The dolphins jumping out of the brackish water are a feast for the eyes on a boat in the lagoon

By | Released: January 17, 2021 4:13 pm

Bhubaneswar: A dolphin jumps out of the brackish water of Odisha’s famous Chilika Lake and is the epitome of all eyes on a boat in the lagoon. The boatswain turns off the engines in the middle of the lake as the tourists flee in excitement. Seconds later, several pairs of eyes are again looking for a glimpse of the famous Irrawaddy dolphins, who keep playing hide and seek on the silver water.

As the sun keeps up with the speed of the boat, some migratory birds, along with white-bellied sea eagles, seagulls, and kingfishers, attempt to distract attention from the lake. For Vibhu, the 44-year-old boatswain in Satapada’s Chilika Lagoon, it’s a routine evening, which means that every good day in terms of tourists brings in more money to support his family of 10.

Vibhu lives in a common family and life was not easy in the times of Covid. Lake Chilika was closed to tourists during the worst part of the pandemic, forcing boaters and local fishermen to change occupations for a short time. “Now that the lake has reopened to tourists, we expect a good season. Tourists have also started to visit and we hope that the number will increase in the coming days. We rely on the beauty of this ecosystem in Lake Chilika to attract tourists, especially the Irrawaddy Dolphins, which are a major attraction, ”said Vibhu.

Vibhu says he also drives the fishermen’s boat when the tourist business is bad. Another boatswain, Lakhwinder, says they used to haul tourists several times in normal times, but now things have changed. “We’re going to the lake with the serial number. The number of laps we do in the lake is directly proportional to the number of visitors to Chilika. We expect more people to come over time, ”says Lakhwinder.