"Wading neck deep in a swamp, your revolver is neither use nor ornament until you have had time to clean it" Mary H. Kingsley (1897)

ferry

Farewell To Eastern Shores

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The Oxford – St Michaels ferry in Maryland at twilight


Crossing The Phlegethon

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Picture taken on the car-ferry between Oxford and St Michaels, Maryland, USA

The mythical ancient Greek River Phlegethon eternally burned, without ever being consumed.
The title of this post was changed from “Crossing the Styx”, after it was pointed out to me that the Styx is also known as the river of hate!


The Water-Baby

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Pictures taken on-board the Fort Cochin Ferry.
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Troika

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Pictures taken on the Fort Cochin ferry.
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A Separate Waiting

 Picture taken at the Fort Cochin Jetty.
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The Wire

River ferries are commonplace here
but this ferryman stands out,
literally.

He collects his passengers from steps cut into the river bank
then safely carries them to the opposite side,
without the use of oars.

Instead, he walks his hands along a guide-rope, 
which spans the river. 

No fares are collected.

This free service prevents his fellow villagers from being isolated by their river.
It is
“pro bono publico”

A far from fashionable concept,
in the West
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Pictures taken of the river crossing, near Kottayam, Kerala.


Embarking On Adventure

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When setting off on any trip from Fort Cochin, first you must reach the mainland.
The ferry can cut miles of congested city roads and bridges from your route.

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Local ferries are small and invariably there’s a queue of cars, 2-wheelers and auto-rickshaws waiting.
The first boat to arrive usually fills well before it is your turn to embark.
Twenty minutes of gently excited anticipation are part of the conditions of travel.
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It’s a romantic beginning to any adventure.

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All Aboard

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The Fort Cochin Ferry:

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(From a crossing last week)


Watchful Waiting

– or –

The Hazards Of Compression

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Yesterday morning found me waiting at the jetty.

We had just missed a ferry. There were twenty minutes to watch and wait.

Photo-opportunities effortlessly presented themselves and time happily clicked by.

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Later I downloaded the pictures from camera to computer.

Mindful that picture space on the WordPress servers has limits, I opted for measured frugality. I would compress the size of my new photo files.

In the click of a mouse it was done.

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But this was an act of undue haste. I had not checked which level of file compression was suitable.

My photographs were reduced to hardly more than postage stamp size. Their intensity was lost. They were spoilt.

Belatedly I read the warning:

File compression can not be undone.”

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I have relegated the pictures into a slideshow, hoping their impoverished pixels might pass unnoticed.

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Note to self: watchful waiting has its merits.

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Escapology Made Easy

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The hall maybe out-of-bounds but a bedroom cannot hold me.

My house under decorative siege is an awesome place.

I escape its confines by taking the ferry.

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“The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.”  John Maynard Keynes

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Fair Blows The Wind For Home

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Our long journey is almost over.

Now we wait for the ferry.

Crossing the waters will finally bring us home.

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Soave sia il vento:

“May the wind blow softly,
The waves be calm,
And all of nature’s power help you gently reach your home.”

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Across the waters

Fort Cochin sits on a peninsular. To reach the mainland means taking a relatively long road journey or a shorter and more interesting trip on the ferry.

Even after four years of regularly taking this boat journey, I experience an almost child-like sensation of excitement as the boat leaves the jetty.

The journey provides a multiplex of sights:

Fellow passengers;

The engine being adjusted;

A working water way;

Boatyards from Portuguese and Dutch days;

And the modern port.

The mainland is reached after twenty minutes.

But after an hour in the modern busy city I am very happy to say goodbye to the expensive, high-rise real estate of Kochi’s Marine Drive

And take a ferry back across the water

To the quiet, faded glories of Fort Cochin

And its ramshackle jetty.

Back to home.