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E for Echo, E for Explore

This is one thing I love to do. I love exploring, I have an unsatisfiable curiosity that has taught me so much about the world around me; has also got me into trouble sometimes. 😀 It’s one of the reason’s I think I love to travel. When I travel I explore places, people, food, history,… and come back richer for all that I’ve experienced.

Che and I went on a ride today after a long time, it feels like ages since we did this. It wasn’t a very long ride, maybe 200km both ways but it was fun. I found myself nervous at the start, after all it had been ages since I’ve seen the highway on a bike but as the kilometers rolled past I started to relax and enjoy myself, the feeling of being one with the road and nature came back and I realised I had missed this for so long. The wind felt wonderful and the sun warm (and hot on the return 😛 ).

As always, when riding my mind wanders, inane thoughts come to mind as I traverse strange paths in my head. Today as I thought of what I would write about ‘E’, Jacques-Yves Cousteau came to mind along with the word explore. When we were kids and had only one channel – Doordarshan for entertainment on TV, I remember watching documentaries made by Cousteau. His shows were the first place I experienced the ocean and it’s beauty.

My parents were/are travelers too and I did see a fair number of places with them, but that was all land, I’d only seen the ocean from a beach until Cousteau. I didn’t know what it was like inside there. My swimming days in the Ulsoor pool which had walls covered in green algae had left me with a fear of the deep, I imagined a shark swimming out of those murky green depths and chomping on me. I was so terrified of this vision that I rarely opened my eyes while swimming in the deep-end and that section was where I swam fastest. Cousteau changed all that.

Cousteau's Submersible, The Window to the Ocean

Remember the program ‘The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau’? The ‘Calypso’? The man in a red bonnet? Oh, how I loved watching his programs week after week on TV. I’ve not gone scuba diving yet but it’s on my bucket-list and that’s because of Cousteau. Did you know the Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus or scuba equipment we use today was also first co-developed by Cousteau in 1943 to explore the underwater world longer and more freely.

Jacques-Yves Cousteau, the man with the red bonnet

Jacques-Yves Cousteau was born in France on June 11, 1910 and died of a heart attack, age 87 on June 25, 1997 in Paris. He lived a long accomplised life. Starting off his career as a gunnery officer in the air-force, a bad car accident changed his life. From the air he moved to the oceans and never looked back. In 87 years left behind a legacy unparalleled by anyone with over 50 books, more than 120 television documentaries, an environmental protection foundation with members worldwide, ideas and designs that changed the way the oceans are seen and explored, he campaigned to save the oceans and more. He’s done so much, that I can’t list it out here. If he interests you, you should check him out – Jacques Cousteau on Wikipedia. 🙂

The Calypso, it's going to be made into a museum

Cousteau was such an influence growing up that to me Jacques-Yves Cousteau will always be the man of the oceans and the word ‘Calypso’ will always mean his ship. When I think of the word explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau is the first name that will always come to mind – the man with a red bonnet who went on amazing and thrilling adventures aboard his Calypso, a modern day Captain Nemo that even Jules Verne would be proud of!

E is for Explore

Coincidentally the word explore also has one of it’s origins in French! From French explorer and from Latin explorare ‘search out’, it breaks down into ex- ‘out’ + plorare ‘utter a cry’.
Explore is a verb defined in the dictionary as ‘travel through (an unfamiliar area) in order to learn about it’.

Some synonyms: travel over, tour, traverse, range over, survey, inspect, investigate, reconnoitre, search.

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