Chiryatapu 9 feb

Terry & Fiona
Sat 9 Feb 2013 18:49
11:37.5 n
092:46.16 e
Port Blair to Chiryatapu 18nm
Finally we are all checked in, got all the necessary paperwork and stamps, fresh food and can now begin our tour of a little bit of the Andaman Islands.
In truth, there may well be hundreds of islands, but we are only allowed to visit a handful freely and a few more if you are prepared to pay a weighty fee and spend more time collecting more bits of paper and stamps, which we weren’t.
On the up side, we got a sim card for the mobile phone (thank you Helen and Jim on Gaia), but coverage is poor, even in the anchorage a GPRS signal is barely obtainable. we also managed to get the genoa partially fixed. Ravi, the master taxi driver, tour guide and general fixer told us that there were no machines capable of doing such stitching to fix the header tapes, but he could get them hand sewn. The sail came back with the header tapes sewn in the right place, but with very wide stitching where there had been dozens of stitch holes. Anyway it was better than nothing and meant that Fiona was able to do her own hand stitching to make it stronger.
There is are a couple of small fruit and veg markets in town with a reasonable selection of varying quality. chicken is available VERY fresh from the chicken shops. you pick your bird from the cage. it is ‘blessed’ by the in house imam, its throat slit and turned inside out – pulling off the skin and feathers all in one go, chopped up if you’d like, feet on or off as you prefer and bagged up all nice and warm.
bread (not very good) , curry puffs and samosas (superb) available in lots of places .
So, we called Port Control, got permission to leave) and sailed south along the coast to the bottom of the island and anchored off the beach and reef at Chiryaptapu. It was a quiet spot, but we did get some swell coming in from the ESE. Ashore we could see a number of people on the beach. We thought there would be a village, but couldn’t see one. and no mobile phone reception, which meant our attempts at checking in that evening and the next morning were fruitless.