"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)

fishing

Casting His Net

Picture taken at sunset in the Kerala Backwaters, Chellanam.
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Reviewing The Fleet

Shipshape

And Bristol fashion.

Pictures of the fishing fleet at Thoppumpady, taken from the “English bridge“.

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*The phrase “shipshape and Bristol fashion” in today’s form has been recorded as early as 1840 (“shipshape” alone being about 200 years older).
The term developed most likely in view of the English port of Bristol which had (before the Floating Harbour was constructed) a very high tidal range of 13 metres (43 ft), the second highest in the world. Ships moored in this area would be aground at low tide and, because of their keels, would fall to one side. If everything was not stowed away tidily, or tied down, the results were chaotic and cargo could be spoiled.

(*From Wiktionary)


Mending Their Nets..

Fishermen mending their nets in Fort Cochin.
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Duopolies

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Picture taken on the Fort Cochin seafront.


Exit Strategy

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The plan was a dawn ride to the lake shore:

A chance to capture sunrise over the water.

But nature is capricious.

Cloud entirely covered the sky.

Three fishing canoes came to divert us:

More than adequate compensation.

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So having photographed the boats, we headed back to home…

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Launching Out Alone

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“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.”

Henry David Thoreau

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And you O my soul where you stand,

Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,

Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them,

Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor hold,

Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O, my soul.

Walt Whitman

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Now launch the small ship, now as the body dies

and life departs, launch out, the fragile soul

in the fragile ship of courage, the ark of faith

with its store of food ..and change of clothes,

D.H. Lawrence

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Launch For Two

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Launch One

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Launch Two

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“Death is only a launching into the region of the strange Untried; it is but the first salutation to the possibilities of the immense Remote, the Wild, the Watery, the Unshored…”

Herman Melville

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Countdown To Launch

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When the fishermen are ready to launch a boat

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They gather at its stern

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Before pushing it down to the water’s edge.

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They must then wait

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For a suitably large wave

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Before

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Launch

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Can be achieved.

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An Assembly Of Fishermen: Preparing Your Boat

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Before the fishermen set out, the boats and nets are prepared:

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All must be sea-worthy.

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They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;

These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.

For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.

Psalm 107. 23 – 25

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An Assembly Of Fishermen

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Along Kerala’s beaches, the evenings see fishermen assembling by their boats.

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They are waiting for the sunset.

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In the cool of the night, fish rise closer to the surface waters,

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While the men are spared the intense glaring heat of the sun,

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At sea, in an open boat.

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“The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of that which is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope”

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Sea Food

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Gone Fishing

Fish is a vital part of the Malabar diet,

And fishing a major local employer.

As well as the boats which catch fish, crab and prawns from the coastal waters,

Cochin uses large, ancient cantilevered nets,

Thought to have been introduced by the Chinese in the fifteenth century.

Even the name Cochin is said to mean “like China”.

Sadly, fishing stocks have never fully recovered from the tsunami of 2004.

But every morning fishermen are to be seen bringing their catch ashore,

Mending their nets,

And raising the Chinese fishing nets,

Then, as the catch is sold in the nearby market

The fishermen

Relax