Saturday, January 22, 2011

First Anchorage in Andamans

Finally, we are anchored at Havelock Island in the Andaman Islands, way SE of South India. The check in process the last 2 days for us both and the vessel was beyond belief. We had heard that they have the "bureaucrats from hell" here in India and boy, do they like paperwork and job security. We have never had to go fetch, in the dingy [on several trips], 12 different customs, quarantine and immigration guys from the harbor dock to fill out forms and submit pages of info and then, later have 7 more coast guard guys get on the boat for more of the same paperwork. They needed to know everything about us, our plans and the boat....like how much booze we have, a list of all meds, all the food and suppies we have, all our electronics and a list of jewelry and other things of value and another list of everything on the boat like anchors, sails, electronics.

While cruising we have to call in twice a day and tell them everything we do. You'd think this was the garden of Eden instead of a bunch of islands. How this country functions, we cannot understand!!! When they gave me back the paper with all our prescriptions all neatly listed and said they also needed to know all the expiration dates, I blew up, emphatically said that "They all are expired...I only take expired meds and I wanted out of their country...NOW!!!" Well, since they never seen a conniption fit, they backed down and said we suddenly passed quarantine and there were no further problems! I'd had enuf folks tromping thru my boat all day asking all kinds of personal questions like how much did the boat cost, how old we are, how long we have been married...everything but info on our private stateroom life!!!

The town at Port Blair is a dingy village from the past with cows rooting thru garbage cans and getting anything done, like buying deisel fuel, takes great effort, filled forms and long lines. Getting a cell phone sim card was more of an event than the whole process of Checking into most other countries. The card just costs a total of $2.50 and 30 minutes building up a 20 page file for their record. There were about 6-7 boats in the anchorage checking in or out and on Sat the 22nd of Jan we were glad to get off on our trip around these islands we have read and heard so much about.

Our first anchorage is off a nice long, beach with a small resort. The seas are soft and the breeze keeps away the bugs and cools us. Fishing is supposed to be great but we haven't caught anything all day...maybe tomorrow!!!

We heard about the "big Salties", the saltwater crocodiles that are in all the brackish areas off the main islands and to watch where we swim. We enjoyed watching the porpoises jump while having dinner and look forward to walking the beach and fishing tomorrow. We will snorkel in a better location for coral than here....and we will keep posting...

Lynn and Chuck, too, on CYAN

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2 comments:

The crew of Lucidity said...

Thanks for the update! I'm really enjoying keeping up. Have a safe trip on the next leg.

Butch

Kathy said...

Sounds like things are going well for you with the exception of customs...what a pain!!! I love reading of your adventures. Safe Sailing :)