The Gadani Ship breaking Yard and its Gems

Friday, March 16, 2018 Heba Moeen 15 Comments

A lagoon at one of the beaches of Gadani
Sea or Vitamin Sea as you can say really is medicine for your mind and body. According to science, people who live by the coast are known to have better physical and mental health ... well provided if you let the coast remain healthy as well, our beloved beach, Sea View is a different story altogether. SO! Let's talk about Gadani instead!!!

Sea waves are known to calm your nerves as their sounds and visuals activate your parasympathetic nervous system and  eventually help relax you. Thank God, for much of Earth is covered with water! Imagine how much wilder would we have been with less of this resource. But we're sufficiently wild enough ... we still serve the purpose.

Considering this weekend (including the flower show) it had been a while since I had used my camera like crazy; a while here means a couple of days only and going to Gadani with like minded crazies on Sunday seemed like a viable idea. Imagine snapping almost 1,200 pictures, I hope that's crazy enough. Well 'crazy' isn't the keyword here so let's get back to Gadani, shall we? Oh yes!

It takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to travel from Karachi to Gadani which is quite a picturesque place no matter which particular beach you hit. This trip was arranged by Dream Merchants headed by the astute wildlife photographer, Mirza Naeem Beg who along with fellow photographers shoots birds with his camera and documents these as well.  

The picture above shows a lagoon at the first beach out of the three we went to and the ship breaking yard was another sight to see altogether. The soft sandy beach with water so clear that you could see tiny fish swimming along the waves gave a feeling of a fish spa although that I believe was a fad as I don't see these anymore in Karachi. And, there was a sea snake too which tried to pretend it was dead ... 

Below are some more pictures of this beach we first went to.

And then there were more spots we went to ...

The snake charmer

One of the group members brought a drone camera and all the dogs of the beach went berserk, gathering and trying to chase the flying alien, I'm sure they are not accustomed to alien or UFO sightings like us ...

Finally it was time to reach the SHIP BREAKING YARRRRRD! 

Did you know? I guess you didn't that the Gadani ship breaking yard is the third largest ship breaking yard in the world. It's almost like a necropolis of ships coming ashore to be dismantled and recycled. In other words, this place is the ships' afterlife where they are judged based on their remaining potential to serve the world again. Whatever is left of the Pirates of the Caribbean should be shot here, Gadani is that good. 

Hats off to the diligent labourers who make these ship breaking projects happen as they truly earn by the sweat of their brow, working a 12 hour shift from 7 AM to 7 PM. Their perseverance is just astounding! Let me show you the faces reflecting immense efforts and hard work.

The eyes say it all

Who appears to be our local Long John Silver and I must mention that it was love at first sight for some people because they couldn't stop taking his pictures

Finally taking a break

You can see more pictures on my National Geographic Your Shot account. In the picture below is the ship being put to rest that we went to ... it was enormous and made us wonder what mighty presence it would have had when it would have been in its full glory while young, hale and hearty ...
The dying ship we went aboard
One cannot simply imagine how labour intensive the job of ship breaking workers is, amidst the fumes and flames and those random sparks. The smell of the ship's death was quite overwhelming and people like us can only watch these strong people perform in awe. This ambiance and place also reminded me of the song by Gordon Lightfoot called 'The Wreck of Edmond Fitzgerald', it's simply beautiful, good music has become extinct and perhaps the taste too. 
Here are the men of steel in great action!

Where tow trucks have a different purpose (no chai paani ... all paani paani)

Amidst the rubble there is new life

The dying ship, the end of an era ...

Here's our wonderful host, Mr. Shahab who guided us throughout and sent us back home with some extra knowledge. Thank you!

Our host, Mr. Shahab (Photo Credit: Farhan Siddiqui)
Our final destination was the third beach which didn't seem to be haunted by any human being for several hours at least because unfortunately there was some trash lying, however, it was still very, very clean and allowed to be left in its natural form as the sand felt too good to be sand itself. Something quite funny happened, thanks to my forgetfulness, I had taken a glass globe along for the purpose of some creative photography and didn't realise I had it until almost the end of the trip. This ball did become famous quite instantly however and we made as much use of it as possible! It inverses the image.

And you know what? Young boys and girls just like to have fun ... ;)

Photo Credit: Farhan Siddiqui

This is what we had been doing the entire trip ...

Both boys are great at photography! Their teachers are considering appointing them as prefects ... Farhan (L), Saeed (R)
It was a weekend spent well with the flower show happening and then this trip on Sunday with all these amazing people most of whom are hobbyists and yet exceptional photographers, no less than professionals themselves. 

Gadani is a must visit place, it's really one of the gems in Balochistan that you should have been to already but it's never too late!

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  1. Wonderful report with terrific pics. Am sever covered so well.

    1. Thank you, Mirza sb! It was a wonderful experience!

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