Day 135, Year 5: Unplugged and Ready to Go
Date: Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Weather: Baking Weather-95 degrees F inside
Location: Bolgatty Hotel Anchorage, Cochin (Kochi), India

Check-out of India went so much smoother and faster than check-in. Nazar picked us up in this boat at about 10 am and by noon we were officially check-out. We had to do a bit of waiting, but really not bad. We had lunch at the government complex and then Nazar took us over to Mattancherry to meet his family. His father who is 85 met us at the dock and then we walked to Nazar’s home. His wife is Kaneth and she is absolutely stunningly beautiful. They live on a narrow dirt lane with homes side by side. A home is a very small living room, a tiny kitchen overstuffed with cooking pots of all kinds, a bedroom just big enough for a bed, and then an outside area with a deep well for water for washing clothes. Nazar has two children but they were at school and we did not get to meet them. We learned today that Nazar is 40 years old and he is very proud of the fact that he owns his boat and his motor. He rents the home for about $65 US dollars a month. He charged us almost nothing for all of his services, so I really don’t know how he makes a living, but he and his wife seem to be very happy. He has been reliable and helpful and we would recommend him to anyone sailing this way. Visiting his home was a great way to end our visit here.

Once we returned to Windbird, we did our last check of email and then headed to shore with the 3G modem we have been renting while here. Unplugging that was really hard. But we will still be in touch through our HAM email system. That means we can only check our Winlink email account, so if you want to reach us, send emails directly to Winlink. We will be able to check the Gmail account when we reach the Maldives, but once we leave there, it will be Winlink exclusively.

We did our last bits of shopping at the market in Ernakulam. The beautiful piles of veggies and fruits, the huge sacks of red onions and potatoes, the stalks of bananas, the barrels of spices, and the sounds of the market will forever be in our memories. I LOVE the market area here and am going to miss it very much. I’m even going to miss the hustle and bustle of the honking horns, the crazy traffic of rickshaws and busses, the swishing of beautiful saris, and the smiles of the Indian people. But I think the one thing I will miss the most is the head woggle. When you ask a question here, people look at you and answer with a head woggle. The upper body stays still and the head woggles jauntily from side to side with a special rhythm. You are never sure if someone is saying yes, no, or maybe so. It is quite unique.

So tomorrow morning we head south to the Maldives. The Maldives are a series of 26 atolls that on a map look like they drip southward from the southern tip of India. We are traveling less than 300 miles from here to the northern most atoll where we will stop in Uligan (formerly Uligamu) for a few days. This is a little developed part of the Maldives where the water is clear and the underwater sights are beautiful. The Maldives are a partly traditional island nation with a very strong Islamic culture and identity. Some Muslims there claim that only Saudi Arabia and the Maldives are the world’s truly Islamic nations. One thing is for sure. The miles from here to there will transport us into a totally different world than we are in here in southern India.

100310 Day 135 India–Visit to Nazar's Home
Day 136, Year 5: Passage to Maldives, Day One
Day 134, Year 5: When is Enough, Enough?