Regular ferry service runs between Port Blair and Havelock- both government operated and privately run.
Located 39 km of north-east of Port Blair, private ferry Makruzz takes 90 minutes whereas the Govt ferry takes 150 minutes. See the map below.
Onward sailing happens during morning hours/forenoon. The sea is relatively calm. Though there is a bit of uncertainty of the ferry service during post monsoon months like Sept. During monsoon months, the ferry service is restricted to Govt ferry for essential supplies and limited tourism.
Our ferry, a catamaran made good speed. It was nicely fitted out with CCTV entertainment, cafeteria and ship's announcement system. It has three classes of accommodation for tourists including a VIP lounge.
Being air-conditioned, it is fully enclosed. Even the windows have dark sun films. The sun film is partly torn in few places offering a view of the sea outside. Ghumakkad was seated on one such window.
After 75 minutes of steady sailing, we sighted land through the window. Sailors always feel delighted on sighting land!
The jetty was a picture of excitement for all 270 passengers or so. The weather, clean water and fresh air- all added to high energy levels visible on tourists' faces at Havelock jetty.
Here is a close up of Makruzz logo painted on ship's sides below the bridge.
I walked back towards the stern of the ship. And see what I found. Clean sea even in the harbour. Reminded me of Seychelles, located in middle of Indian Ocean, when I had last gone there in 1990.
View from the jetty was truly breathtaking. Nobody wanted to leave till the port staff blew their whistle to clear off the area.
In the picture below, you could traverse the beach all the way to our resort hidden behind the mangrove in the centre. I did that walk later and could see Makruzz from the beach front of our resort.
During the return journey, we had to take Green Ocean ferry which took 2-1/2 hours. Sea was choppy and many felt uncomfortable. But Green Ocean had an open deck with cafeteria for fresh air. We also saw some flying fish but could not capture it on the camera because of low light.
Those waiting for a roundup of Havelock's beaches, hang on till the next story.
Harsh-the-Ghumakkad with Neeta Bhargava/ 30th Dec 2016