Tourist season taking off subtly
The hospitality industry in Goa this season is quite upbeat with the prospects of arrivals of over 400 charters from various international destinations. Ashiwini Kakkar of Thomas Cook India Ltd, which is responsible for about 25,000 foreign tourists through charters, expects a big boost to the tourist season with expectations of 25 to 30 per rise. However, after the arrival of the first couple or charters, the fortnight intervening October-November experienced a lull, with SilkAir from Singapore and Holland, besides Continental Airlines, Moscow, and Domeodedovo Airlines, putting off their flights for their own ‘operational’.
|Largest coast guard vessel
Advanced offshore patrol vessel “CGS Sagar” built by Goa Shipyard ltd, was commissioned by Defence Minister George Fernandes on November 3 at the Mormugao Post. The 102.5 metres long “Sagar” is the fourth vessel of its kind and is the largest vessel to be inducted in the Indian Coast Guard. The 1930 tonne ship has a range of 6000 nautical miles and can attain a speed of 21.7 knots with excellent maneuvering capabilities.
Though Goa does not experience a real winter as such. However, by mid-November the weather gradually turns pleasant. The heat has already been on the decline, the skies are gradually attaining the regal blue shade to match the waters along the charming beach stretch. Though the monsoon has departed all of a sudden this year, several parts of Goa did experience a heavy downpour, along with thunder claps and lightning last week.
Goan scientist off to Antarctica
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences senior research scientist Dr Joaquim I Goes is off to Antarctica, aboard ice-breaker Nathaniel Palmer, with a bunch of very well known US scientists on a National Science Foundation-sponsored mission to examine the ozone hole and its ultraviolet implications. Dr Goes is the lead investigator of one of six research teams, which departed from Christchurch, New Zealand, in end-October.
Old Goa gears up
With the novenas for the feast of St Francis Xavier at Old Goa scheduled to commence on November 24, there is plenty of activity in preparation of the oncoming event. The huge pandal, with a seating capacity of around 10,000 devotees, has already taken shape. With the proposal to make Goa a permanent centre for the International Film Festival of India, as also with the forthcoming Exposition of the sacred remains of “Goemcho Saib” next year, the State government has chalked up a series of steps to improve the look and facilities at the World Heritage site at Old Goa.
Adorabelle is “Miss Goa”
A perfect combination of beauty and brains saw Panjim’s 19-year-old Adorabelle Amara bag the coveted “Miss Goa 2003” title, pushing Valerie Rodrigues to the first runner-up rung, at the beauty pageant in Park Hyatt Goa Resort & Spa on November 9. The six finalists vying for top honours included Valerie Rodrigues, Adoradelle Amaral, Melissa Fernandes, Veronique Rodrigues, Sneha Lawande and Seema Kudale They were shortlisted from 32 contestants, and had to go through three rounds each of beach wear, their best attire and casuals, while also exhibiting their wits during the question and answer round.