Post card picture

Koh Tao

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Dreaming of sunsets over the sea

Rays of light on Radhanagar Beach, Havelock Island

I’ve been writing a travelogue and environmental essay. Which has me thinking of the Andamans, sand and diving.

Thankfully, I get back to the sea next week, if only for a little while. FYI, starting Monday, the blog will be on autopilot for a few days.

The sunset above was just too easy.

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Lingering devastation of the tsunami

Dead, bleached trees are the most visible legacy of the tsunami

Dead, bleached trees are the most visible legacy of the tsunami

Hut Bay, Little Andaman, which was struck by a 30-meter wall of water five years ago, still carries a few scars: now-empty beaches where homes once stood. But photographing that dramatically is a bit akin to taking pictures of something that isn’t there.

The most stark reminder: sun-bleached trees along the forest line (above) that were stripped of their leaves by the force of nature.

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The sea is a lovely, cruel mistress

A fetish to the sea goddess

A fetish to the sea goddess

On December 26, 2004, a tsunami wiped out a swath of fishermen’s homes on the beach near Hut Bay on Little Andaman island.

Five years later, I went there to see what, if anything, was left.

The fishermen and their familes have moved inland, afraid of the sea. The beach is scattered with garbage and little else.

A small temple was rebuilt near the beach, and fishermen worship there and at fetishes along the sandy spit for good luck as they head for their daily catch. Hanging from the fetish: bangles, earrings, hair and a comb.

The sea goddess is still worshipped because they know no other way. She is wonderful and terrible all at once, one fishermen said.

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Who needs baseball?

If I start a cricket team, the mascot will be the Cubs

If I start a cricket team, the mascot will be the Cubs

Indian men play cricket everywhere. Here, they’re doing six-a-side on the uneven ground once home to a fishing shantytown  on Little Andaman that was wiped out by the 2004 tsunami.

Locals haven’t rebuilt there; they say it’s unlucky; they say they’re afraid of the ocean.

But men will play cricket there, no problem.

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It’s very cold in Delhi at the moment…

I had this one mostly to myself

I had this one mostly to myself

I’m actually wearing socks at the moment. I haven’t worn socks in six weeks.

And I’m wrapped in a Kenyan Maasai shawl. That’s how cold it is in my apartment in Delhi. The Jameson I’m sipping is only going so far.

So… the above picture is a little exercise in visualization. It’s my private beach in Tolagnaro, Madagascar. It actually wasn’t completely private, but it seemed that way when I took this picture on the hike there.

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Sunset over Havelock

Right before a my first night dive

Right before my first night dive

The sun dips to the horizon at about 4:45 p.m. on New Year’s Day as we tie on to the buoy at one of Havelock’s popular dive sites, the Wall. A new friend, Beatrice (above), and I both log our first night dive.

Little can compare to the transition from day to night underwater, as the deep blue of the sea turns to murky navy and then almost black.

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≤20 Seconds: Hermits of Havelock

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A year-in-review

2009 kinda kicked ass

2009 kinda kicked ass

This past year pretty much rocked. And the New Year came in fine manner.  No kisses, but a bonfire amid the palm trees (above), new friends, lobster, a decent cigar (thanks, C!), champagne and even the Harry Connick, Jr., band playing Auld Lang Syne at midnight (never leave home without the iPod).

I meant to post this sooner, but here’s a little look back at my new life (as chronicled on this blog):

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Hello gecko

Caught (and released) by researchers from Croatia/Serbia

Caught (and released) by researchers from Croatia/Serbia


Presenting a native son of Wandoor, the Andaman Islands Day Gecko. (More on this adventure later.)

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