An infinity pool, Konkani cuisine, dance flooring: The maiden voyage of M.V. Angriya captures the ineffable romance of the ocean.
Goa Maharashtra Ocean
| POSTED ON: December 7, 2018
The Angriya is reviving a route that was in use right until the Konkan railways arrived in 1993. Image Courtesy: Angriya
The nice detail about receiving on board a cruise for the very first time, is that all the things smacks of novelty. Doors open on to unseen decks, a foghorn blast augurs superior instances and the expanse of ocean unwraps itself like a quiet secret. The authentic magic however, transpires in the navigation room—and I really don’t just signify the mundane act of steering the ship—I imply the bewitching movement of vessels on screens, the crackle of radio interceptions and the drama of knobs and dials at operate.
On this distinct working day I am in the navigation room of the M.V. Angriya, a vessel charting the route from Mumbai to Goa, the Arabian Sea spreading out in entrance of us like in a 17th-century Flemish painting. Captain Nitin Dhond, a bearded, avuncular man is at the ship’s helm and is telling me how he acquired seduced by the sea as a boy or girl. It was in simple fact traversing this quite route on transport vessels like the Konkan Shakti and Konkan Seva that plied by means of the seventies and eighties ahead of the arrival of the Konkan Railways. “Many of us have the recollections and the nostalgia of these journeys,” he says. “A group of us believed, 1 day we need to commence this all over again.”
That is how we are aboard the Angriya, slicing by way of the shimmering surfaces of the sea at 17 knots for each hour on a sizzling Oct day, about 10 kilometres off the shoreline. On its 1st formal journey, its 104 rooms crammed to capacity, its corridors populated by revellers, its kitchens briskly sending out food, Dhond hopes this will be the start of many journeys for what is a person of the couple of domestic cruise ships owned by an Indian company. “We had been considering about this for a long time,” he claims. “Cruising has not been an Indian way but it has been selecting up not too long ago.”
50 % the appeal is self-evident—14 to 16 hours bobbing about at sea, marinating in the unique pleasure of accomplishing nothing at all aside from inhaling and imbibing. With its infinity pool, six bars, two eating places and dance floor, the Angriya has Gatsbyesque ambitions. Dhond pitches it consequently: start off the party even prior to you get to Goa or go on partying even following you leave. On weekends, when the ship is docked in Mumbai, they program to host functions by the shore.
The evening push-off from Princess Dock hits all the right notes—sunset with Purple Gate receding on the jap waterfront, the acquainted shapes of Victoria Terminus, the B.M.C. making, the new wing of the Taj carving up the skyline, a ceremonial escort of tugboats preceding us. Pratish Khedekar, a navy male and marine heritage researcher, explains the personalized as a colonial ritual, adopted each individual time a ship undertakes a first, very last or any critical voyage. What on earth is a historian interloper carrying out among the civilian crew, one particular could possibly question? Khedekar won’t be on each and every journey, but the management strategies to have a historical past college student on every single voyage, really should a shopper be assailed by an urgent issue about say, Maratha naval heritage, or the exploits of colonial seafarers.
The ship by itself has been named for Kanhoji Angre, an 18th-century admiral of the Maratha navy, whose portray adorns a wall at the reception. Further more down, the decks’ corridors are populated with black-and-white photos and historical nuggets, its cabins named for geographic spots or islands, and the reading home has a bunch of nautical literature. Some of the loos still have Japanese people, a connective tissue to the ship’s past as the Ogasawara Maru, a ferry involving Tokyo and Ogasawara. The ship has aspirations for character together with those people of becoming a bash boat, so credit to it for trying to capture the ineffable romance of the sea.
Some of that also rests in the serendipitous maritime sightings doable from the vessel. Talk to Nirmal Kulkarni, the govt director of ecology, who has been on this route multiple occasions, and has noticed much maritime and avian daily life. A slight person with an earring clipped to the major of his ear, his formal mandate requires overseeing the ship’s intersection with its setting.
The next early morning, at 7 a.m., he gathers people on the front deck for some birdwatching. I experienced not suspected that a pleasure cruise could choose on the colours of a safari. Neither had I planned to wake up early on what was intended to be a decadent, self-indulgent journey. But the probability of observing dolphins, or even whales, as Kulkarni had performed on preceding journeys, is only also tempting to go up. “You cannot guarantee you will see some thing each and every time,” Kulkarni cautions, watchful of elevating people’s hopes.
Slivers of silver periodically shine via the drinking water and birds flap in the distance. That early morning there are no mammals spotted, but we see frigate birds, wagtails, what is quite possibly a pipe fish, flying fish and gulls. Each and every journey will have a maritime researcher on board—both to lead the activity and to collect data of sightings for study purposes.
If all of this appears far too much like being on Darwin’s H.M.S. Beagle, panic not, beer is at hand throughout the ship—a ideal foil to the battering solar. And intermittent napping is generally an option—after the sightings and breakfast, I immediately retire to my cabin on C-deck for some mid-early morning shut-eye. Sleep is uncomplicated and easy in the cosy, properly-appointed double place with my meals securely in my abdomen, even although I have carried the obligatory Avomine in my baggage.
From port to port all those 17 several hours move amongst eating, drinking, dozing and bouncing from deck to deck finding spots to study. Nevertheless, the Angriya would scarcely qualify in the ranks of the certainly lavish. Definitely its rooms are satisfying and thoroughly clean, its food decent, its staff members pleasurable. But even its press launch was circumspect on its 1-percentness, reading through more like a cross concerning a company vision document and an advert for a yoga retreat: “It empowers individuals to hook up, take part and rejoice the newness in life. It is truly a voyage of wows.”
Nonetheless I am amazed, not only simply because I’ve hardly ever been on this sort of a large ship prior to for these types of a big swathe of time, I also have no idea cruises of this sort could be this, well, substantial-minded, mixing history and biology with sun-bathing and selfie-having.
They also have to be simple. The ship will not sail all through the monsoon, Dhond tells me, even although it is safe and sound to do so, to prevent probable soreness from much more turbulent waters. Even so, the initial issue Kulkarni tells us when we arrive is that it is a flawlessly serene and safe route. That is comforting to know.
Just before boarding I experienced expressed worry to the editor of this journal about being on the ship’s inaugural journey. Was it even harmless? Was I just some form of guinea pig? Could unexpected potential risks strike? “I don’t consider,” she experienced replied, “there are icebergs en route.” I can validate this is genuine. Froth-totally free seas and frothy beers amen to that.
The Angriya (www.angriyacruises.com) will sail involving Mumbai and Goa’s Mormugao port a few times a 7 days, producing six journeys in all. Unique sorts of accommodation are accessible on board from dorm rooms to pods to double rooms, with price ranges beginning at `4,300 for each human being for a 1-way ticket. Some lodging have hooked up loos, for others there are typical amenities. Supper, breakfast and tea are provided in the ticket charge. Features on board include a swimming pool, spa, many bars and restaurants serving Konkani and Maharashtrian fare, a reading through room. Passengers may well carry up to 25 kg as checked-in baggage and 10 kg as cabin baggage. There is no Wi-Fi offered on board, no space company and no laundry services. 1st assist is available, and the team has been skilled in case of a health care crisis.