(30th March 2009): The next day we got up early to catch the 6:45 am ferry to Havelock Island from the Pheonix Bay. This ferry takes 4 hrs to reach the destination as it is very slow. We managed to get concessional tickets (specially for defense officers) of Rs 25/- only, as against the regular fare of Rs 250/-. Let me remind you again that all the tickets were booked in advance by our friend for us and so we could go straight ahead with our trip without much hassles.
The sun rises early in Port Blair as it is on the east coast and so light breaks as early as 5:00am. Therefore, there was bright sunlight when we boarded the ship/ferry and found our seats on the upper deck. We carried some snacks and water bottles with us (from a tea stall nearby) as we had no information if we would get anything on board. But, we later discovered that it was really not necessary as tea and snacks were available in the cafeteria.
I was lucky to spot three dolphins swimming together and tried to capture them with my camera, but they had disappeared before I could spot them in the lens of my camera. The trip was thrilling and I felt like I was on a luxury cruise..(at least it was for me)! We reached the Havelock jetty at around 10:30 am and hired a taxi to take us to the Dolphin Resort, where we had our rooms booked for one day.
The view of the sea from the Dolphin Resort was fantastic and the colors of the shallow and deep waters could be distinguished clearly as the sun was nice and high by this time. I was absolutely floored by the sight. We quickly dumped our bags in the room and came out to take pictures of the scenery. It was breathtaking.
This is a Government Resort and so we had to have lunch in the common dining room. The food was good and cheap too. We enjoyed our meal of chicken curry, rice, rotis, vegetables and dal; a real wholesome meal. After lunch we rested in our rooms for a while till evening, then we had tea and went to explore the place. There was a small private beach next to the resort and we went to sit there and watch the sunset (which also happens early in the evening, 5:00pm).
The beach was very nice and quiet with white silvery soft sands and clear calm waters. If you see the pictures of the beach, you will be able to appreciate the beauty of the place. We relaxed on the beach till sunset and took pictures of each other. Then we went back to the Resort for dinner. We had fish curry which was delicious along with the other same menu as lunch.
At night we sat out in the lounge and watched a movie on our laptop till it was time to sleep. The night was clear and we could see all the stars brightly in the sky. The only problem was the mosquitoes. Anyway, we retired to bed and had to check out of this hotel at 8:30am the next morning soon after tea and breakfast.
We had to move to another hotel, called "Sea Shells" and proceeded there in the hired taxi. The hotel there had no rooms available till 12:00pm and so we decided to deposit our bags there and go ahead to Elephant beach where we could see some more corals in a glass bottom boat. So we set off to the same jetty point and got a hired boat (individual boats) and took off to the Elephant beach. It takes half an hour to reach the place, but we enjoyed the ride. See these pictures.
On reaching the beach we immediately switched over to a glass bottom boat and went for a ride around to see the underwater marine life and corals. It was amazing and fascinating sight, once again, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. But, as the sun was getting higher, it began to get really hot and humid so we came back to our boat and made the return trip fast. We managed to reach back by 12:00 pm and luckily the rooms in the hotel were ready and so we went to freshen up and proceed for lunch.
The food here was excellent and very delicious. The hotel too had good rooms and was very comfortable. It had an excellent view of the sea with deck chairs to sit on and enjoy the cool breeze by the sea. I would recommend this hotel as a first choice for anyone making a trip to this place. There are Ac and Non Ac rooms available and both are equally comfortable. Check out these pictures for yourself.
In the evening we set off for Radha Nagar beach to watch the sunset (supposed to be the primary tourist attraction of this place)! We set off at 3:30pm and reached the beach around 4:00pm well in time for the sunset. The beach is a very big one and is good for beaching. My son immediately removed his shirt and jumped into the water. He stayed there till sunset and my husband was forced to join him too, since I wasn't very keen to get wet. I took a stroll on the beach and saw some strange sights. Take a look at this picture. I really don't know what or why this was there on the beach, but it sure was mysterious and sinister!
It had rained in the afternoon and so the sky was still overcast with clouds. The sun escaped behind these clouds at the time of sunset and this was how it looked.
All in all, we had a great time in Havelock Island. It was a very peaceful place. The next day, we had to catch a boat to Neil island at 3:00pm and so had the full morning to waste time. So we decided to go to the market close by and check out the internet to catch up with our mails. We managed to find one shop which offered us the facility and we took one hour as the connection was very slow.