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EXPLORING INDIA : From Kaziranga to the Himalayas to the desert of Jaisalmer to the backwaters of Allepey to the sun baked coral beaches of Lakshadweep....A first hand account of exploring this beautiful country.



Thursday, November 09, 2006

Lakshadweep-IV : Day 2 at Agatti

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Day 2:
From my experience of previous night at ship, I expected the sunrise to be around 6:30 am. So I was out of bed well in time, so did Mono and little Swathi. We have not done that in a long time. Walking down the 100 odd meters to the eastern shore on the other side of the resort, we found that one of the couple was already there. But for reasons known to them, the other two groups did not get out of their slumber and decided to miss the sunrise. Honestly speaking, the sunrise for that day was the best of those 3 days in Agatti.

The sun rose slowly in the distant horizon, as if coming out of the sea. The horizon changed colours from pale orange to yellow as the sun continued its upward journey. Soon it went behind the small pieces of clouds to play hide and seek. We were drawn into water for the first time. Walking along the beach a small crab drew our attention. We could not make whether it was trying to get into water or was trying to run away from it. But its indecision let me shoot some close up shots.

Several fishermen were out in the beach for that early morning catch. Some were fishing with nets and some with hooks. Some went past us, as we were taking photographs, flashing a greeting smile. I tried to speak to one or two. Unfortunately, they neither speak Hindi not English, thereby cutting short my attempts to communicate.

Back into the resort, morning tea was awaiting us. The Chaudhories and Bharatis from Mumbai also woke up by now and has managed to mingle with a local fisherman who was fishing on the resort side of the beach. We had joined them to see the catch. Abdul chacha, the fisherman had a good 2 kg catch for that morning. In order to shoot an action shot of him throwing the net, I kept following him for some time. With the net ready for throwing on his arms and his eyes intensely grazing the water for any sign of fish, Abdul chacha walked unmindful of me following him. But the fishes have gone away by then and so I did not get that shot.

Back into the resort we went for breakfast. Over the breakfast we were told about the first planned activity for the day – Glass Bottomed Boat trip into the lagoon for watching fishes and corals. The boat had capacity of 4 ans so we were to proceed in groups. We were in the first group alongwith Murli and his wife Parineeta from Bangalore. We were taken few hundreds meter deep into the lagoon. Once the covers of the glasses were removed, a virtual live aquarium unfolded in front of us. Beautiful corals of different shapes, colourful fishes and also an eel – we were simply left awestruck. Even though one can see the corals from atop water, the glass bottom boats provides a clearer view, may be by cutting down the refraction. Even though I tried, photography was virtually impossible as everything was under water and the boat was moving all the time. The half an hour trip took us to 3 bushes of corals. Then started the turtle chase. It was difficult to take the boat above a turtle as they moves very fast. Yet the boatman used all their experiences to give us clear view of some massive turtles.

Trip by other groups continued till about noon. We decided to cool off in the lagoon. My daughter was itching to get into water. It was around 10 am. Without much thought we all were in water soon. Because of high tides in the morning, water level was relatively higher and waves were mild. We splashed, jumped and bathed in the lagoon for at least 2 hours, while sun had literally baked us. Back in the room, we started to feel the pinch of the sun burns. We all became tanned by the sun. I was bare back and it got burned so badly that I was finding it difficult to carry my cameras later in the day. Wiser from this experience, we lavishly used the sun control cream in our all future outings.

During the lunch, we were told about the next programme of Lagoon Fishing Trip. The time they gave of 2:30 pm sound very awkward. We all tried for a delayed trip. Eventually, we were out for the trip at around 3:30 pm. We were taken to the same spot where we went for the glass bottom boat trip. The boat was anchored over the corals. It was full of colorful fishes. One of the boatmen handed over hooks to us. Only fish that swallows the fish was the Yellow coloured Snapper fish. This is the same tasty fish that was served to us in the lunch. The young kids from Mumbai could catch about 5 fishes. I was not that lucky. In my entire botched attempts, the bait was eaten by some green coloured fish which attacked the bait in groups. The fun of it was that you can see what was happening down under.

Meanwhile Murli and his wife decided to try their hands at introductory diving. Mr. Hindol Basu from Chennai also joined them. Mrs. Basu tried but opted out. Introductory Diving takes you into about 3 mtrs of water guided by the instructor. The charges for the 30 min trip is Rs.1000/- per person. Murli was determined to try it out here as in his previous trip to Pattaya he found that the rate there was very high, something in the range of Rs.8000/- for Introductory Diving. I was told that for diving one need not know swimming. I thought of going for snorkeling, but dropped the idea later. The instructor also appeared to be more interested in diving then snorkeling as the return is more in diving. I asked Murli as to how it was. He told that you can touch and feel those live corals under water. That’s all and it was worth a thousand bucks.

Back from the fishing trip, it was again sun watching in the beach. Some went for Kayaking. I was not sure whether it can be tried without knowing how to swim. But I was assured that it is absolutely safe and so I tried kayaking and learned the tricks of the trade. That evening the sun threw another spectacle of light. The small pieces of clouds added dimension to this riot of colour. It was the best sunset over the three days we had stayed there. Some of photos were able to capture those magical moments. But what we saw and felt can never be described in photos.

The evening was nothing special. The customary walk down the beach was undertaken. But by now I was really feeling the pinch of the sun burns over my back and shoulders. After a long time, I had applied some cream over my body. There has been no power cuts, though it may sound strange. The activities of the day ensured that we get a sound sleep.

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posted by Rupankar Mahanta at 12:12 PM

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3 Comments:

At November 10, 2006 1:23 AM, Blogger Doctor Fong said...

Your blog is very interesting. I especially enjoy the pictures of animals you find!

 
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At August 01, 2012 7:50 PM, Blogger richa said...

hey you day 3 of agatti is missing... please upload it

 

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