With our fellow travellers aboard Yantara and Beach House we had anchored in a sheltered spot at the southern tip of Interview Island in a rocky bay formed by a break in the reef.
As there didn’t seem to be a good place to land on the nearby beach we decided to set off in our dinghies to explore the rather shallow eastern side of the island. Apparently there are crocodiles all along this side of island’s coastline so we were on full alert as we chugged along.
Actually we were the only ones chugging as our dinghy only had a six horse power outboard while the other dinghies zoomed along with their more powerful engines.
We landed on an interesting looking beach – it wasn’t easy to go ashore as there were rocky outcrops and dead coral to negotiate but we finally found a route through and secured the dinghies.
The beach was fringed with thick undergrowth and quite large trees in places. As we wandered along we noticed a small gap in the undergrowth which just begged to be explored. We pushed through the bushes and waked along a narrow, rough path.
After just a few minutes we entered a clearing and discovered what we took to be a fishermen’s camp. There was a little makeshift furniture – an upturned bucket for a seat, a table made from bamboo – and various bits and pieces lying around.
Glancing up, we noticed an intricate treehouse woven into the branches above us where we guessed the fishermen sleep when they come ashore for a break. On the floor below the silence was broken by hundreds of small green crabs munching in the undergrowth.
On the outskirts of the camp we found several snares which we assumed the fishermen used to catch something to relieve the tedium of fish every night for their supper! As we walked further into the bushes we kept our eyes open for snares and traps that could trip us up or injure us in some way!
After a while we found our way back once again to the beach and where there were some excellent shells and a cave to explore.
The next morning we started our trip back to Port Blair. We would have like to stay a little longer on Interview Island but we knew we didn’t really have enough time as we had to be back for the closing event for the Sail Andamans Rally a few days ahead.
Although we had to give the authorities a day by day itinerary before leaving Port Blair we didn’t think (it turns out correctly,) that there would be any consequences for deviating from it slightly. With this in mind we decided to go to Paget Island on the return trip as we had noticed that it looked like a pretty anchorage as we passed it on the way to Interview Island.
Being monohulls, Yantara and Bali Hai had to return via the western side of the island as the eastern side was too shallow and given the inaccuracy of the charts we didn’t want to take the risk of going aground. Beach House being a catamaran was able to take the eastern route.
There was no wind at first so we had to motor but by midday we were sailing on the port tack moving along happily at 6.5 knots in 12 knots of true wind.
Before too long we had to pull the sails down again as the wind had moved around and was well over 20 knots on the nose. There was a bit of a squall – our first rain for a long time – and then another squall came through soon afterwards as we were approaching the land just as we were coming in to anchor. We definitely didn’t want to anchor in poor visibility so we went off course for a while until the bad weather blew through.
If you would like to read more about the inaugural Andamans Yacht Rally and our trip up north follow the link below: