Fishermen on Kovalam Beach, Kerala, India

Work starts before dawn every morning. Diving for mussels and fishing for butterfish from small mango boats and the larger rice boats.

The sun just touches the beach at 6am One lone fisherman is already out before dawn Preparing rice boats on the beach in the pale light of dawn Oars in the rice boat Getting ready to launch a rice boat.  They are called that because they are used for cargoes of rice and other commodities Preparing to be pushed out into the surf The heave has to be timed to match a departing wave Out goes the rice boat Rowers paddle frantically to get over the breakers There are all kinds of fishing going on, ranging from big motor boats with nets to individuals diving for mussels to rod fishermen on the rocks Butter fish caught by one of the fishermen Boy trying to do a dance while watching his father in the water Mango boat is called that because it is made of mango wood logs soaked in an oil  that repels water, so these loags float like balsa wood Preparing the mago boat for launch basically involves checking that the logs are securely tied to the yokes at each end.  I was told I'd be dry on one of these, but the water flows freely between the logs.   Luckily I left my camera on the beach Heading back in towards the breakers, hopefully with a full load of mussels The boats seem rather small in a 2 metre swell, especially when you are in one Diving for mussels Rod fisherman on the rocks