Little did we know that the next day is going to be the best day of Andaman stay.There are two protected islands in Mahatma Gandhi marine national park:Red Skin island and Jolly Buoy island.Each of the islands is open for 6 months for people,which means at any time of the year either of these is open for visitors.We had the chance to visit Jolly Buoy. We took a public bus to Wandoor beach,which is around 30 km for Port Blair.We had a wonderful opportunity to interact with locals.As I have already mentioned in previous posts,Andaman people are very kind hearted human beings.
Prior permit and entry ticket need to be taken for this trip.We had bought it from the tourism department the previous day.We needed to take a ferry to Jolly Buoy island from Wandoor jetty. All the ships leave at the same time and come back together. So make sure you reach the jetty before 9.00am.Jolly buoy island is a plastic free zone.You must submit a list of all the plastic items you are carrying at Wandoor beach, and a deposit will be needed for each plastic item. This will be refunded when you come back and produce the items again. This is meant to ensure that you do not leave any plastics on the island.We had to surrender our plastic water bottles and take Milton water bottle that they provide on rent.There is a strict check for plastic materials.
Jolly buoy island is an isolated land. Visitors are expected to carry all items required for them like, food, water,swimming costumes etc. Note that,since this is a protected island you need to submit Photo ID proof to get the permit.
The boat journey is through the thick forests surrounding the clear pristine sea.
Jolly buoy is a no man’s island surrounded by other islands.
As a complimentary gift,while getting down from the ship and transferring to the island through small boats, we were taken through a glass bottom ride and shown underwater corals for around 5 minutes.
The view through the glass bottom was breathtaking however since it does not allow us to touch the corals,we did not opt for extending the ride.
After getting down on the island,we instantly fell in love with it.Spotless, shimmering white sands,turquoise-blue clear waters — a perfect view!
We opted for snorkelling which was Rs.1500/head.There is no proper place for changing the dress, especially for ladies and kids. We had to take turns between change into the extra clothes that we had got and looking after our luggage.
Snorkelling was a divine out-of-the-world experience.I got to feel Nemo,starfish and n number of corals and colorful fishes.I could still feel the goosebumps.The instructor was continuously providing info about the various underwater creatures,but I was lost in admiring God’s creation. The euphoria lasted for a week!:P
The return journey starts at 2.00 or 2.30pm. The same boat dropped us back to Wandoor jetty.
Sunset at Chidiya Tapu which is nearby Wandoor is also a must watch.However,since Sun sets early in Andaman we could not cover it due to time constraints:( So we enjoyed the last sunset on the Wandoor beach which is at a walkable distance from jetty.
We took a bus to Port blair at around 4pm and started packing for our return journey the following morning!