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Thread: A Slow Boat Down the Ganges

  1. #1
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    Default A Slow Boat Down the Ganges

    Hello everyone and greetings from India. Come September 2017 I plan to take an inflatable canoe (Sea Eagle TC16) down 2,500km of the Holy Ganges. From all the research that one has done, it seems this will be the first time a canoe will go down the river. Rafts have done as have kayaks and SUPs ... but no canoes. Here is a review of the canoe ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3xMILj_47o

    More information on the effort is at http://www.otasurvivalschool.com/slow-boat-ganges/

    Wish me luck.

  2. #2

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    Yes, good luck Chandan.

    2500 kilometres, I have never paddled that distance before ever.

    What part of India/State do you start the voyage please?

    You said, in the introduction section that it may take several months, is that the voyage duration estimated time please?

    its sounds a very interesting project and am glad you can film it as the pictures and footage of scenery would be amazing.

    By by the way, any available specs available on the inflatable canoe, ie. weight and material?

    Cheers,

    Alex.?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boucaneer View Post
    Yes, good luck Chandan.

    2500 kilometres, I have never paddled that distance before ever.

    What part of India/State do you start the voyage please?

    You said, in the introduction section that it may take several months, is that the voyage duration estimated time please?

    its sounds a very interesting project and am glad you can film it as the pictures and footage of scenery would be amazing.

    By by the way, any available specs available on the inflatable canoe, ie. weight and material?

    Cheers,

    Alex.?
    Paddling 2,500km? I haven't done that either, but then there is always the first time, isn't it?

    The journey will start from the holy city of Haridwar in the state of Uttarakhand. This is where the fiery Ganges leaves the mountains and enters the plains. We will go through Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal to end where the Ganges disgorges her volume into the Bay of Bengal. A picture of the route can be seen on the event page ... http://www.otasurvivalschool.com/slow-boat-ganges/

    I expect to average about 50km a day. The river current is negligible and it will be almost entirely human powered. Plus there are the sand bars to navigate around. With 2.500km to go, I expect the journey to take around two months.

    The landscape all along the route is truly spectacular. Modernity, religion and Nature cohabit here. The sunrises are spectacular as are the country made boats going up and down the river. Fishermen throwing their nets like they have done for centuries. I hope to sight some of the endangered Gangetic River Dolphin, they have unfortunately gone hereditarily blind thanks to the pollution in the river.

    The specs of the Sea Eagle TC16 (from their website) are:
    Exterior
    488 cm x 97 cm
    Interior 462 cm x 64 cm
    Hull Weight 32 kg
    Load Capacity 2-3 Person (363 kg) or Persons + Gear (415 kg)
    Deflated Approx. 101 cm x 61 cm x 40 cm
    Chambers 3: Port, Starboard, Floor
    Inflation time 7-9 Minutes
    Seam Overlap
    Material 1100 Decitex Reinforced
    Tube Dimensions Gunwales 51 cm High at Bow & Stern, 38 cm High at Center, 8 cm Thick
    Whitewater Rating Up to Class IV
    Inflation Pressure Up to 10 psi

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  5. #5

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    Wow, that's a journey.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boucaneer View Post
    Wow, that's a journey.
    Yes Alex, a few inches on a screen and/or map is a 2,500km journey in reality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boucaneer View Post
    Thanks, was wondering how to do that

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    Yes, " picup " is a good app, I'm using an iPhone.

    Here is a satellite picture of the trip, it looks a very green landscape.

    Now using the tappatalk app now.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Boucaneer View Post
    Yes, " picup " is a good app, I'm using an iPhone.

    Here is a satellite picture of the trip, it looks a very green landscape.

    Now using the tappatalk app now.

    This entire stretch is called the Gangetic Plain and also the rice bowl of India. More than 500 million people depend on the Ganges for food, water and salvation. It is very green indeed.

  10. #10

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    Sounds great.

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    Have you read "Slowly Down The Ganges" by Eric Newby?

    A truly great writer.

    Have a great trip.
    This post may vanish at any moment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DougR View Post
    Have you read "Slowly Down The Ganges" by Eric Newby?

    A truly great writer.

    Have a great trip.
    Have ordered it. Expect it to arrive tomorrow. Though the story is almost 50 years old (I believe), not much would have changed on the river. Things move slowly here ... much like I expect my canoe to move slowly.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chandan Lahiri View Post
    Have ordered it. Expect it to arrive tomorrow. Though the story is almost 50 years old (I believe), not much would have changed on the river. Things move slowly here ... much like I expect my canoe to move slowly.
    That's what I like with riparian ( river shore line ) environments, it tends to have a feel of yesteryear and a feeling of nostalgia with the river itself being the biggest influence.

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    I have added a PayPal button on the event page on the website just in case anyone is willing to support this effort of a first descent down the Ganges in a canoe. The cause is also quite important and we have to do our bit to control pollution in our rivers. This is the link to the page ... http://www.otasurvivalschool.com/slow-boat-ganges/

  15. #15
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    Watch this video on the twin towns of Haridwar and Rishikesh. This is where my expedition starts from.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0nFjlqAHxw

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    This is me many moon ago while white water rafting down the upper Ganges.

    Oops, sorry about that. Cannot seem to upload a photo from my laptop. It is asking me for an image url. Any ideas?

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    You need a site to host your pictures. Info on this thread:

    http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...s-on-the-Forum

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Cooper View Post
    You need a site to host your pictures. Info on this thread:

    http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...s-on-the-Forum
    Thanks that thread is really helpful.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chandan Lahiri View Post
    Hello everyone and greetings from India. Come September 2017 I plan to take an inflatable canoe (Sea Eagle TC16) down 2,500km of the Holy Ganges. From all the research that one has done, it seems this will be the first time a canoe will go down the river. Rafts have done as have kayaks and SUPs ... but no canoes. Here is a review of the canoe ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3xMILj_47o

    More information on the effort is at http://www.otasurvivalschool.com/slow-boat-ganges/

    Wish me luck.
    Hey there,

    I have spent a lot of time in Rishikesh paddling down to there and the section below. Awesome place. Love the adventurous spirit and look forward to following the expedition.

    I am however, aware of two trips in canoes that have happened some time ago. These including flying canoes out beforehand. Quite some feat. I will look up the details that I have and get back to you.

    Hope it goes well and you have a great trip...

    Cheers
    Dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by dave rossetter View Post
    Hey there,

    I have spent a lot of time in Rishikesh paddling down to there and the section below. Awesome place. Love the adventurous spirit and look forward to following the expedition.

    I am however, aware of two trips in canoes that have happened some time ago. These including flying canoes out beforehand. Quite some feat. I will look up the details that I have and get back to you.

    Hope it goes well and you have a great trip...

    Cheers
    Dave
    Thanks for the heads up Dave. Yes I have rafted in the Devprayag to Shivpuri section of the upper Ganges many times. It has become crowded now, though it remains a very interesting stretch of white water.

    I really look forward to information about other canoe trips down the Ganges. Where did they start? Where did they end? How many days? Etc. Glad if you could dig the details up.

  21. #21

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    In the early 1990s a Canadian couple, Maria Coffey and her husband Doug, paddled a lot of the River Ganges. Several chapters of Maria's book, A Boat in Our Baggage - Around the world with a kayak, covers their journey on the Holy River. I consider this book to be classic about paddling adventures, and I've read it several times. The book is long out of print but there are plenty of second-hand copies, at modest prices, on the Abebooks website.

    Good luck with your attempt on the Ganges, Chandan.

    Nick TQP

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick TQP View Post
    In the early 1990s a Canadian couple, Maria Coffey and her husband Doug, paddled a lot of the River Ganges. Several chapters of Maria's book, A Boat in Our Baggage - Around the world with a kayak, covers their journey on the Holy River. I consider this book to be classic about paddling adventures, and I've read it several times. The book is long out of print but there are plenty of second-hand copies, at modest prices, on the Abebooks website.

    Good luck with your attempt on the Ganges, Chandan.

    Nick TQP
    Thanks Nick. I will see if I can get a hold of a copy of the book. It sounds like it will be very interesting reading.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chandan Lahiri View Post
    Thanks Nick. I will see if I can get a hold of a copy of the book. It sounds like it will be very interesting reading.
    Found a used copy on Amazon for INR 355. That's about US$ 5. Ordered. Thanks for the tip.

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chandan Lahiri View Post
    Found a used copy on Amazon for INR 355. That's about US$ 5. Ordered. Thanks for the tip.
    Wow, that was quick, and that's not a bad price. Hope you find their account helpful.

    Nick TQP

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick TQP View Post
    Wow, that was quick, and that's not a bad price. Hope you find their account helpful.

    Nick TQP
    The book will arrive by end May, having to make its way all the way from the US. There were a couple of used copies on Amazon US at USD 1.99.

  26. #26

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    Aren't there crocodiles in the Ganges??

    Also, I have to say, unless there is some serious help from the current, 50 km a day, solo, over that length of time is a bit unrealistic, imo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sk8r View Post
    Aren't there crocodiles in the Ganges??

    Also, I have to say, unless there is some serious help from the current, 50 km a day, solo, over that length of time is a bit unrealistic, imo.
    There are stretches where there are gharials (crocodilian species) on the Ganges, but I am not too worried about them. The current is rarely more than 3-5 kmph. SO no help from the river herself. I plan to paddle around 10 hours a day. I do not have a gun to my head, so the total time is flexible. I guess the daily average will evolve as I paddle down.

    Also am planning on using kayak paddles instead of canoe paddles. I suspect that will be faster and will also help tracking.

  28. #28

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    We supplied a folding kayak (Klepper) to a father / son about 2 years ago who did the same thing - starting at the source and finishing at the sea. It was part of a survey monitoring the extent of the pollution in the river.

    If you like to get in touch with them, PM me
    Simon Bolze
    Folding Concepts
    Reading, Berks
    Foldable boat Specialists - folding / inflatable kayaks / canoes, and catarafts
    www.foldingkayaks.co.uk - www.neris.co.uk - www.waylandkayaks.co.uk

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    Quote Originally Posted by FoldingConcepts View Post
    We supplied a folding kayak (Klepper) to a father / son about 2 years ago who did the same thing - starting at the source and finishing at the sea. It was part of a survey monitoring the extent of the pollution in the river.

    If you like to get in touch with them, PM me
    Hey that will be great. My email ID is chandan.lahiri@gmail.com. It will be great if you could connect me to them.

  30. #30

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    Hello,

    The Ganga is of course one of the Worlds great rivers so quite a lot of folk have paddled it in all kinds of craft and definitely in open canoes as these are of course ideal. But, maybe starting or ending at different places so every journey is a "first". Most of these journeys were in the years before the internet, but reasonably well documented is the trip in 1999 by Chip Powell, Nuala Mulholland, Jereny Suresh Paul, Mitesh Makanjee, Mike King and Eric Brymer. Canoeist Magazine November 2000.

    Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slime View Post
    Hello,

    The Ganga is of course one of the Worlds great rivers so quite a lot of folk have paddled it in all kinds of craft and definitely in open canoes as these are of course ideal. But, maybe starting or ending at different places so every journey is a "first". Most of these journeys were in the years before the internet, but reasonably well documented is the trip in 1999 by Chip Powell, Nuala Mulholland, Jereny Suresh Paul, Mitesh Makanjee, Mike King and Eric Brymer. Canoeist Magazine November 2000.

    Good luck!
    I would have thought so. It seemed unlikely that there was no information I could find for a canoe going down the Ganges. Thanks for the infor. And true, different start and end points do make it a different kind of first. Thanks for the heads up.

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    Sounds like an epic trip.

    Good luck!


    Now I wish to God I'd joined those men when they were set ashore, but I chose a wild and a reckless life serving under Captain Moore.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crow View Post
    Sounds like an epic trip.

    Good luck!

    Thanks. I'm really looking forward to it. My canoe should be here in the next few days after which the training starts. Will keep you posted.

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    Great.

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    Just uploaded a video showing the tentative route during the expedition. It is surprising to see how dry the Ganges is. I hope it does not evaporate entirely in the years to come.

    Here is the link to the video ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgRFtsMpZ-o

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    Hi Chandan you may already have this in hand, but even a small Kayak specific sail :

    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=sa...kayak+sail+kit

    or home made one (even an umbrella) will save a lot of effort and energy on such a long trip.

    An ultimate river pilgrimage in so many ways.

    All the best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seabeggar View Post
    Hi Chandan you may already have this in hand, but even a small Kayak specific sail :

    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=sa...kayak+sail+kit

    or home made one (even an umbrella) will save a lot of effort and energy on such a long trip.

    An ultimate river pilgrimage in so many ways.

    All the best.
    I am seriously thinking of carrying a golf umbrella or a beach umbrella to act as a sail. I am no sailor and will probably only use it when I have a tail wind. Thanks for the links.

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    Here is an interactive map where one can see the proposed route

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=17t...6Q&usp=sharing

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