The Chittagong Shipbreaking Yards, part II

We went back to Sadarghat in the morning to try to rent a boat for the day. We managed to explain our case again. And better so than yesterday, because the quote went up considerably once the boat drivers realized how far we wanted to go. We did the maths (which we should have done much earlier) and realized, too, that our idea was complete bollocks. All in all, we were looking at a 40km boat ride – and that’s just one way.

We gave up and instead took a CNG to Kumira’s Sandwip Ghat, at the northern end of the shipbreaking yards, where I had first spotted the ships two days ago. I had somehow remembered that there is a ghat (wharf) there, too. Upon arrival we were immediately quoted 2000 Taka for a 2-hour boat ride, which we found steep compared to the 400 Taka a rental of the same duration would apparently have cost at Chittagong’s Sadarghat. To our dismay, the guy we had spoken to first ‘warned’ all the fishermen at the ghat so nobody was willing to go for less. It took us quite a while, but eventually we found two guys who took us out to the yards for half of the initial quote.

The tide was already going out but we managed to get reasonably close to the massive dead ships. Visibility was not great due to mist, but the whole scenery was impressive enough.
We saw people on the ships, and clotheslines. At least some of the workers must live on the hulls. It must be weird to make a living from destructing your own home. Use a toilet today, throw it out tomorrow.

On the way back to Chittagong I found some cool souvenirs in a shop on the road side that were salvaged from the ships. A 1920 telescope and a 1915 compass. Pretty awesome! I’ll have to post them home tomorrow, though, as they’ll be too heavy and bulky (and fragile) to carry on the bike.

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