Traveler

Friday Funk – Sea what floats our boat

Hello there. Take aim, for I'm the guy responsible for editing this website that gets your goat. A small portion of that content, I've noticed (mostly from your comments), also floats your boat. Thus emboldened, every now and then I'm going to stick my neck out here and point you towards the pick of our content, as well as some interesting stuff I've gleaned off the web. Do feel free to comment, but keep it clean and relevant. I'm awesome at ignoring trolls.

So, this week...

There are days when I can't get the sea off my mind. It's a steadfast, bullying presence, its rising-falling rhythm rocking my gait as I walk. I hear its sighing ahhh as it crashes against the walls of resistance inside my head, eroding them. Funny, because I am removed from either coast flanking the Indian subcontinent by at least four or five hours of scenic drives, road-raging and honking. Too much of an effort, if you consider the traffic. So the best I can do is summon up remembrances of things past and conjure up a dream sequence born of a different kind of seasickness -- one of longing.

If you're with me you're in luck, dear reader, because high tide is washing up on you this week. Read on.

The closest I've come to a cruise is watching Mission Impossible. Not that Cruise? Well, then it has to be one of those faux cruises - glorified ferry rides on the Mandovi or Zuari in Goa, with a touch of sorpotel and feni. Those, I'm afraid, aren't really cruises as they come. As in, you're not gone for a week like the old man in the sea staring at nothing but dolphins and shearwaters and watching the white, foamy wake of your boat as she knifes through inky, dark high water. For that kind of cruise, I am told one needs a slightly less anaemic wallet. But if you have a few lakhs stashed away, even those become affordable. Just go for the deals. What deals, you asked?

A little seagull told us the ultra-luxury cruise line Regent Seven Seas Cruises has announced a slew of tempting packages. Set sail from Barcelona, Monte Carlo, Rome, or Miami on seven-night voyages, which include exotic, lesser-known ports of call. Sound interesting? Go for it!

Point to note about Regent Cruises, they have some of the finest boats out there. All of them six-star luxury with gourmet restaurants, card rooms, cozy lounges and pools. I haven't lifted my jaw up from the ground since I gawked at this extraordinary picture of the Seven Seas Mariner in Alaska, with a pod of black-and-white Orcas - yup, Killer Whales -- frolicking in the foreground. And with that perfect arc of a rainbow splashed across the steel-grey Arctic sky. Some day, just you wait, I'm going to be on that boat. Meanwhile, enjoy more photos.

If you're still cruising, don't miss this Flickr gallery, which will be updated every week with the best photos we find of cruises. Sail away!

If a more immersive experience is what you're after, you'll love this bunch of photos from Australia's amazing Great Barrier Reef, one of the world's most sought-after dive sites with arguably the richest marine biodiversity. Still relatively inviolate, despite the four bombs that the US Navy dropped there "accidentally" last week. Luckily, none exploded, though we hear Aussie senators blew an artery or three in livid rage. 'Nuff politics, just enjoy the photos.

The next best thing to the sea is, of course, sea with a touch of shore. Who but the grumpiest sourpuss doesn't love a beach?

If you're about to escape on a honeymoon (you married in haste, so honeymoon at leisure is my advice) to someplace beachy, first take in this list of the most exotic beaches in the world, compiled by GQ India. And, sorry, Goa and Kerala didn't make it, so redraw those honeymoon plans before the better half gets wind of this. Dab some suntan and take a look.

Just in case you're fishing out your credit card already, do consider Greece - we've heard the deals are unbelievable.

We asked our flock on Flickr to share their best images of beaches in India. The response, as we've now come to expect, was stupendous. We got to see beaches we'd barely heard of, and learned facts about some that should really be in some or other book of records. Some of you left a trail of angry comments bordering on abuse: Where's Vishakapatnam?! Why the $&%@ isn't Puri there?!

We hear you, friends, and we relate to your passionate rage. But it isn't our fault, really. This is a Travel channel the last time I checked and this photo-call is a challenge thrown to you. So pick up the gauntlet, head over to your favourite beach, click, and post your photos to the Flickr group pool. If they make the cut (our photo-eds are picky, be warned), we'll add them. If not, Vizag or Puri will have to wait until judgement day. :)

Speaking of honeymoons, it's too tempting not to drop this in passing. If you are resourceful you could wake up, drunk on love (or, at least, a cheap substitute), in one of the world's sexiest beds. We hear that Napoleon, that little conqueror, nodded off in one of these. So, if conquest is on your mind, imagine the possibilities.

Actually, stop imagining and get back to work! Until next Friday Funk, happy trails and do send in your travel stories. Too lazy? Then just follow us on Pinterest and Tumblr.

Bijoy Venugopal edits Yahoo! India Travel. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter, but don't say we didn't warn you.