Andaman Islands Comments

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1 - Comment from member Zbyszek 14:28, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

We visited Andaman Islands in February/March 2009. The port of entry was Port Blair.

Checking in

We radioed the port authority about six hours before arrival, using VHF. Earlier calls on HF were not answered. We were told to proceed to the harbour but to call again before entering. The operator then told us where we could anchor. He also wanted us to call him when we were in the channel. After we anchored we called the operator again and reported our GPS position. This was all for the day, as it was already evening.

Next morning we were boarded by the Coast Guard. They checked our safety equipment and cleared us. As there was a large cruiser nearby, the Immigration and Customs officials came to us from there. They were brought to our boat by the cruiser's dinghy. There were plenty of forms to fill in and many copies of passports, crew lists and inventory taken. All was however done within the morning. We had to take the officials back to shore in our dinghy.

VISAS

Indian authorities require that a visa is obtained before arrival to the country (we are Australians). We had the visa and a 15 day permit to sail in Andaman Islands - obtained from the Bangkok Indian Embassy. Getting the permit was a mistake. Boats without one received 30 day permit on arrival. We could not extend the permit in Port Blair thus we had to leave after 15 days.

The last procedure was to check in with the Harbour Master. We hired a taxi (150 Rupiahs per hour) and the driver took us to the office. This was also a relatively simple task.

Checking out

We checked out in reverse order than checking in, starting with the Harbour Master, then Customs and Immigration. All that was done on land and we had to hire a taxi to visit the relevant offices. The taxi driver knew exactly what to do. He even stopped at a copying shop as he knew we would need a copy of one of the forms that we were given to us by Customs.

The Immigration officer allowed us to stay one night longer than the permit stated. They required however we would leave before 8AM and they would have to stamp our passports that morning. We arranged for them to be at the jetty at 6AM and they were there on time.

Warning

There is a boy who offers (or, rather demands) to look after the dighy at the jetty. He charges 200 Rupiahs per day. The price was 50 Rupiahs just a year ago. Some sailors refused his service and they were threatened by the boy. Nothing however happened. There is a problem with leaving the dinghy for the whole day at the jetty. The jetty is used by other boats during the day and the dinghy sometimes has to be moved. I guess the best way is to negotiate with the boy a better price. Complaints to the port authorities may also help in long term.

Anchorages

The following is a list of places where we anchored when cruising the islands:

1. Port Blair: 11.41.363N 092.42.93E

2. Neill Island: 11.50.628N 093.00.654E

3. Henry Lawrence Island: 12.04.924N 093.04.312E; Other yacht: 12.05.073N 093.04.174E

4. Inglis Island: 12.08.115N 093.06.526E; Other yacht: 12.08.140N 093.06.515E

5. Outram Island: 12.12.140N 093.05.893E; Other yacht: 12.12.252N 093.05.766E

6. North Button Island: 12.18.760N 093.04.043E; Other yacht: 12.18.857N 093.03.940E

7. Middle Button Island: 12.16.254N 93.01.444E; Other yacht: 12.16.273N 093.01.200E

8. South Button Island: 12.13.303N 093.01.435E

9. Havelock #7: 11.58.839N 092.57.148E; Other yacht: 11.58.898N 092.56.989E

10. Havelock - Meliville Point: 11.59.268N 092.55.856E

11. Havelock Port: 12.02.482N, 092.58.999E (very small area)

12. Elephant Bay: 12.00.395N, 092.56.383E

Other yacht is an alternative anchorage, especially for yachts with less than 1.6m draft.

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