Of Tar Balls and Missing Catamarans

Was supposed to return from Kihim last evening and all was well with the world. Then, a cursory call to the Mandwa jetty led to the realisation that all ferry services to the Gateway had been abruptly suspended. What should have been a peaceful 90 minute return home rapidly turned into a 5 hour nightmare… Catching a rickshaw to Alibaug, finding a vehicle willing to come here at a less-than-astronomical rate, negotiating the traffic at Wadkhal, at Pen, at Panvel, at Belapur, at Vashi, at Deonar, at Sion (and everywhere in between); transferring to a local taxi and finally reaching home at around 10.30pm.

Another thing that bothered me immensely on this trip was finding tar balls on the otherwise beautiful Kihim beach. I have since discovered that this is an annual “phenomenon” caused by the monsoon winds blowing illegally-dumped oil onto the sands. It happens all through the year but the oil usually disintegrates before coming to land. Not so when the winds are strong.

The National Institute of Oceanography has a detailed explanation on something that has been going on for decades with no apparent solution in sight.

Never again will I go there at this time of year!

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