The opening ceremony for the inaugural Sail the Andamans Yacht Carnival was a grand affair and the welcome very warm.
We received a beautiful traditional Indian welcome
Waiting for the ceremony to begin
In addition to the 27 crew members from 13 yachts, the evening was attended by local officials, representatives from various government departments and importantly, the very charming and erudite Lieutenant Governor D K Joshi (retired) a former naval Admiral and judging by his speech, a keen supporter of the yacht carnival.
Lieutenant Governor D K Joshi (retired)
A keen yachtsman himself, Admiral Joshi said that this was “the first but by no means the last Andaman’s yacht carnival”.
Quite an event! There were many cameras filming and taking photos.
Describing the islands as “the last unexplored frontier” the Lieutenant Governor said that plans were afoot “to ease the visa regime” with the aim of providing online visa applications for nationals of countries who have the appropriate arrangements with India. So all those people thinking of taking part in the rally next year take note!
After a wonderful display of many traditional and other dancing, including an amazing Kathkali dancer from Kerala in Southern India, some Nicobarese dancers and a group of Bollywood dancers, guests were treated to the wonderful tastes of Indian street food prepared by professional caterers. It was a great evening.
The skipper of Yantara represented the fleet during the the opening ceremony rituals
The dancers were very talented and entertaining
And very colourful too
These performers were from the Nicobar Islands
The spectacular Kathkali dancers
Indian street food served in style – delicious!
In the days before the opening ceremony we revisited some of the places we had enjoyed during our last trip to the Andaman Islands in 2017.
A scene at Chidiyatapu
One day we hired a mini bus to take a few of us to Chidiyatapu where we went for a marvellous hike in the forest behind Mundapahar Beach.
On the way to Chidiyatapu
We didn’t see any crocs but there were plenty of warnings!
There were many magnificent old trees in the parkland at Mundapahar Beach
There were plenty of birds in the cool of the forest
Then we glimpsed the sparking ocean through the trees
Afterwards we revisited the tiny little Cafe Infinity right over from the beach beloved of Indian tourists who flock there to see the sun set over the water. We had a snack of delicious fish fillets coated in a red coloured and flavoursome curry sauce.
Freshly caught and cooked fish
Sitting in the tiny Cafe Infinity
Later we returned to another favourite haunt from our last trip – a resort restaurant previously called Bamboo but now renamed Wild Grass. Unfortunately with the change of name came a change of menu and gone were the beers, sparkling and still wine. It had become the pub with no beer!
The view was the same but the menu had changed
Later on that day we made up for our disappointment at our favourite roof top restaurant “Seashells” where we ate delicious food and enjoyed live music.
Trying to read the menu with the help of a table lamp at Seashells
The food was lovely!
Other great places to eat in Port Blair include the New Lighthouse Restaurant (only serves beer after 4 pm), the Megapode Nest (beautiful views, good food and a full bar but often with slow motion service), the restaurant at TSG Hotel, Annapurna (delicious vegetarian food) and Ananda (wonderful food including fabulous chicken tandoori).
Our favourite table at the Megapode Nest
The view is enchanting
Another great meal at TSG Hotel
It’s so cheap to eat out in Port Blair so we did a lot of it!
While we were in Port Blair our small flotilla of boats made front page news in the Andaman Chronicle “First Ever Yacht Carnival Begins With Arrival of Five Yachts on Day One”. Fame at last!
Famous at last! We hit the headlines
If you would like to read more about the inaugural Andamans Yacht Rally and our trip up north follow the link below: