Monday, 23 February 2009

Cruise to Grandi Island

Boss gave orders same day early morning that he wants to cruise Grandi Is. Next morning we scrambled up all agents and navy personnel as the area is controlled by navy. Sailing took us only a couple of hours and we anchored at SE tip of Grandi Is.
We were followed by Augustine and his small fleet of jetskis out of Sinquerim and I had to go around all approach channels and pilot stations so I approached the Grandi Is from the NW.

Grandi Island

Once securely anchored I jetskied around it with Abroe and saw all small beaches (3 of them) and tourists that abound at the only really worthwhile spot in Goa in respect of diving and snorkeling. I also checked out the Navy controlled Hansa beach at the mainland, a long desolate beach with nothing on it. Perfect for a BBQ. The only really good looking beach on Grandi Is is on the NW side where the jetty is. As the Navy has not been that active (it seems) the jetty has partly collapsed and there is no activity on the Island.

Orders were to arrange full dinner BBQ at Grandi Is jetty. Whole afternoon was spent ferrying stuff over and setting up tables, BBQ, cutlery, lights, candles and whatnot. Boss went for lunch at Gautam Singhanis yacht, the “Ashena” and came back at about sunset. The party was ongoing and at about 11pm a decision was made to move out to the beach. I was thinking of staying onboard and Boss asked “aren’t you coming?” so I just hopped onboard the tenderboat and off we went.

Sunset with m/y Ashena in front of us

Once we arrived the jetty we anchored the bigger tenderboat at the head of the jetty and used the smaller Kalizma tender (which is a RIB) to ferry people to the beach.
The highwater was close so the beach had almost receded totally under water. All chairs were pulled up to the extreme end of the beach, the slowly rolling waves kept wetting the guests feet, the barbecue was half in water, tables had to be righted once in awhile to prevent from falling over. The guests was loving it, the wine and drinks flowed and all were in high spirits.

While all was going well, my deckhand Dubey, who had been stationed on this Island during his Navy time, took me up on the Island slope, a concrete pathway leading up to the old barracks. We walked along the pathway in the light of a torch and I saw the old well that had been used, it was huge with about 5m diameter and maybe 10m deep. Now there was hardly any water on the bottom and big trees was growing out of it. We continued up the path and came to the old generator building, only the seat of the generator was evidence there now. All buildings that I saw had only the walls left, roofs had been removed or blown away. Dubey told me that when he was stationed here he would every morning get himself a tender coconut for breakfast in the groves that had been growing there.

At same beach there was also 2 other boats with some local people overnighting there and they had their own party ongoing at the remains of the partly collapsed jetty. After some time they also became curious of our party and approached us and was very excited of seeing our Boss. Eventually they wanted to join the party and Bosses bodyguard needed some serious persuading to do before the youngsters believed him. In the end Boss posed for a photo together with the guys.

Having done all this, the beach had receded quite a bit and was now getting a few meters of legroom to swing, but the clock was ticking and Boss decided to retire. All our guests were ferried back to the Bagpiper tender and left back to Kalizma. Crew started packing up stuff and we waited for the small tender to return.

We packed all our stuff and ferried it back to Kalizma and once all was onboard I sent Augustine with the bagpiper tender, our tender and the accompanying 3 jetskis back to Sinquerim. Our tender had to go as they were the only ones with a GPS chart plotter.

Following orders were to return to Sinquerim as well and that we did. I anchored off Aguada at 5am. All crew still awake went and threw themselves in for a few hours of shuteye, including me.

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