One of the things that made it so perfect was a boat ride we took in a traditional outrigger fishing boat. These types of boats are owned by the middle income fishermen, the ones who can fish up to a couple of miles from shore. These are also the same Tamil fishermen who greet me with "Where is your husband, the man who speaks our language?"
Pushing off from shore.
A whiskered tern flies by.
More terns join in, hoping for a fishy treat.
Our captain, or at least the guy in charge of the rudder!
The view overhead.
A fishing boat owned by the wealthiest fishermen - these can go several miles offshore, maybe further, and are equipped with motors, not sails.
Another overhead view.
See the little stick on the right hand side? This is the stick of the outrigger that the captain walked on in the heaving Indian Ocean to take our picture. He asked Steve if he wanted to come out, and when Steve said no thanks, began jumping and down on the log while laughing! We were sitting a few feet above the water on some wooden slats covered by a thin mattress. Notice how the boat is held together with rope! The captain also didn't think that we were getting wet enough, so he made sure that he splashed our legs with warm ocean water before we returned to shore. See how the sail is on the left here? This picture was taken just after they turned the sail. Instead of turning the boat around, the sail is changed from the front to the back using a complicated series of ropes, and then the rudder is moved from the back to the front.
Sunset two kilometres offshore.
This is the poorest type of fisherman - just a little raft, sometimes made of molded plastic if he is fortunate, and a paddle, and a net.
Hauling the boat ashore.
Steve jumps out to help.
Back on land again.
A wonderful ride!