THE FISHERMEN OF VANAKBARA.

Ships and sea stories always fascinated me, since i was a little kid and my grandfather would read me books and tell me tales of sailors.

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In the island of Diu, at it’s western end, right on the Arabic Sea, there’s a little fishing village called Vanakbara. Everytime i come down here, i rent a scooter and spend some time driving up and down the 13 kilometres that separate Diu town from the harbour.

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The port is bursting with life since the early hours of the morning. Local fishermen start to work while the temperatures are still bearable and carry on all day. Once the fish has been brought back and sent to the market, it’s time to look after the ships maintenance.

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Some of them use the boats to dry the fish: hundreds of herrings are hanged on ropes under the strong midday sun, and their silvery colour it’s almost blinding.

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A lot of the work involves the repairing of fishing nets. Sometimes up to 6 men have to do the job together, patiently, while chatting on the docks.

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At the end of the docks, new ships are being built. Huge cranes move pieces of wood, while these amazing pieces of work are being created.

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The colours of boats, their little flags and the strong smell of fish, give this little port a dreamy feel. Things change slowly down here, and it really looks like this place is coming out from a pirate’s story.

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While i find myself dreaming about this hidden corner of India, i observe how much daily hard work is put into it. Women and their young daughters are still doing the hard work, preparing the fish to sell at the market, waking up at dawn and carrying on all day, under the sun.

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And the big sea birds are still patiently waiting for the leftovers: there’s work for everyone here…

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