Wednesday, March 18, 2009

March 14, 2009 - Neill Island, Andman Islands, India

Before leaving Port Blair at 0700 this morning, we had to contact Port Control to let them know we were underway. An hour later, it was time to check-in with Port Blair Radio. While cruising the Andamans, it is necessary to keep Port Blair Radio apprised of your position twice a day. This doesn't seem like a burden to us (at least not yet). In fact, other than Forestry, we got the impression from all of the officials that we dealt with in Port Blair that in exchange for our going through their paper-intensive clearance process, they would be there for us if we needed them. Coast Guard even gave us phone numbers and an email address so that we could reach them 24 hours a day. Rather than a creepy-big-brother-is-watching feeling, all this attention has left us with a something of a warm-fuzzy-taken-care-of feeling.

The rest of the day unfolded in a series of great moments. Fish jumping behind lures. Anchoring off of a beautiful beach. Coming around a corner and seeing several empty surf breaks peeling off one after the other. Catching a few rides on those waves. Seeing lots of huge fish while freediving. Spotting a dugong while exploring in the dinghy. Taking a walk through a village. Smiling, brightly dressed children with impossibly white teeth asking us to take their pictures. Stopping for a plate of vegetarian thali (rice, served with a variety of vegetable based gravies). All of this adds up to a perfect day of cruising in our books. What a wonderful welcome to cruising the Andamans.

No comments: