[Jodhpur, Rajasthan] This week we're going to get lost in the back streets of Jodhpur town itself. There are plenty of sounds to take in here, with the noise of market traders selling their wares. But first, a refreshing drink...
[Jodhpur, Rajasthan] The Mehrangarh Fort, one of the lagest forts in India, sits over 120meters above the city, surrounded by huge thick walls. Inside are a number of palaces and courtyards, the foundations of which date back to 1459, although most of what we see today dates from the period of Jaswant Singh - 1638 to 1678. Entry to the fort is through a series of seven gates, again bilt and installed over different periods. These have been offset so as to avoid being charged at by armoured elephants.
[Jodhpur, Rajasthan] This is the second part of our interview with Govind Rathore who set up and runs the Sambhali Trust, a non-profit, grass-roots charitable organisation based in Jodhpur, the Blue City of Rajasthan. In this episode we continue to chat with Govind on the rooftop of his homestay, Durag Niwas, and we take in two of the empowerment centres that help women who come from troubled backgrounds.
A couple of kilometres outside the centre of Jodphur, Govind Rathore and his family run the Durag Niwas homestay, but that's not their main interest. In 2007 Govind set up the Sambhali Trust, an NGO that helps women from the lowest castes in India escape their lives of hardship and empowers them with the skills necessary to operate their own businesses. Many of these women only speak a local dialect and don't understand Hindi, so they learn to read, write and speak Hindi and English. They are also taught sewing and farming skills. The work Govind and the Trust is doing is so important, having helped over 600 women in its five year existance, that we are dedicating two podcast episodes to our time with the Sambhali Trust.
[Agra, Uttar Pradesh] The Taj was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, and the whole complex was completed in 1653. It is a mausoleum using Persian, Turkish and Indian styles of architecture. The building needs no introduction, it's one of the most visited tourist sites in the world. If you decide to go there, do what we did and get up really early!
[Agra, Uttar Pradesh] Fatehpur Sikri consists of two areas: The huge Jama Masjid, the second largest mosque in India, and the Palace of Akbar. For a short while Akbar made Fatehpur Sikri the capital of his empire. He spent 15 years building the mosque, the palace, harems, courts, water features and other buildings and drew his influences from Persia. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is not to be missed.
[Jaipur, Rajasthan] If ever the sculptor Anish Kapoor received inspiration it must surely be from this ancient astronomy site, now a UNESCO World Heritage Centre. We admire the contours and angles of these intriguing objects before wandering round the impressive Amber Fort.
[Jaipur, Rajasthan] Over the next few weeks we do the Golden Triangle, a hectic and touristic rite of passage. To ease ourselves into this trip we start with a gentle wander round the cool backstreets of Jaipur, the Pink City.
[Cochin, Kerala] Next week we head off on our classic Golden Triangle, where we'll get to see the Taj Mahal and all those wonderful cities in Rajasthan. Before we do that, we head down to the backwaters of the south Cochin and rewards the youngsters for their sailing skills. We also get to meet a group of teenagers busily revising for an important exam.
[Munnar, Kerala] Tea may be the calming cuppa we need after an extremely frustrating visit to an Ayurvedic spice plantation. Ayurveda is the alternative medicine passed down through generations of Indians. Sadly many have a complete blind faith in it, believing basil can cure cancer, for example. We debunk the wild claims of Ayurveda.
[Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu] Escaping the hectic city of Madurai we escape into the Queen of Hillstations, climbing 30 hairpin bends to arrive in a haven that offers the greatest views of the Western Ghats. In this podcast we take in the views of the Ghats and Pillar Rock, when the clouds aren't too low. This is an atmospheric ramble through the mountains on the day of Pongal.
[Madurai, Tamil Nadu] Think Raiders of the Lost Ark and you'll begin to picture the interior of Meenakshi Temple, one of the largest Hindu temples in the world. We visit it during Pongal, the festival of harvest, and learn why a cow is sacred. Or is it?
[Madurai, Tamil Nadu] The second part of our Madurai wanderings, we start off in Garlic Alley where an old lady is duped. We make our way to the incredible Nayak Palace and end the day with a noisy procession. This accompanies the blog post, The Magic And Madness of Madurai.
[Madurai, Tamil Nadu] We're in one of the most important towns in south India during one of its most important celebrations, Pongal. Hear how we weave our way through the back streets of Marurai and into the ancient 'Tailor's Market'.
[Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu] This podcast is a car journey that starts off badly and turns into a nightmare journey from hell. It begins with a crash and ends with us getting lost in the middle of the Western Ghat mountain range. Along the way we discover a new breakfast and meet lots of people wearing green and orange.
[Bolgatty, Kerala] We have been so busy this week that we've not completed editing our next adventure, which takes us into the Western Ghats mountain range. In this podcast we offer a couple of poor excuses but round it off with some great news...
[Alleppey, Kerala] Lonely Planet has this down as a must-do before you die, and having spent a couple of days on the backwaters of Allepey, we concur. This is a bird-watchers and fish-eaters paradise. We take a gentle motor through the backwaters, viewing sunken rice fields and people-watching the locals as they go about their business on the river banks.
[Fort Cochin, Kerala] Finally, after a year's absence! Welcome to Series 2 of followtheboat podcasts! This entire series is dedicated to our travels around the Indian sub-continent. We aim to get under the skin of India, the people and the culture. We've got a ton of adventures that take us from the very north in Sikkim to the very south of Tamil Nadu.
In this first episode we take a nice, gentle stroll around Fort Cochin, the area in Kochi where the European adventurers settled after opening up trade routes between Asia and Europe. It's a typically warm day so Liz hides under the shade of the tree-lined avenues, forever surrounded by the cawing of crows.
[Cochin, Kerala] We take a break from our travels to witness an unprecedented event in Cochin. Dish Dash, a sail boat from Dubai that hit a reef off the coast of India, has to make an emergency stop in Cochin where skipper Johnno decides to haul the boat out the water. This has never been done in Cochin. Indeed we believe this is the first sail boat ever to be hauled out the water in the whole of India. It is a logistical nightmare.(Contains one mild swear word)
[Through The Porthole] This programme started off as an exclusive interview with Lo Brust, the organiser of the Vasco Da Gama rally. Recorded a few months ago before the Chandlers were released by their Somali pirate captors Jamie and Lo discuss piracy, sailing tactics and whether there will ever be another Vasco Da Gama rally. That interview concludes with a catch-up, the day before Lo left Cochin marina last week with the fifth Vasco Da Gama rally.
In addition to this we managed to have a quick chat with Richard, one of the world circumnavigation Blue Water Rally organisers, and Jeremy, a skipper taking part. Currently they are having to think hard about their sailing route. The situation in Egypt may force them to spend more time in India.
All these interviews give a great insight into rallies, their organisation and, more seriously, the political and economic situations that have a direct impact on sailing through the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea.
This podcast is also special because is the last in our current series. Fear not, we will return in a couple of months with some exclusive insights into our travels around India, but we're going to take a short break and discover a bit more about this incredible country and the Indian people.
[India] This podcast is not to be listened to whilst eating. You've no doubt heard that travelling in India can be plagued by cases of Dehli Belly and this week neither Katy nor Jamie escaped its wrath. This is a step-by-step account of a rather hilarious day that was only funny for the observers.
[India] There's nothing I like better than sailing with a bunch of girls in bikinis - what man wouldn't, eh? In this weeks episode we're joined by Liz's old friends, Emma and Katy. They very nearly didn't make it though...
[India] This is the podcast you've been waiting for! We finally get to visit the slums of Mumbai, taking in Dharavi, where parts of Slumdog Millionaire was filmed, as well as the poorer central Mumbai slums where we take in street dwellers living in wendy houses and glorified bunk beds. Despite this, we were almost always welcomed with open arms.
[India] Mumbai is an incredible city and we were keen to explore as soon as we moored up. In this week's podcast you'll be pleased to know that Liz takes the helm and takes us on a wonderful little guided tour of just a small part of Mumbai. We begin at the hanging gardens...
[Arabian Sea] Once again Jamie gets confused as to what day it is, but a sharp knock by a fishing boat against Esper's hull soon brings him back to the real world.
It seems we are not the only boat to suffer damage, however, as other vessels on the rally have their own problems. At the end of this podcast you'll hear Mary of Still Dreaming alluding to an unfortunate incident at anchor in Mumbai where considerable damage was done to a number of boats. Meanwhile it seems Easy and Free have their own problems and have to make a B-line to Goa.
Still, let's not let this mar the celebration of a wonderful crossing of the Arabian Sea. Eight days and 960 miles later Mumbai's hazy skyline makes herself known to a tired but elated Vasco Da Gama Rally.
[Arabian Sea] In our penultimate Arabian Sea crossing podcast Jamie decides to erect something very big that scares Liz. Meanwhile back at Wybunbury Delves Primary School the kids send the Esper gang a message. It feels great to know that we've done something good, especially after a day of no wind, sunburn and cursing.
[Arabian Sea] Broken steering, hurting backs, sweaty cupboards and incessant chat on the VHF enough to drive the calmest person up the wall. Sometimes it's best to just turn off the VHF, stop looking at the chart plotter and put to one side all the stuff that interferes with what sailing is really all about.
[Arabian Sea] Coinciding with the Chandler's release from Somalia by pirates this week we return to the high seas, now entering the middle of the Arabian Sea. We are in the same area the Chandlers were two years ago.
What was a great sail is now turning into a bit of a nightmare with steering problems and no wind. And then there are the freaks on the VHF radio...
[Through The Porthole] The second of our two-part podcast is here. This is the primary school project we've been working on with Nance Lake of Wybunbury Delves Primary School in Cheshire. The children are reading Kensuke's Kingdom and wanted to learn about life at sea.
Don't forget you can comment and email us via our website, www.followtheboat.com.
[Through The Porthole] This is a special podcast put together for primary school children.
This two-part project started when Nancy Lake emailed us asking if we could answer some questions for her class at Wybunbury Delves Primary School. As their teacher Nancy is reading them 'Kensuke's Kingdom' by Michael Morpurgo, a story of a boy who becomes ship-wrecked. To help put the story in context we have answered some of the children's questions about what it is like to live at sea.
[Arabian Sea] We're now fully into the Arabian Sea and not shopped for weeks yet Liz still manages to pull of a culinary delight in the galley. It is the perfect meal for a perfect day's sailing, having left the wind pilot to do all the steering. THIS is the kind of sailing we love!
[Arabian Sea] In this week's podcast we return to the Vasco Da Gama rally where we finally leave the coast of Oman and head into the Arabian Sea. Next stop: Mumbai!
You can hear the sense of relief as we leave the convoy, but Dan on Still Dreaming, our ever hard-working net controller, spots something mysterious in the sky, and reports on further piracy attacks.
[Through The Porthole] Many of our podcast listeners don't get a chance to check out our website updates so we've made the job easier for you. Last month Liz and Jamie were interviewed by MarineBiz television channel about their sailing background and the interview was broadcast earlier this week. We've decided to turn that interview into an audio podcast, so here it is in all its glory. Finally, someone interviews us!
[Oman] [Not for children or the faint-hearted] Offensive, rude and quite un-pc: whatever happened to those two lovely young chaps who joined the rally in Egypt? After 3,000 miles something changed and we ended up with potty-mouthed drunken sailors. In this podcast Terry of Roam II takes on the challenge of interviewing Robbie and Cillian, two chaps who met after cycling across Europe and joined the rally in the Red Sea. Please do not listen to if you are easily offended.
[Oman] We spent some weeks in Salalah and almost went stir crazy. The long wait for Indian visas and administrative red tape meant we were stuck in a country that was too expensive to explore. The only thing that saved us from going mad were the beautiful beaches and the nearby Oasis Bar.
After weeks of waiting we had the usual captain's meeting, and with Indian visas secured, were ready to leave. Sadly our agent Mohammed let us down at the last minute, with some unprofessional behaviour and some surprise additional costs added to our already huge mooring fees. We were glad to leave.
Sep 17th, 2010 by followtheboat
[Oman] An exclusive! This is a classified recording between the Royal Navy and followtheboat about anti-piracy tactics. Much of this conversation is classified and we are obliged to not broadcast any strategy undertaken by the British Royal Navy and the Vasco Da Gama rally. What we can broadcast, however, is a very interesting discussion between two senior Naval officers and the skippers and owners of private sail boats on the rally. The British Navy is one of over 60 different countries operating in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean in the fight against piracy. If you know little about the piracy situation or what we as boat owners have to go through when considering our route through this dangerous stretch of water then you will find this very interesting.
[Oman] On the 24th March this year we published on followtheboat.com a transcript of the communication between a NATO warship and a vessel that was being boarded by pirates. It makes for harrowing reading. In this podcast we capture the warship relaying the unfortunate news to a neighbouring Omani warship. We also catch the Net, which is the rally's daily VHF forum, and listen to the implications of this attack.
[Pirate Alley] The home-run! At least that's what we believe before we get to Salalah. More on that in a later episode but in the meantime we make the most of our last part of the official Pirate Alley stretch and amuse ourselves by tuning in to the VHF. The freaks really come out at night you know.
[Pirate Alley] With just one more day to go before our arrival in Salalah we're under the impression that it is almost all over. The group relaxes in the dead calm seas, but there's nothing like the sight of a warship on the horizon to excite these intrepid sailors. It's time we pulled together to show these naval chaps exactly how coordinated we really can be!
Aug 20th, 2010 by followtheboat
[Pirate Alley] We only spent two nights in Mukala but it was enough to relax, refuel and flirt with the local fishermen... and that was just Millie. We depart and start off with a positive attitude. It is soon eroded as we catch again and again communication between Nato warships and commercial vessels who have spotted suspicious fishing skiffs in the vicinity.
[Pirate Alley] In last week's podcast there was drama after drama, with boats being towed, colliding vessels, more fishing nets and some even taking on water. The next day, feeling that we deserved a rest from this stress, a number of boats, Esper included, decided to break rank, make the most of the favourable winds, turn the engine off and go for a well-deserved sail. Unbeknown to us we had chosen THE most dangerous stretch of water in which to have our fun. Only a week previously there had been a pirate attack in the exact spot we hoisted sail. Only one person was aware of this, though, and boy did he have something to say about it when we dragged ourselves into Mukala.
[Pirate Alley] This week's podcast sees us caught up in fishing nets again, slap bang in the centre of pirate alley. In last week's episode Lo Brust, the rally leader aboard his boat Mistral, had successfully thrown a line to Jean-Claud and Marlene aboard Anthea. Anthea is now being towed by Mistral. It didn't take long for another two boats to run into trouble... as well as each other. Patience is a commodity that can run out...
[Pirate Alley] The next part of our Pirate Alley excursion is quite unbelievable as we encounter three major problems within the same night! We've split the podcasts up and in the next couple of episodes we have a collision, more fishing net problems and you'll also hear how one boat starts taking in water. Today's episode, however, deals with the minor issue of a boat breaking down in the middle of nowhere!
[Pirate Alley] It's Jamie's 40th birthday. No partying for him though as we move into our second day in Pirate Alley where two boats have to tend to disfunctional alternators. One of the boats is Esper.
To make matters worse the inevitable happens: two fishing dows are spotted on the horizon, suspiciously following the rally. Could they be pirates? And if so, what chance do we have of reinforcing our safty in numbers strategy if Esper's group is all over the place?
[Pirate Alley] The hilarious departure from Port Aden raises our spirits as we begin our journey into Pirate Alley. Within two hours distaster strikes as one of the boats runs into a fishing net. In the dark.
This collective of boats isn't called a rally for nothing. Listen to the boats rallying together to get us through the first of many hurddles lying ahead
[Yemen] The day before we left Aden we were invited to another leaving do put on by Colonel Mohammed the Coast guard-cum-port police-cum-general bigwig.
We were thrilled to find that they had invited a group of ten young fishermen who were dancing to a live band, performing traditional dance. They then invited the rally participants to join them and Jamie couldn't resist busting out his moves. One of the coastguards very kindly gave us a video clip of this momentous ocassion, telling us that this was the first and only time an English man has danced in routine with Yemeni fishermen! You can see the clip on the website.
After the dance we polled some of the rally participants about their thoughts on the next leg of the trip, which takes us through Pirate Alley.
We also got to chat to a Yemeni woman, covered head to foot in black with just her eyes visible. Her English is excellent and makes for a great little interview.
[Yemen] In recent months Yemen's economic and social problems have been well documented but the most evident problem to the visiting tourist isn't covered by the news.
It is 'gat', also pronounced 'cat' and spelled 'QAT' which is a legal drug openly available and openly consumed throughout the country. It is a growing concern as more and more of the population spend their earnings on this opiate.
Our taxi driver, small-time tour operator and all-round nice bloke Selim takes Cilian of 'Cobble', Robbie of 'Rhumb Do' and Jamie on a tour of Aden.
He constantly refers to 'Crazy Place' which, we eventually find out, is the gat den. This covered market, with men selling the drug from wrought iron beds or from the back of their pick-up trucks, truly is a crazy place.
[Yemen] The beauty of what we are doing is that you get to make friends in high places.
Meet Colonel Mohammed, the big cheese of the Yemeni Coastguard. This happy chap hosted a reception for the Vasco da Gama rally, showed us his fleet of boats and eventually invited us back to his office.
It was here that along with Fiona and Terry of Roam 2, Francesca and Marco of Easy and Free, we learned about the colonel's sex life. His secret is the aphrodisiac-cum-opiate 'gat'. It is chewed in the afternoon but its effect in the bedroom takes place after dark. Apparently.
We learn more about gat, and how it is destroying Yemen, in next week's podcast.
[Eritrea] Last week we were anchored in a restricted area and the Eritrean navy kicked us out. It turned out that they had done us a favour, because we motored two miles up the coast and dropped the hook on the western shore of Sadla Island. This eerily beautiful volcanic lump is teeming with wildlife. We go ashore and discover mischievous turtles, Osprey chicks and a strange grave yard.
Check out the followtheboat.com website for some of Jamie's best pictures yet. Click the 'Places' tab at the top of the home page and scroll down to the list of countries. Under 'Eritrea' you'll see a link to Sadla Island.
[Eritrea] The Convergence Zone. A place where the unforgiving seas force lesser men to give up and go home.
The podcast begins with us leaving Freedom Bay and looking at problems on other boats in the rally. It ends, however, in Marsa Dudo with an analysis of a problem we encounter ourselves.
This was a grueling hundred mile trip that should have been completed in 24 hours. It took much, much longer. Along the way Esper finds herself in a critical situation.
[Eritrea] This podcast is an insight into a very important skipper's meeting, held on board Mistral, the boat belonging to rally organiser Lo Brust. You'll hear the lapping dinghies and gentle breeze in the background for authenticity.
This is a very important meeting as we discuss the convoy sailing tactics.
What I love about this podcast is the relaxed attitude we take to motoring into a few headwinds and the expectation of an easy motor sail to Marsa Dudo, 100 miles away.
Also listen out for the blasse comment about the military not causing us any problems further down the coast. Needless to say we were kicked out of two anchorages by smiling Eritrean navy personnel.
[Eritrea] We leave Massawa and head to an anchorage called Ras Corali, 30 miles away. From hereon in, the direction of our progress becomes problematic. How do we head south east without motoring directly into wind?
And should we move at all when half the rally is going down with a mysterious illness? Still, we should be grateful we have the available medicines on board to cope with a fever, some people aren't so lucky.
This podcast captures a few yotties discussing passage plans in between diving under the boat to scrape the prop and giving the locals some much needed medicine.
[Eritrea] We spent some time in Massawa and we took in a trip to the Eritrean capital, Asmara, which is based above the clouds in the cool mountains.
We didn't take the podcast recorder with us as we were concentrating on photographs, but in this podcast we recount both the trip up the mountains and the city itself, and laugh at Ian of Rhumb Do, who froze in his seat when a curious primate decided to stick his head through the bus window.
We suggest checking out the followtheboat.com webite for lots of pics of Massawa and Asmara too. Just click on the 'Places' tab at the top of the homepage and scroll down the list of places we've visited to click on the 'Massawa'and Asmara links.
[Eritrea] Our last stop was a place called Khor Nawarat, which was our last stop in Sudan. Having finally learned how to use our wind pilot we make the next 180 miles under sail alone and find ourselves in Massawa, the port town of Eritrea.
Despite being the second poorest country in the world Eritrea is clean, friendly and relaxing, and Massawa a welcome return to some kind of civilisation, including bars that serve local cheap beer!
We spent some time in Massawa and managed to wrangle not just a trip to the mountainous capital, Asmara, but get invited to the Fenkle party, which was a celebration of the country's independence twenty years ago.
The theme for this podcast is baboons and biros. Check out the followtheboat.com webite for lots of pics of Massawa and Asmara too. Just click on the 'Places' tab at the top of the homepage and scroll down the list of places we've visited to click on the 'Massawa' link.
[Sudan] When we last left you we had just entered Sudan, where we discovered an idyllic anchorage and met Duygu The Dugong.
We reluctantly left this spot a couple of days later and continued sotuhwards on to our next Sudanese marsa, Inkeifel.
Expect plenty of fish, the perfect barbie-on-a-beach, a mangrove swamp and a possible sighting of Ursula Andress, though I suspect that last bit is all in Jamie's mind.
[Sudan] We finally cross the boarder of Egypt and pass in to Sudan, one of the poorest and most war-torn countries on this planet.
For us, however, its poor economy is made up for by the very rich beauty of nature. The anchorage of Marob is our first taste of 'real' Africa and within 24 hours we have run-ins with turtles, ospreys, camels and, get this, a dugong!
[Egypt] "Ships that pass in the night" is a great nautical term that has passed into everyday English parlance.
In this podcast we go back to its original context and pass not just another ship in the night but a strange, alien-like object too. Under the cover of darkness identifying what these things are is a great game that whiles away the night watches.
[Egypt] Now that you have got to know the Vasco Da Gama rally participants we continue with our documentation of our progress southwards. Divanty's rudder is fixed and so we finally get to leave Luli and head towards the Egyptian border. In this little podcast we discuss how the boat's navigation system works and give you the low-down on 'current' and 'tide', which will hamper our progress later on in the series!
[Through the Porthole] For those people who don't own a boat but would like to experience the wonders of living aboard, take some inspiration from these two chaps. Both Cillian and Robbie had been cycling across Europe and met on New Year's Eve. Within a week they had joined the Vasco Da Gama rally aboard 'Cobble' and 'Rhumb Do' respectively. Up until this point both boats had been single-handed by their skippers, Morris and Ian.
Cillian and Robbie have hit the deck running and have become part of the family. It's nice to have some young blood amongst the group and they, like everyone else, have their own story to tell.
[Through the Porthole] When you meet Colin and Trish you quickly realise that they are a double act and talking to the two of them together is both interesting and entertaining. We board their own boat, called 'Moody Time' (the boat is manufactured by the British boat builder, Moody) and learn more about this couple from 'God's own country', Lancashire.
[Egypt] This is a followtheboat podcast first: in response to an email from a podcast listener we've taken on board his comments and produced a programme for him!
Robert Newton of North Yorkshire emailed us the following:
I am listening to all your podcast's - good work! I would be interested to hear the boat types and sizes that you are cruising in the company of. I aspire to become a cruiser. At the moment we charter but I would really like to take the plunge and buy a yacht and go cruising - but what model? I have the following sort of "short list" in my mind - but its a bit divorced from reality really (floats free of the real budget):
Sunbeam, Sirius, Franchini, Regina of Vindo, Oyster, Moody, Northwind, Southerly
So, upon receipt of this email we hopped in the dinghy whilst at anchor between Egypt and Sudan, and polled the rally skippers on their thoughts on their own boats. For the record, Robert, there are two Moody's, an Oyster and a Southerly on the rally, so you're thinking in the right direction.
[Through the Porthole] This is a 'Through The Porthole' profile of a solo sailor, Ian of 'Rhumb Do'. Since the age of 16 Ian's wanderlust has seen him in over 80 countries, and the lust to wander continues. He is the rally's only solo sailor.
[Egypt] When you last heard from us a couple of weeks ago we were in Luli, waiting for the southerlies to pass and repairing a damaged rudder. Because of this set-back, which wasn't so bad since it was a nice little spot, we pondered what to do next.
This is a recording of the Net, a kind of interactive radio show on the VHF. On it you'll hear how we discuss and conclude our passage plan, as well as some positive words from Divanty, the boat whose rudder was repaired. For obvious reason we have delayed the publication of this podcast until now.
[Through the Porthole] Meet Dan and Mary, a gregarious couple from the Great Lakes. Whilst their boat is called Still Dreamin' they certainly have their feet firmly on the ground. This is a fascinating profile of the two Americans who are taking part in the Vasco Da Gama rally.
So, are you sitting comfortably? Then take a deep breath...
[Through the Porthole] Pat and Tony are country people at heart and it's always a joy to talk to them about various aspects of nature as we travel towards India. In this brief chat on a windy day we board 'Full Flight' and learn about their time back in the South Downs in the UK. Dog lead and binoculars at the ready...
[Egypt] We finally leave Egypt, at least officially. Having done the paper work to exit Egypt we made our way southwards, only to run into some nasty southerlies. With a lack of protective anchorages from southerlies we opt for Luli, which is a good 13 hours away. Unfortunately this meant we made the anchorage at the end of the day. It caught us out and three boats hit coral, one with some serious consequences.
[Egypt] We spent three days in Luxor with Terry and Fiona of Roam II, taking in as many sights as possible before we left Hurghada. We'll post up some pictures and related podcasts at a later date. To give you a little taster, however, we thought we'd post up this little podcast, recorded on our third day in Luxor aboard a traditional felucca.
A felucca is a traditional sailing boat used on the Nile. We're unsure exactly how old these modes of transport are but they are still used to get up and down Egypt's great river. We get to chat to the skipper, a young Nubian, and also get Terry and Fiona's take on life on the Nile.
[Egypt] The podcast was recorded on the first day of our three day trip to Luxor and takes in Karnak, Hatshepsut's Temple and The Valley of the Kings. It is a fantastic walk-around commentary and is extremely well observed. What else would you expect from the daughter of a professor of archaeology? It's quite amusing too, especially the observations of the eastern European 'ladies' who were out in force that day, tottering around in 4 inch heels and rubbing their greasy mitts over the ancient hieroglyphs.
Go to www.followtheboat.com where you will find over 70 photographs to accompany this fantastic podcast.
[Through the Porthole] Jordan and Leah are the youngest rally participants and this impromptu recording caught them hanging out on their boat, Storm Dodger, on New Year's Day. We get a little glimpse of what it's like to be a teenager and young girl and, get this, Jordan even invites us into his cabin! A rare opportunity not to be missed!
[Through the Porthole] Despite Egypt's current status as a Muslim country it actually hosted the oldest form of organised Christianity. They are called Coptics and make up between 10-15% of the Egyptian population. Hopefully further down the line I will get to chat more intimately with a Muslim and what their faith means to them but whilst in Egypt I was desperate to chat to a Coptic.
Eventually I pulled it off. I met a young Coptic woman in Luxor who was willing to chat and be recorded, a feat unto itself since most Egyptians are quite guarded when it comes to opinions. Despite taking a few minutes to open up and insisting that we change her name to Maria, the name of her daughter, this is a great insight. Furthermore we conducted our little chat aboard a horse and carriage, taking in the scenes of the backstreets of Luxor!
There's a lot of traffic in the first part of the interview, giving you an idea of how noisy Egyptian streets can be; then we take a turning down a side street and 'Maria' talks more about Coptics and their special calendar. After we finish chatting Liz takes over and records some of the fascinating sounds coming from the market street.
A truly atmospheric podcast!
[Through the Porthole] A happy new year to you! We celebrate the arrival of 2010 with a new series of podcasts from us, which we've titled 'Through The Porthole'. They are a series of interviews with the Vasco Da Gama rally participants (the rally, remember, takes us from Turkey to India). To maintain interest amongst you non-sailors out there we've made a point of not talking about sailing but instead to find out a bit more about the people taking part. You'll soon discover from this series that these people are many and varied.
Enough of my ramblings, meet Andy of sailing boat 'Jenzminc 6'. Despite claiming that he only knows about sailing, this man has a very interesting story.
[Egypt] This podcast was recorded for family and friends of the rally participants but it ends with a sobering message from Lo Brust, the rally organiser. Twenty or so yotties got together to put on a 'pot luck' festive Christmas dinner. Italian, Dutch, Englishm, Swiss, Belgian, American... that's just a few of the nationalities who got together and recorded a few words for absent friends and family.
[Egypt] Yesterday was Friday, holy day here in Egypt, and there is no mistaking it! All day the town reverberated with the sound of the mullah calling the men to prayer, a sound that is amplified through the many speakers adorning the minarets. Jamie jumped on his bike and recorded a little tour of these sounds, which are quite extraordinary to the western ear.
This is quite a raw recording and you'll note in the twelve minutes of footage not once do you not hear the mullah.
[Turkey] We transit out from the canal and into the Gulf of Suez. If you've ever wondered what a Beaufort Force Seven (gusting eight) is like, we can now tell you. We have the underpants to prove it. That cargo ship approaching the side of our boat didn't help but we made it across from the Sinai back to the west coast of the Red Sea and eventually into Hurghada.
[Egypt] The first of two podcasts recorded as we transited out from the canal and into the Gulf of Suez. We finally leave the evil clutches of the Suez Authority and into open waters where we anchor for the first time in Egypt, receive some useful information from an ex-pat, have the best sail of our lives...ever... and catch a little fishy.
[Egypt] Part two of our podcast recorded whilst traveling the Suez Canal. We come across the Bitter Lakes and manage to get our seemingly subdued pilot riled when we run over fishing nets. Jamie also attempts a basic history lesson of the canal.
[Egypt] Part one of our podcast recorded as we transited the Suez Canal from Port Said to Ismalia. In this episode we meet our pilot, Moussa, and discover why he has six children. We eye up a huge convoy as it passes our port side, and we gorge ourselves on mangos. All in the name of science of course.
[Turkey] Having left Turkey we sail 400 miles and land in Egypt. In this episode Liz catches our first official trolled fish and Millie the Cat goes bonkers as she eyes up her supper. We ride 3m waves and eventually land in Port Said. Back go the jeans and jumper and out come the shorts and t-shirt!
[Turkey] The first of two 20 minute podcasts, documenting our 400nm crossing from Turkey to Egypt. In this episode we break things and talk about various aspects of navigation. This is the perfect podcast for introducing you to the wonders of sailing, especially if you have never stepped on board a boat before. Just don't follow Jamie's advice on navigating by the stars.
Oct 19th, 2009 by followtheboat
[Through The Porthole] This, our first official followtheboat podcast, is an interview with a young south African family half way through a sailing circumnavigation. Neil and Ronel are parents to Emille and Pete, aged seven and five, and educate their children on board. We find out how. Also we discover why they are stuck in Turkey... you wouldn't wish this on your worst enemy!