We were running out of daylight by the time we reached the lake, and we
also stopped at one point, where we watched two Pied Kingfishers playing with eacht other, and then fishing in the reeds.
We bargained with the first person who offered a boat ride. Though he didn't, I think, know too much about the birds, he did give us a great ride, up to the sand bars close to the open sea. We waded on to the sandbars to watch some painted storks, some duck, some gulls and perhaps a couple of sandpipers (it was too dark by then, to be sure.)
We came back watching the light of the lighthouse reflected in the waters of the brackish lake.
After our return, Antony treated us to tea at the local tea-shop, and we wished him and his son Winston Jarvis, and the rest of the family, a very merry Christmas in advance.
The fishing is mainly carried on by three villages in the area, the residents of which take turns to go out fishing. Tiger prawns, says Antony, fetch about Rs.400 to 450, as do rare species of fish and eel.The ramilies are predominantly Christian, belonging to the Church of South India.
Unfortunately, we didn't have time to explore a very interesting-looking, 500-year-old Dutch cemetery that we passed.
Here's a quick video of the fish jumping through the air as our diesel-propelled boat passed:
here are more photographs
which show Antony, the sunset, the lighthouse, and the tea-shop owner making "tea by the yard".
Pulicat seems to the be Anglicized version of "Pazhaverkadu". I must say, the fishermen's colonies are filthy, and plastic trash prevails everywhere. :((((
The best route to take from Chennai would the NH5 (National Highway to Kolkata) , to Ponneri, Sulur and onward. We took the Minjur route (about 20to 30km extra, and incredibly bad roads) and nearly didn't make it there.
It's just struck 12 and become the 13th...so off to bed! Driving back home some time later today....