the most popular excursion from Port Blair
is the boat ride from Wandoor, 30km southwest, to one or other of the
fifteen islets comprising the Mahatma Gandhi National Marine Park.
Although set up purely for tourists, the trip is worth doing, gaining
one's access to one of the richest coral reefs in the region.
Boats depart from Wandoor at 10.00 am daily except Monday. One can get there on A&N Tourism's tour or by local bus, but it is more fun to rent a moped and ride down to meet the boat oneself.
The Beach & Other Island Attractions
The long white beach at Wandoor is littered with the dry, twisted trunks of trees torn up and flung down by annual cyclones, and fringed not with palms, but by dense forest teeming with bird life. One should only snorkel here at high tide.
From the jetty the boats chug through broad creeks lined with dense mangrove swamps and pristine forest to either Red Skin Island or, more commonly, Jolly Buoy. The latter, an idyllic deserted island, boasts an immaculate shell-sand beach, ringed by a bank of superb coral. The catch is that the boat only stops for around an hour, which isn't nearby enough time to explore the shore and reef. While snorkeling off the edges of the reef, however, beware of strong currents.