WE BOUGHT A SHIP!
No. Not this one
Day 1 of our Mauritius trip was great with Tube riding, parasailing and the can’t-recommend-it-enough Under Sea Walks.
On to Day 2:
Day 2 was supposed to cover the south side of Mauritius. It included lots of shopping(yaawwn.. boring) and a ship making factory. I will not cover the shopping part of our day much as it involved …hmm… let me see… shopping.
Let me instead jump to the visit to the ship making factory. We were really intrigued by the ship making factory. Everyone we asked told us that ship making factory was a place where they (duh) made ships. Then they would say something like: “They make ships.. by hand..small ships.” Hmmm…curiouser and curiouser.
Anyways we reached the ship making factory and it turned out to be a Model ship making factory.They make scaled replicas of historical ships, yachts, modern battleships and what not. And yes they were all made by hand. When I walked into the shop I smelt the good old smell of wood, varnish, paint and glue and suddenly I was as excited as a four year old in Disneyland!
This is our story.
The amazing part about this whole operation is the level of detail these model makers bring to their craft. Pallavi and I had a whale of a time walking around this place, taking pics and talking to the craftsmen.
At the entrance to the Model Ship Building factory, we were welcomed by a guide who would be showing us around. Inside the factory, the first thing that we saw were a group artisans cutting and stitching pieces of cotton cloth. These turned out to the sails for the model ships. To give an authentic look to the sails, they were then steeped in dilute tea decoction. This gives a weathered look to the sails.
At the next workbench, another group was busy threading string through miniature pulleys and knotting strings. Tough work due to the very small size of the pulleys. This is what I call attention to detail.
Next we saw an easel mounted with the detailed plans for an actual historical ship. The guide had this to say “We get the ship plans from the maritime authorities of the respective country and replicate it exactly.” Mind-Blown!
The ship building process goes something like this:
The basic structure or framework of the ship is made first.
This is followed by the keel and the decks. The whole process is very intricate and requires a lot of patience and skill.
This is followed by mounting accessories like sails, pulleys, cables, cannons etc. They really nail the authenticity part of the ship building process.. everything is scaled perfectly to ensure that the model is a very very accurate scaled down replica of the original ship that they are trying to duplicate.
then it is time for a good coating of paints, varnishes and mounting on a stand.
It takes anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks to complete one ship. And again depending on the type of ship being built, it may have 2 to 8 people working on it..
Aaaaand finally the completed ships are put up for display and sale in their showroom. After a long and very fruitful morning spent in roaming around the workshops and goggling at all the model ships on display at the showroom, we finally decided to buy a model of the infamous HMS Bounty.
Avast ye scurvy scallywag! Get down on your knees and swab them decks 🙂
Other than this we spent a lot of time just roaming around the town. Picking up souvenirs and just chilling out and having a good time.
Thus ended Day 2 of our Mauritius trip.
Coming Up Next: Day 3: In Which Two Lionesses Decide Not To Have Us For Lunch