Stranded on Havelock Island
We finished up in Port Blair and headed for Havelock Island,
taking two hours on an inter-island ferry, yesterday. It turns out,
Joe, AA4NN, had gotten his permit for the Andamans from an Indian
Consulate at the same time he got his visa, and it only mentioned Port
Blair, not Havelock Island. Since he had that, he didn't check in
with local immigration at the airport, as the rest of us did and got a
permit for ALL the islands. He was detained at the jetty, until a
telephone call got him the right sort of permit, in absentia.
We got to the Wild Orchid Resort to find that, while air-conditioned
rooms had been requested, they'd not been confirmed, nor were they
available. So, no A/C.
We also found that the rains we'd been experiencing really are an early
start to the monsoon season, and there's a cyclone warning for the area,
so flights out of Port Blair to the mainland have been canceled for at
least yesterday and today, and that boat travel was curtailed shortly
after we arrived. Two officials of the NIAR, Mohan, VU2MYH and Jose (that's pronounced as the first syllabil of Joseph), VU2JOS had come out on the boat with us with the intent of returning to Port Blair today, Chennai tomorrow and home by train the day after, so they're trapped here, and no one knows if the boats will be running tomorrow. The storm warning also meant that the dive boats didn't go out, so no diving for me, either (but I'm under no time pressure).
The relative coolness because of the rain, and the power failures make
the lack of A/C in the room moot, for the bright side.
This really is the luxury resort here at Wild Orchid- western style
toilets, and hot water available for showers, and the buildings are made
of wood, although they have real thatched roofs. Some of the group is
staying at Emerald Gecko down the road (or beach) and they are in real
shacks made solely of bamboo and thatch (although they appear to be
comfortable and are much cheaper). And there are three healthy and
friendly cats in residence. I had the adult on my lap for half-an-hour
this morning, and I've been allowed to scratch the two kittens behind
It's very damp, and not really cool, though. And Jose and Mohan are
bored and anxious to get back to work. Me, I'm writing this.
I've gotten permission to use the one telephone line in the hotel
between 9PM and 7AM for internet access, so when I couldn't sleep at
3AM, I was able to up and download mail, although it was VERY slow.
That telephone is at the reception desk and three chairs across the
stairs are the only security in place, so that was easy. And I'm used
to using the computer with my LED headlight (which I'm using now, since
it's so dark, although 16:15 local time (although that's more nearly
correct to the sun for the Indian mainland then it is for here)).
My head crud has turned into a bit of a scratchy throat and a cough, but
the throat is adequately treated with a warm salt water gargle, and the
cough is not bad and intermittent, so I was able to get a good swim at
high tide this morning. I've been trying to teach Sara some back
exercises for his back pain.
This was written on Thursday, 27 April. I'll save some battery for
later, since the power's been out for several hours now, and who knows
when it'll be back. I've been told that the telephone connection to Port Blair is out, so I don't know if I'll get this out tonight or tomorrow. The forecast is good enough so we expect the ferry and dive boats to go out tomorrow.