Fishing Port

Vizhinjam, a serene fishing village, lies about 2 km south of one of the most beautiful beaches, Kovalam.

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Vizhinjam Fishing Harbour is a natural port which is about to be developed as a major port for which spade work is already in progress. It is the busiest fishing harbour in Thiruvananthapuram district in Southern India humming with activities all the days. The sight of hundreds of fishing boats crowding on the harbour is delighting.

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The red and white striped, cylindrical shaped lighthouse maintains a towering structure. A destination for the international travellers, the lighthouse and the port has its own charm and splendour in the coast for its historical importance.

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Sandpiper on the beach at 42 deg C

Temperatures touched a mild 42 deg C last Friday. Mild because it may go up to 50 deg C. Checked the wierd app on the iphone that tells the state of sea in real time. High tide around 0945 hrs which means the shallow sea will be almost covering the rocks near the shore. Clear water was just warm with lots of shells near the sea bottom. However, the water was receding fast and the rocks were becoming visible. Surprisingly, a black beaked bird with long slender legs, light brownish-grey plumage and white chest was seen running along the shore. Being a non-ornithologist, I was at a distinct disadvantage. The closest I could come near the name of that lovely looking bird was a sea-gull. Pardon my limited bird-vocabulory, but I do have friends who can take a real quick look at the bird and recite their name. But they are all scattered around the globe some getting up, some taking a siesta and others getting ready for bed. Calling anyone of them seemed inappropriate. A search on my iphone indicated the bird to be a Sandpiper. She was alone. Then from a distance, another Sandpiper – a male – landed, with ruffled feathers and with an obvious jet-lag… They both started running up and down the shore, feeding in between, completely oblivious to my presence…

I spend almost an hour watching these tiny birds… Am I becoming a bird-watcher?

SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER (Calidris pusilla)

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Momentary Pause

Kovalam has 3 major beaches in its 17 km coastline. The southernmost, known as the Lighthouse Beach is the most popular of the three. Several hotels, restaurants, lodges and shops are located here. Most of the restaurants serve fresh catch of the day.

The Northern most crescent, (with the different names Main Beach/Leela Beach/Samudra Beach) – is crowded on weekends, is very popular with the locals, day-travelers, and passing-by tourist coaches. During the week it is quiet.

The wave that paused momentarily before crashing on the rocks was shot from Hawa Beach in between the above two beaches.

But where does the sea gets the power to crash against the rocks? How come so much gentleness is hidden inside that power?

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Sea shells of Seef

Walking along the beach picking up seashells and sealife has been enjoyed by millions of people throughout the world. There is nothing more heartwarming than watching a young child run along the beach for hours on end excitedly pointing out all of the fabulous creatures and seashells that can be found along the seashore, and gathering up seashells to listen into.

The beach near Seef west-end, although strewn with rocks, are one place to visit on serene Friday mornings. Water is cool normally and one can actually see the tide coming in.

Shells are aplenty, which makes it a haven for the daughter, 10, who carries a load of them back home only to be thrown away by the ‘Internal Affairs’.

Many people pick up a seashell or two while on vacation at the beach. It makes a nice inexpensive memento of their vacation. The problems do not occur until they realize that if not cleaned properly, seashells can have a devastating effect. Many times seashells actually look considerably nicer without any algae and barnacles covering them. The natural color of seashells are often quite different from what you find at the beach. A good cleaning is all that is needed to bring this out and destroy any odors the seashells might have.

Drifter

Driftwood is wood that has been washed onto a shore or beach of a sea or river by the action of winds, tides, waves or man. In some waterfront areas, driftwood is a major nuisance. But not for the collectors and artistically inclined. However, the driftwood provides shelter and food for birds, fish and other aquatic species as it floats in the ocean. Gribbles, shipworms and bacteria decompose the wood and gradually turn it into nutrients that are reintroduced to the food web. Sometimes, the partially decomposed wood washes ashore, where it also shelters birds, plants, and other species. Driftwood can become the foundation for sand dunes.

Burning driftwood can produce polychlorinated dibenzodioxins (PCDDs), which are carcinogenic. For this reason burning driftwood is not recommended. The formation of PCDDs is well documented when organic compounds are combusted in the presence of chlorine, which is present in driftwood as a result of soaking in seawater.