Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The sparrow has landed....

I am in a very dodgy icafe in a back alley off a busy street in Port Blair, so I will make this quick. I'm safe and healthy and all is well. We sailed around Phuket and the Similan Islands longer than expected and didn't set sail for the Andamans until Friday night. There was no wind...while y'all were worried about tsunamis and earthquakes, we were motoring through still waters. The deep sea was wonderful...totally beautiful. There were some rough patches but they were fun and a break from the monotony. (I realize bad seas will be another story altogether.) The deep sea is like floating in heaven because the sky and sometimes white clouds reflect off the water, which looks like metallic blue lava melting into the sky. It's mesmerizing being out there for days with no sight of land. We saw several pods of dolphin. Night watch is grueling and scary if the winds change, but John is always a holler away. We didn't reach the Andamans until midnight last night. Spent most of the day having officials visit the boat (immigration, then customs, then Coast Guard) and now John is on land visiting the harbour master. Yachties from previous journeys warned a sense of humour is a must to get through the beauracracy of entering the Andamans. Finally we dinghied to shore and are making our way around looking for cash and internet. Penny and I may get a hotel tonight for a proper shower, which would be grand. I have lots of photos to share but the flash drive port at the icafe is...well, looks rusted for starters. The keyboard tray is bouncing from loose screws and the keyboard is sticky and dusty...so this is about all i can manage for now.

I hope to be back at the internet cafe if Penny and I get settled tonight, so maybe you'll hear from me again. If not, we are bouncing around the Andamans for 15 days and will be very well watched by four or five authorities (I haven't mentioned the wildlife warden)...so don't worry about us! Sailing around the islands is a breeze and there's nothing at all to worry about. I'm still contemplating the next leg to the Maldives because Penny and Fiona get off here and John was hoping to bring another guy on but that guy is finding it impossible to get to the Andamans. It really is next to impossible to get here but promises to be paradise once we get out of busy Port Blair, which is exactly like the other parts of India i've seen...not sure why I was expecting something different.
So that's all for now. Miss y'all so much and wish we could talk!
posted by Ali's personal assisstant in the U.S.