Published: January 6th 2010January 4th 2010
What a way to finish 2009 and to start 2010. Flights from Chennai to Port Blair are expensive and packed...Port Blair is very sleepy...and suddenly, at 3pm, the fast Catamaran ( brand new and super modern) is arriving at the jetty of Havelock. But for all foreigners, one more queue to start with to register with immigration. We are than meet by our new host, the crew from Vinnie. For the next 8 days, we are going to stay in slow motion at and around Vinnie's Cabannas, on Havelock Beach 3, and dive with DIVE India. For the first 3 nights we managed to grab a small basic bungalow at Vinnie's. Than we had to move next door at Pelican for 2 nights before moving back to Vinnie for a little more "confort" for our last 3 nights. The Island is "packed"...this means all proper accomodations are fully booked. But for a "packed" place, it is actually feel like we own this paradise to ourselves.
Havelock used to be an inhabited island....but later on migrants came for the logging, fishing and farming. Today it is a secret jewel...and this specially if you want to dive. This is my 21st country
in term of diving (7th for Ma'ri)...if it doesn't rate as hight as Galapagos, Palau or Sipadan...I tend to put the diving here ahead of what you find today in Similans. But everything here is at the "exploring" stage.
We have to many pictures of this little secret paradise. So we've decided to do two entries. The first one is purely "over" water, and on our next one, we will share the 12 dives we did here...just be a little patient if you are a diver.
Due to migrant settlements, the Island is divided into beaches. Each beach has it's own name, but better, it's own number. Havelock 7 is THE paradise beach, Havelock 1 is the jetty...not really worth it...Havelock 3 and 5 are the launching pad for diving. They offer a less impressive beach, but this is where most of the accomodations are. Our base is on Havelock 3...the little paradise of Vinnie Island Cabannas!
This place is really geared for divers...mainly in there thirties, looking for a cool vibe, easy uncrowded place. We met a lot of very nice people, mainly from England, Sweden and France...many belgians too...funny since now you've got a direct
New Years Eve was a low-key event, on the beach, fires, great new friends, a easy way to start 2010.
We decided not to dive on the 1st of January...a smart choice...as over indugling at night time and early diving is not a great mix. So instead of diving, we spent our day exploring Havelock Beach 7. To get there, you first enjoy a 45 minutes ride across the island. Small winding road...we had a free ride on the back of a former military jeep. We had lunch at Barefoot on Havelock 7. This is supposed to be the "top" resort of Havelock. They are more than double price compare to everybody else, with less than average food. I would simply not recommend the place.
But before this, we walk the all of beach 7. It as been voted in the past as one if not the top beach of Asia by Times...and I would tend to agree with them, this place is amazing. What a way to spend an afternoon.
What more to say...food at Vinnie's is great...indian style, fusion style at Nemo's...beer is "no more sir"...all the time. And if you want
something more than beer, you've got to take it with you...we did!
On other occasions, we also made our way on foot on Beach 3 and 5 for long walks, at sunrise and sunset. An interesting point...this is India time, so the sun rise at 5am...and the sunset is at 5pm...this means early nights for a lot of people. We were lucky to have proper electricity power...as it seems it doesn't happen all the time. For internet connection, better forget about it.
Our next entry is purely a diving one, so we'll come back later on that part of the Island...did I say amazing diving!
Our next stop is back in South India, but for this with love from both of us...just be patient!
There are more photos below