Sailing off


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Andaman Islands - The plan

Taken this morning "The Girl" ready for the journey with some traditional
Thai flowers for luck and good time
We are finally ready after our extensive preparations shopping checking out of Thailand preparing for formalities of checking into Andamans and more shopping. Our planned journey to Andaman Islands is. Leave Phuket Marina Thailand(in company of Apsara)tomorrow on Sunday 29th and make our way to Similan Islands Thailand which should take us about 5-6-7 days (sailing days) taking it totally easy than we will have to calculate our 3 day cross over to Port Blair Andamans carefully in terms of hours travelled to arrive there in daylight as well as in terms of days of the week. We need to arrive during week day which may speed up our checking in. Once we get to Port Blair and get trough the check in proces which can be 2 days long we than have to present our plan of stay and visits which will either be approved or changed we than have to report each morning and evening with our position as well as check the local weather as this is temperamental. Now Andaman Islands and what we know so far. They are a World Heritage site in Bay of Benga with somel 330 Islands with highest peaks of submerged mountain range that stretches from Sumatra Island. Ranked alongside Zanzibar Pago Pago and Timbuktu as the ultimate in tropical mystery. They still have stone age inhabitants related to African Pygmies in 4 tribal groups - Great Andanamese had already been pushed to the edge of extinction - Onge on Little Andaman around 100 left today - Jarawa most isolated tribe on the planet today. Only 100 or so hunter gatherers are left today They have no contact with other humans as they always violently reject any contact from the outside world and are violent if approached and nobody understands their language. Sailors of the past told fantastical tales long time ago about the islands tiny black skinned " cannibals" who would butcher shipwrecked crews. Marco Polo described them as having" heads like dogs and teeth and eyes likewise" 84% protected as National Park or tribal reserves for the native inhabitants. Centuries of isolation of Andamans present visitors with a rare time capsule here. There are pristine beaches and spectacular diving with untouched ecosystem even a live volcano on Barren Islandwhere we want to visit Untouched jungle including Andanamese cobras twenty feet long (apparently they eat other snakes like several feet long water krait snakes) saltwater crocodiles and oddities like emerald geckos as well as the world largest crab the Robber Crab which can climb trees and knock down coconuts which they than crack for coconut milk Exotic wildlife fishing amongs the best in the world and we definetly intend to fish!!!! Apparently there is more crayfish that one could eat. Hmm will let you know about this one.Surfing is amazing and Andamans are home to swimming elephants on Havelock Island. The land is a strategically sensitive frontier.Foreigners are allowed to visit only 38 islands with permission which is granted on entry and not automatically for a maximum stay of 30 days with visa. Andamans were hard hit 2004 by earthquake and Tsunami South and middle Islands are 2 meters lower.We have to be very careful using our GPS as datum is out nearly 1/2 mile. We will need to apply corrections of 0.092'S and 0.106'E to make it all line up - try doing that! Apparently the existing charts are dating back to somewhere in rather early 1900 and are not really correct so extreme care is required. There are surprise coral reefs and an Invisable Reef. No closing eyes on this trip! Andamans were a British colony in the past." in the early 1900 s those who chose to resist the British with violence in India were either sentenced to death by hanging or deported to Port Blair (our first call in Andamans and the capital city) for life imprisonment " in The Cellular Jail which we plan to visit. Apparently it is absolutely unique. The whole of Andamans sound rather unique and an experience we are looking forward to. Hoping for great winds safe passage both ways and an unforgettable time for all the good reasons.

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