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Old 5th August 2010, 12:48   #31
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We wait for some more time to spot some dolphins that inhabit these waters but the high tide is fast approaching and water levels rising upto our knees. We make a dash to the shore before becoming 'homopus'. Near the shore I spot this Pelican and move closer to take some photos. Surprisingly, it doesnt fly away giving me some good snaps. Greedy me, i try getting closer and off it flies away.

The Pelican

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Birds of different feather

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And it flies away

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Ahmed tells us that in the evening one can spot close to 30 varieties of birds in the mangroves.

On our way back we spotted a few more Puffer, sea flowers and other reef fishes.

On the shores, we also saw a handicapped crab (notice its severed limb, the aftermath of a mating fight).

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These are dead coral. As hard as rock

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These are made of pure sand, the resultant of sea insects exploring the reef

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Cannot get enough of the landscape

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Guide Ahmed with his boss

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Having had our fill, we head back home. I will be back soon. PHEW, What a day! Thank you Gujarat!

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Old 5th August 2010, 12:56   #32
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On our way back, we notice that there are more Flamingo's in the salt beds now

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Hehehehe. All this belongs to me!

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The hot Fafda + Samhara combo, up close

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Dhokla and chatni, up close

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The Reliance refinery

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Reliance greens, the residential township of Reliance employees

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Entry to the Reliance refinery

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Old 5th August 2010, 13:01   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gopikb View Post
ExtremeTorque, Too good....The narration gets exiting as you post more and more pictures. You are truly lucky to see the puffer fish and the Octopus at such close vicinity. Waiting for more....
Gopi, thanks a ton! i was damn too lucky to spot both. The guide also shared the same opinion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrankShaft05 View Post
This is an amazing place to be visited. My liking for Gujarat increased after speaking to Arun and seeing these pics, although I have never been there. But surely I wanna visit this place on my way to Dwaraka in near future
Sirji, lets drive down, what say?
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Old 5th August 2010, 14:01   #34
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@ExtremeTorque: Wonderful spottings! Thanks for letting me post pics from Pirotan Island into your thread (I am not starting a new thread just to keep the pics together - they're similar to what you've posted - and this single thread should help people planning to visit that area in future).

Here come the pics - I lost quite a few good ones due to a memory card issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TaureanBull View Post
The wildlife protection in India is a joke.
Indeed it is! But Gujarat is one place where the people and cops take wildlife conservation seriously. Whether at Gir or at the Marine Sanctuary, the locals take pride in protecting the wildlife, and WILL report someone from outside who might not be following the rules.

==============================================

Our trip to Pirotan Island happened in October 2007, as part of a 5000-km road trip covering Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Lothal, Diu, Gir, Jamnagar, Vapi, Daman and Dadra-Nagar Haveli-Silvassa.

One can access Pirotan just about 3-4 days every month, because those are the days that low tide happens in the morning, while high tide comes back in the afternoon. Not many people had heard of this place, and my classmate who lives in Jamnagar, was given the brief of arranging for the trip. It turned out that he himself had never been to Pirotan (though he's born & brought up in Jamnagar), and he wanted to go too.

It was a matter of utter convenience that the owner of Hotel President, Jamnagar, who is supposedly the person who organizes the Pirotan trip best, was also a good friend of my friend.

So off we sail from the Bedi port at 4AM one morning. We've got the boat with some 15 people on board, and a few of them are going to be our cooks for the day! There's nothing on Pirotan Island, not even fresh water - everything has to be carried with you on the boat.
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The gentleman in the blue shirt and red bandana on his head, owns Hotel President.
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Two hours later, we arrive at Pirotan Island - as dawn breaks.
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This gentleman is an avid birder, and routinely camps out a few days on the island to photograph the varieties of birds one can see here. He carried some really heavy duty equipment! My daughter soaked her clothes in the process of getting off the boat, and had to change.
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Last edited by SS-Traveller : 5th August 2010 at 14:03.
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Old 5th August 2010, 14:07   #35
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Thank you MX6, SST and all. Coming to the second point of starting this TL in a seperate thread, Marine life is known to be very fragile and world over governments are doing their maximum to conserve their coral reefs. I have come to learn that the corals take thousands to millions of years to form. The gulf of Kutch, of which these 42 islands of Narara and Pirotan are part of, are surrounded by numerous oil refineries. Frequent oil spills are killing the reef life and a very precious little is being done to conserve these reefs.

I would urge everyone travelling to Gujarat/Saurashtra region to visit these places and contribute to the tourism index. Trust me you will be amazed by the abundance of marine life forms. Add to it the joy of vacationing in a less known but safe place.

I strongly believe that making these places tourism hot spots will put pressure on the govt to curb/minimize the oil exploration and put a tab on oil spills.

Here are a few citations from the net

Essar effort: Marine National Park Travel Information and Travel Guide - India - Lonely Planet

IOC Leak: http://www.expressindia.com/ie/daily.../ige27091.html

Looking forward to your TL's, especially on the marine national sanctuaries.
Cheers,
Arun

Last edited by ExtremeTorque : 5th August 2010 at 14:17.
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Old 5th August 2010, 14:12   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
@ExtremeTorque: Wonderful spottings! Thanks for letting me post pics from Pirotan Island into your thread (I am not starting a new thread just to keep the pics together - they're similar to what you've posted - and this single thread should help people planning to visit that area in future).

But Gujarat is one place where the people and cops take wildlife conservation seriously.
The pleasure is mine! I like the idea of clubbing both NARARA & PIROTAN.

Gujju's take their states resources, especially the wild life pretty seriously.
Looking forward to more pics SST.

Last edited by ExtremeTorque : 5th August 2010 at 14:14.
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Old 5th August 2010, 14:17   #37
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As the sun rises, the sea starts to recede a bit at a time.
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In an hour's time, our boat is beached. The only way one can go back to the mainland now is by chopper - but cellphone signals were terribly erratic when we were there (I did get a call when we had walked about 1 km into the sea-bed, but the call dropped soon).
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And there were birds. Lots of them! We got an impromptu lesson in ornithology too, but have forgotten it completely - and those were the days we just travelled, never wrote about or recorded them for others to read about.

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Old 5th August 2010, 14:22   #38
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That seems like a good and interesting beginning SST to what appeared to be an end. Whats the size of the island? Is it too small o be accesses during tides?
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Old 5th August 2010, 14:40   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaureanBull View Post
Whats the size of the island? Is it too small o be accesses during tides?
The island is very much there at high tide too, but at low tide the sea recedes away from it by some 6km IIRC. Locals visit the island at high tide during the day, to go to the sacred shrine of Khwaja Khijer Alaihisalaam. There's also a lighthouse, whose keeper has to have his supplies sent from the mainland!
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You can get an idea of how far the water recedes by looking at this pic.
A Reef Full Of Life-hhh-pirotan-island-trip-22k80.jpg

More info: Pirotan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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Old 5th August 2010, 14:50   #40
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The marine life we saw at Pirotan Islands.

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Old 5th August 2010, 14:55   #41
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Some more marine life (and some exoskeletons too!).

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Old 5th August 2010, 15:07   #42
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Walking on the coral reefs seems like fun from far away, but it sure isn't unless you carry good footwear. The coral tends to cut one's feet, and the sand getting into one's shoes tends to chafe away the skin after a while. The sun is inexorably hot, and there is obviously no shade in the middle of the sea bed! So carry your own umbrella and gumboots, and lots of water as you set out for the walk away from the island. We were lucky in having experienced people accompany us, but I still remember the mess our feet were in for a couple of days after that.

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Cure for sunburn? Wet sand on your face. Once it dries out, it makes the sunburn worse!
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Some fun & games...
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The tide is coming back in...
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...so we return to the island in time for a late lunch. Fresh crabs on the menu too!

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Old 5th August 2010, 15:21   #43
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wow, looking at those pics reminds me of a bike trip to the East Godavari delta. We rode and rode thru the slush. So much fun.

I remember watching a program that showed a similar kind of location. But in Britain. The program was about quicksand formation as the tide moves out. Does such a risk exist here?
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Old 5th August 2010, 15:22   #44
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Great pics and valuable information.

Is the guard of the light house alone there? He must be having Titanic Effect during tides.

I see a small anchor (was that of the boat you used?), a tyre (whats the tyre doing there?) and a huge container ship passing nearby. (does the sea level drop suddenly?).
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Old 5th August 2010, 15:28   #45
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Our complement of cooks and helpers, whose efforts got us the terrific lunch! No, the goat was not for consumption!
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My daughter with her sore feet and sand-filled shoes.
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Tide's back in and the boat is afloat again.
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Time to get back to the boat.
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Back to the boat, shoes off, feet up. Even the most experienced of them have sore feet at the end of the session!
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Here's where we were walking on the sea bed just a few hours ago.
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The boat's engine (after all, this is an automotive forum! )
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And the boatman with his foot on the accelerator. Really!
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That's pretty much all the pics I had from Pirotan Island.

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