I was all ready to leave, I carried my luggage downstairs, piece by piece. I planned to cart my kayak, swing everything else around my body like I did on day zero, and walk the tortuous one km to the beach. Ashutosh's elder brother and father were sitting on the verandah below and saw what I was planning to do. They immediately pulled out their motorcycle - a Hero Honda I think - and piled my luggage on it. They owned a small stall near the beach, and they dropped off my luggage there on the first run, and when they came back, I sat on back of the bike with the waterproof dry bag and the paddle. They also helped carry the bag down the sand to the landing spot, and like the days before, I begun assembling the kayak. It was 6.45 am.

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I was touched by the warmth and kindness of Ashutosh's family. It was incredibly nice of everyone in the household to help carry my gear to the beach - they did not have to do that, but they did. I requested them for a picture, and the father was a little shy, but he came around to agreeing for a quick photograph. I really wanted to go and hug both of them, but I realized that might not be a culturally sensitive thing to do, so I just thanked them and said my goodbyes. What great hospitality!

By now, I had enough practice to set my kayak up in 10 minutes, if I got the aluminum backbone right. The backbone of the kayak had five pieces of foam coated aluminum tubes which locked into each other by means of twist-snap-locks. As the days progressed, I found inserting and twisting the tubes becoming more difficult. Sea water would seep on the floor of the kayak, and enter the hollow tubes, depositing salt residues on the insides. This started making the assembly process very tricky, and I was beginning to feel slightly frustrated. When I finished fitting all the pieces but the last two, I gripped one part of the rod in my left hand, and then used my right hand to drive both the pieces together. The right section clammed shut on the left with tremendous force - and trapped the skin of my palm in between.

Like a dog who just had its tail stepped over, I let out a dreadful howl and cursed loudly. My eyes squinted with pain, and when I looked down, the skin at the base of my thumb was still sandwiched between the two sections. I used my right hand to create some space and free my left hand. After getting my hand out, I looked at it closely for damage. It was bad, considering that paddling was all I was going to be doing for at least ten more days. I saw a superficial wound; a few drops of blood trickled out. This was going to be painful, especially when it was the left hand. My right hand was the 'control' hand while paddling, meaning once it gripped the paddle shaft, it would stay in position most of the time. My left hand would have a lot of play, moving over the shaft from time to time. And now it meant the paddle would rub against the injured area frequently.

But I was left with no choice, I had to continue paddling. I opened my first aid kit, cleaned the wound and applied antiseptic ointment on it before wrapping it up in wash proof bandaging. I had prepared for the worst during my trip planning, so I had a large variety of water proof medication in different shapes and sizes. I covered my left hand with a Neoprene glove so that the bandage would stay in place. I repacked everything, and launched my kayak into the waters. It was still before sunrise, and the water was very calm. With no strong waves, paddling out to the sea was a piece of cake. Even with an injured thumb.

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The first rays from morning sun warmed the sleepy ocean, and steam rose from the waters, masking everything around with a slight mist. There were no swells or waves, and that made my paddling rather easy. I kept going south - I had originally planned to go to Diveagar from Kashid, but with the unplanned mishap, I decided to go to Murud 30 kms away and rest there for a day. That would give some time for my thumb to heal, and I could make up for it by paddling 50 km+ days after that.

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Initially, it was a bit difficult paddling with a small lump in my gloved left hand, but over the next few hours I got used to it. I did not try to go fast; I only had to paddle 6-7 hours and I would still have plenty of daylight in reserve. I took this opportunity to travel leisurely, enjoying the sights around me. In the last episode, I compared Kashid to Malibu Beach, and sure enough, I saw a building perched high up on a cliff. Kashid's own Tony Stark villa. I took some photographs, and when I got bored of looking at the house, I moved towards an area where waves were crashing against the rocks and creating quite a spectacle. I moved closer and waited for the waves to build up and then dash against the rocks with mighty force, splashing many meters up in the air. After some waiting, I was rewarded with a nice picture.

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Around 2.30 pm, I paddled around the last cliff to enter the Murud Bay. Some fishing nets were out in the water, and a Tufted Seagull was perched on one of the markers. It looked at me with benign interest and did not move until I came very close. The wind was strong and dragging me towards the shore, so while I was taking pictures of the seagull, my kayak drifted towards it. At this point, the bird thought it wise not to risk it, and flew away to another marker.

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Murud has a beautiful palace called the Ahmedganj palace or the Nawab palace. It was built in 1885 and looks breathtaking when seen from the sea. It sits on a high rock overlooking the waters, its majestic architecture visible through the scattered foliage. I read that it was still owned by the descendants of the Nawab, and as I passed just below it, I saw a face in one of the windows. It stared at me for a few minutes, before pulling the curtains back again.

I made ground at 3 pm, and packed my kayak after towing it a safe distance from the waterline. Murud beach has a massive inter-tidal zone, meaning there's a huge gap between the low and high tide lines. It was at least 250 meters, if not more. And it was low tide when I landed. It meant a long drag to the hotel as soon as I knew where to go. I pulled out my cellphone, and started searching for the hotel. The idea was to look for a hotel using google maps, call them, see if there was a room available and then make my way there. I saw that there was a hotel called the Golden Swan on the beach. I pulled out the website and dialed the number on it. Couldn't get through. So I called the number of their Mumbai office. It was answered by a female voice who spoke very rapidly and loudly. But I could barely hear her, the breeze was so strong. I'm sure she also had trouble understanding me, and soon she sounded very irritated and suggested that I visit their Mumbai office for a reservation. With that, she hung up. I mentally checked 'Golden Swan' off my list. There was another hotel called the 'Seashell resort'. I called the number, got in touch with the owner, and they had rooms available, though a little pricey. But I liked that section of the beach; quiet and clean, and seemed ideal to launch from. I began to drag my luggage to hotel, and after 30 minutes of moving my luggage, I checked in.

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

Clean rooms, air conditioned and soft beds. Aaah. I decided to spent the rest of the day there, and rest tomorrow. I pulled off my Neoprene glove, and saw the wound had turned white. The stubborn sea water had crept inside. I took off the bandage, and cleaned the area again, re-applying the ointment and bandage. I did need to take a day off.

Next Episode: Day 4 - as my thumb heals, a walk around Murud.

Trip Summary so far: 90 kilometers and 19 hours of paddling.

Last edited by Kamen_rider : 3rd April 2013 at 22:44.
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Old 4th April 2013, 04:43   #125
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Default Re: Going solo at 5 kmph - Mumbai to Goa in an inflatable kayak!

I think, you have jolted the travelogue section so well with this stunning escapade that you probably have the best post-to-thanks ratio in team bhp right now.
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Old 4th April 2013, 09:29   #126
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Default Re: Going solo at 5 kmph - Mumbai to Goa in an inflatable kayak!

Fantastic travelogue. Waiting for the next episode. Do you have any pictures of the kayak with the sail up? I'm guessing the red round object seen in some of the pictures is the sail. Just curious.
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Old 4th April 2013, 09:29   #127
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Default Re: Going solo at 5 kmph - Mumbai to Goa in an inflatable kayak!

Hats off to you Kamen_rider for this awesome feat. I very rarely read the travelogue section of TBHP but over the last few days, this is the section I've spent most of my time on.

When I lived in Pune, a few years ago, Kashid used to be my favorite weekend jaunt and you have brought back some good memories. Of course, my trips were on my trusty old Enfield and no-where as awesome as your ride.
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Old 4th April 2013, 09:52   #128
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Default Re: Going solo at 5 kmph - Mumbai to Goa in an inflatable kayak!

Well anything I say to describe this journey would be an understatement.
You will put Captain Haddock to shame and he might say "Ten thousand thundering typhoons".
Hats off! This is an entirely different world you have brought me in. Thanks.
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Old 4th April 2013, 14:27   #129
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Default Re: Going solo at 5 kmph - Mumbai to Goa in an inflatable kayak!

Amazing journey man. You have a flair for writing as well! Read all of it at 1 go. Kayaking can be very slow as I did a bit of it at James Bond Islands but the passion you have drives you ahead. Its a tough job to Kayak all day and then lug 70kilos every evening. Hats off to you. Some one had put the contrasting pictures of the A380 First Class Suite as well as the cement room in Kashid!! I was thinking about this. You have seen it all way to go. Eagerly awaiting the rest of the travelogue.
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Old 4th April 2013, 15:40   #130
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Default Re: Going solo at 5 kmph - Mumbai to Goa in an inflatable kayak!

Pure BHP (Bare-Hand-Power) wow, what an amazing travelogue this is.

Goes on to describe very well what our will power can do.

The details are crisp and the experiences amazing and inspiring. When in a situation, how we adapt to them and how circumstances work in our favour.

Normally if we would be in Kashid beach post sunset, we would definitely not want to talk to strangers asking for help (fear of being vulnerable) buy hey when you are at rock bottom, only way is UP.

A Big thumbs up to your adventurous spirit!
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Old 4th April 2013, 16:59   #131
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Default Re: Going solo at 5 kmph - Mumbai to Goa in an inflatable kayak!

Awesome write up. Your writing skills make me feel like experiencing the scenarios myself. I have been following this thread. Awaiting for the next episode badly.

Last edited by Arkesh : 4th April 2013 at 17:01.
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Old 4th April 2013, 21:45   #132
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Default Re: Going solo at 5 kmph - Mumbai to Goa in an inflatable kayak!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sen2009 View Post
Its like the "Life of Pi", beyond Imax 3D!
In Life of PI, he had the blue screen as the backdrop. In this trip, I have the blue sky!

Quote:
Originally Posted by engrohit View Post
"Dream is not what you see in sleep, Dream is something that does not let you sleep".
Couldn't agree more Rohit!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThaRaj View Post
Posting a link on two keen european anglers who did a trip from Mumbai to Goa on two fishing kayaks couple of years back.
Thank you, this is very useful. Did not know about these guys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudra Sen View Post
You were mentally, probably prepared to write this entire episode somewhere.
You're right, I was, I was. It is just that without the 'eagerly waiting-more-please' pressure, I would not have finished it. And what better place than team-bhp!

Quote:
Originally Posted by prateekm View Post
how many kilometres you kayaked and how much time you spent kayaking.
Thanks for the suggestion, Prateek. Have included that information from my yesterday's update!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pal View Post
Your 'episodic' twice-a-week-once-a-day dosage of the trip is just as irritating when it ends due to the waiting.
Weekends rule, weekdays suck! I realized it is tough to get the words flowing after 13 hours at work, and it takes more time too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmxylorider View Post
@Kamen_rider - I am reliving your experiences. Keep the posts coming.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Funda View Post
This is beyond the ordinary.
Quote:
Originally Posted by akas_chauhan View Post
It was something different at least in T-BHP. I've not even started reading the travelllogue.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fiat_tarun View Post
Keep it coming ! Can't wait to read more.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkesh View Post
Awesome write up. Your writing skills make me feel like experiencing the scenarios myself.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mafioso View Post
Really glued to this thread in office, leaving aside tasks for completion today
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecdkfactor View Post
I know its cruel for me to ask you to complete it amidst your schedule but waiting for such a wonderful TL is the most difficult thing
Quote:
Originally Posted by mm403 View Post
Infact have read it twice over the weekend.Waiting eagerly for the next posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by BheemBoy View Post
Thanks for Sharing.
Cheers
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Vader View Post

This my friend has been one of a kind Travelogue and I wish you many more unexplored sojourns ahead.. Hats off!
Quote:
Originally Posted by carzone View Post
Please don't keep us waiting.
Thank you, everyone. I will have the posts coming, but at the same time, would like to spend as much effort as possible to make them interesting. So forgive these 2-3 day intervals on weekdays.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SDP View Post
These 2 photos provide a really nice contrast. Hats off to your passion!
If you wait till Day 7, you will get a better picture on the top to contrast with


Quote:
Originally Posted by raycers_honda View Post
Do upload loads of more images showcasing the great coastal secrets we have in our country.
I just wish these type of equipments and accessories are available freely in India but at a good price.
Stay on this thread, and you will see many pictures soon! Yes, the lack of quality outdoor equipment is indeed an issue here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samarjitdhar View Post
I can only hope that I can do a little of what you have done some day before my bones get too old for such challenges . I will not be a bore anymore and wait for the updates.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
I cannot even dream of such a journey.
So Hats off to you! Waiting for the rest of the story. Now hurry up please!
Thank you Samarjit. Actually, anyone can do it. Sandy Robson is 46, had a hip replacement surgery, and recently finished her trip around India last month. If she can, anyone can. And I have a few aches and groans of my own too, and I am not athlete level fit by any means.

So the moral of the story is: Just go ahead and do it, one can never be too ready.


Quote:
Originally Posted by amolpol View Post
What I liked so far is the fact that you never really thought of appointing a safety/support vehicle to shadow you
Well, the trip takes a turning point after day 7....

Quote:
Originally Posted by sach.sri View Post
keep it up and keep them coming fast

Thanks for sharing the wonderful tale with us.
Quote:
Originally Posted by specialedition View Post
Awaiting to hear and see how this adventure completes
Oh, it only gets better, and most of the action happens on land instead of water. Stay tuned for Day 6 and 7 updates!


Quote:
Originally Posted by manolin View Post
I think, you have jolted the travelogue section so well with this stunning escapade that you probably have the best post-to-thanks ratio in team bhp right now.
I did not notice that, but now you mention it, Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by slicvic View Post
Do you have any pictures of the kayak with the sail up?
You guessed right, sir. While that is the sail, I only open it on Day 5 since I had headwind all this while. Have a picture so will share then!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharninder View Post
Of course, my trips were on my trusty old Enfield and no-where as awesome as your ride.
What are you saying, Royal Enfield trips are awesome! I have an Electra 350 4S and have traveled a part of Konkan on it. It was the best ride ever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by himadrimondal View Post
You will put Captain Haddock to shame and he might say "Ten thousand thundering typhoons".
And thousands of blistering barnacles - which I was careful to stay away from!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sameer sultan View Post
Kayaking can be very slow as I did a bit of it at James Bond Islands but the passion you have drives you ahead. Its a tough job to Kayak all day and then lug 70kilos every evening.
I guess walking and kayaking have similar speeds, though on calm waters, one could paddle up to running speed. I started realizing on Day 3 that one of the challenges in this trip was finding a place to stay at night with all the luggage, and not be able to go far away from the beach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trojan View Post
Normally if we would be in Kashid beach post sunset, we would definitely not want to talk to strangers asking for help (fear of being vulnerable) buy hey when you are at rock bottom, only way is UP.
You betcha! But at least I was confident I could run very fast if those guys jumped me.

Last edited by Kamen_rider : 4th April 2013 at 21:58.
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Old 5th April 2013, 10:59   #133
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Default Re: Going solo at 5 kmph - Mumbai to Goa in an inflatable kayak!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamen_rider View Post
I started realizing on Day 3 that one of the challenges in this trip was finding a place to stay at night with all the luggage, and not be able to go far away from the beach.
Hello Kamen,

We are eagerly waiting for the next episode & further details of your adventure.

By the way, I was wondering about your luggage. I mean how did you ensured critical articles like mobile phone, wallet (money), some indentification documents remained dry even when the kayak capsized & most of your luggage was soaked in sea water?

I read earlier that you used double / triple water resistant bags, but did they ensured that critical things remain dry even in worst situations?

Thanks,
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Old 5th April 2013, 15:44   #134
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Default Re: Going solo at 5 kmph - Mumbai to Goa in an inflatable kayak!

Hi @Kamen_rider,

What a lovely, unique & adventurous Travelogue. Eagerly waiting for the next episode.

Appreciate your writing skills & the way you are walking or rather kayaking us through your adventurous journey.

Hats off to your passion, determination, and dedication & patience throughout this expedition.

Keep it coming!
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Old 5th April 2013, 16:42   #135
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Default Re: Going solo at 5 kmph - Mumbai to Goa in an inflatable kayak!

What more can I add to what has been already said.A fantastic endeavour, shows the extent to which you can go to realise your dream.As I have also done a bit of sea sailing and white water rafting ,I can appreciate your endeavour a bit better .In such endeavours a collosal amount of pre adventure preprations are required,more so when you are all alone in your effort.You have to cater for all conceivable contingencies.
Lovely pics and fluid writing ,it feels like one is on the adventure with you .Keep it up GOD bless.
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