So far this passage has been smooth and pleasant. Since we left, winds have been light, but wind speed and direction have been erratic. Of course, all that matters to us is that the winds are light, but we do feel sorry for the poor sailors, who must be going crazy from constantly changing their sails. Thanks to light winds we have had calm seas. The swells are four feet, coming at long intervals, and there are virtually no wind waves. It is really nice. It just doesn’t get much better than this. We are making good time, too. We have been consistently running at the relatively low 1600 RPM but averaging 6.25 knots. Flat seas help with speed, as do currents going our way.
We are quite pleased to report that Continue reading Passage from Port Blair to Maldives Days 1-4
As planned, this morning we rolled out of bed and pulled up anchor, heading back to Port Blair to check out. We had smooth seas and arrived a little before 1000. When we got to shore, the same cab driver was waiting. We negotiated an “all day” price, then asked him how many hours “all day” included. In his mind “all day” is 4 hours. We wish we had thought to ask about hours last time he picked us up. It would have saved us all from an uncomfortable situation at the end of the day.
We were at the Port Captain’s office by 1030 to check out. Check out was slow but easy, with fees running about USD$15. Stop two was Customs. No one was around, but just as we were leaving someone appeared and went and got the customs supervisor for us. Check out was easy and only took a few minutes. We were on a roll! We got to Immigration, where they told us to make copies of a certain form and that they would meet us at the jetty at 1700 (5:30pm). Hmmm”¦. Maybe the roll had just ended.
From there we got lunch at Annapurna. This time we all tried Thalis, which are set meals. Within a minute or two of ordering, we each got a plate with a cracker, two tortilla style rotis, and several little silver cups filled with assorted foods.
Most of the dishes in the cups were similar to ones we have tried before, but there were a few new ones. Unfortunately, we have no names. There was some sort of dhal (curried lentil) dish that was really delicious. It has mustard, onion, and green chili in it. There was a second kind of Continue reading Food, More Food and Checking Out of Port Blair
Today was chore day. No one particularly felt like doing chores, so we procrastinated until 1400 (2:00 pm), when Christi and Mike jumped in to do the bottom and waterline. There were hundreds of fish in the water around the boat, with lots of schools of fairly large yellowtail fusiliers. With each wipe of the sponge, Continue reading Chores, Food, and Elephants
The French family had offered to take us out to breakfast at their hotel. We arrived to shore to find out we had just missed the bus. There were no tuk tuks around to hire. We walked over to what looked like the reception area for the dome hotel to see if they could call a tuk tuk for us. It turns out it is not a hotel. The domes are a public campground that was recently built and has never been opened. This building is an Italian restaurant named Mahua with some good looking specials of the day. We found out the bus would be back before a tuk tuk could get over here from town.
We didn’t have to wait long for the next bus. We took the bus to village #3, then a tuk tuk south past the two dive shops down to their hotel. Beyond the dive shop the road quality begins to deteriorate. Their hotel is much nicer looking than all the other ones we could see from the road. The food was OK, with no menu items interesting enough to report on.
Lonely Planet had mentioned there was an elephant training camp 5 kilometers south of where we were. The guidebook said Continue reading Elephant Training Camp in Havelock
Thankfully, there really was a 0700 bus and it dropped us off at the dive shop at 0735. We were relieved when we met the dive master, who is fluent in English. The dive master is an interesting character. He is Continue reading Diving at Havelock – Elephant Beach and The Aquarium