Minicoy, Lakshadweep #IslandLife

Photo of Minicoy, Lakshadweep #IslandLife by Wriddhi Bagchi

Minicoy island was part of our 5 days/4 nights Lakshadweep trip by ship. We were spending the whole daytime at the island and were coming back to ship by evening and travel to the next island by this ship during night time.

It is a very amazing feeling when you are on a deck of a ship at night with the sky above filled with thousands and thousands of stars and the mighty ocean at the bottom, with no land probably in hundreds of kilometers in any direction and no other light around. You feel small, you feel helpless, but you feel enlightened, wise and lucky. All your life's problems accumulated doesn't stand anywhere in front of this. The waves created by the ship shows fluorescent white color in the moonlight, and it hits back the ship and smashes on its body. The more you concentrate on the sky, the number of stars you can see. Eventually, the sky looks to you as a black velvet paper losing its color and becoming partially white in multiple places.

On the island

Our destination for the day was Minicoy which is little far from the rest of the islands of Lakshadweep and much nearer to the Maldives. My morning schedule was the same, waking up before the alarm clocks at 5:30 am, a short tour to the upper deck and back to back deck for sunrise. At Minicoy, the ship had to stay a little far compared to other islands and it took the boat 20-25min to take us to the island jetty. The resort was also on the other side of the island than the jetty. Few open-hood tempo were there to take us to the place. Like other islands, the greenery was like HD quality.

Photo of Minicoy Island, Lakshadweep by Wriddhi Bagchi

Btw, I saved a person from falling into the water while off-boarding at the jetty. As the person tried to step on the jetty stairs even before the boat was stable, he slipped inside the gap between the boat and jetty. Someone held him from the jetty side and I caught the strap of his life jacket from the boat side which saved him from falling into the gap. Then we all dragged him to the boat. During the whole process, this guy's wife was sitting beside us and watching, and didn't even get worried! Not sure if she was wishing something else, in that case, she might be still mad at me.

Photo of Minicoy, Lakshadweep #IslandLife by Wriddhi Bagchi

We were taken to the lighthouse first. We were greeted with a welcome drink there. This is a standard size lighthouse. Last year we have been to the lighthouse at Vypeen island, Kerala but that was having a lift, this one doesn't. To reach the top we climbed a good number for steps, some spiral ones, some supper spiral ones, some very stiff ones. When it comes to a lighthouse, it is always at a prime location (that is the whole purpose of having it). From this one, you can see the notch of the island has two types of water on either side, one with the deep blue open sea and the other side with kilometers long white sand lagoon guarded by the coral reef. The color and appearance of either part are different. At some point, you stop wondering, after visiting Kalpeni we were in that state at that time. There was a resort visible from the lighthouse on the lagoon side. Later we realized, that is the resort our next destination was.

Photo of Minicoy, Lakshadweep #IslandLife by Wriddhi Bagchi

A similar tempo took us to the beach resort. We got ready to get into the water but wait, how can I swim! Water is nowhere more than 1ft of depth. We started walking into the sea on the complete white sand, walked crossing the red flag placed by the resort and even farther. No, water depth is not increasing and no chance one can swim here. With confused hearted, we went back to the land and took a kayak for kayaking. Yes, this is something easily doable here. With the last day's experience, we were experts in kayaking by our definition. The water was crystal-clear, and we could see the sand below the water. We went farther the red flag, even further, even further towards the coral reef. Other than us, only one other person was at that distance with a single sitter kayak. It was a quite soothing experience, floating flawlessly on crystal clear water on the white sand lagoon. But you know what, when you are happy, not many people like that. Neither the kayaking guy did. He took a small single sitter kayak and came to hunt us. 'Sir, it is too far, please go back, please'. 'Come 'on, even if I try, I can't drown in this water, I can't even make my head wet'. 'No sir, you are supposed to be inside the red-flagged area, this is not safe'. We were so far that we were not able to even see the red flags he was indicating. Anyways, while he was kayaking beside us to make sure we go back, we were casually chatting with him. I already knew the local language and culture are much different from the other islands on Lakshadweep and the local language is Mahal which is the same as of Maldives, but one new fact was, more than 90% of people of this island are in merchant navy. From the answer to one of my wife's question it was also clear that though the Maldives is their closest land, they need a passport to visit that.

Photo of Minicoy, Lakshadweep #IslandLife by Wriddhi Bagchi

There was no more fun to do kayaking in the red-flagged zone once you have been that far, so we returned the boat and went to the water to spend time. In this case, also the red-flagged zone was far behind where we end up spending time but no one came to bother us. Even after multiple trials, I was not able to do any kind of swimming other than just floating. There was another type of floating we invented, in which you are floating but your hands are crawling to move you here and there. That was helpful in that shallow water.

After a good lunch, we thought of resting at the beach but didn't have time for more than an hour and had to get ready for the tour. See, the thing is, we are always late to come out of the water. There is no exception to that. Though in other islands we were leaving behind the bags for the tours on the island, on this island we had to take everything with us as we were supposed to go back to ship from the next place itself. This time the afternoon trip was not much interesting. They took us to visit a more than hundred years old wooden house and a racing boat that claimed to won all the races participated. That's okay, but I was looking for some scenic beauty. Anyways, it doesn't matter where you are, the hungry tourists were fighting for snacks. I and my wife went out of the place and took a look at the race boat and all. After some time we left for the jetty.

Photo of Minicoy, Lakshadweep #IslandLife by Wriddhi Bagchi

This was our last island on the trip and the next piece of land we were supposed to step on was the mainland at Kochi. But the best part of life is its uncertainty and surprises it brings. When we reached the jetty, our gigantic ship was berthed at the jetty. This was the first time in the history of Lakshadweep that a ship of this size had berthed in any island's wharf, and we were the first set of tourists who witnessed and lived this event. The jetty was crowded with locals who came to see this event and was taking snaps. This was an important day for their island. We took the stairs and went inside our ship. Getting lost while trying to reach our room after coming back from an island kind of became a practice for us. Once we reached the upper deck, it was crowded with tourists and passengers. This was so important moment even for the crew that they came out of the cockpit and was mingling with the passengers. The captain of the ship was also seen on the deck, and I could not resist myself from congratulating him on his success. It certainly is not an easy job to berth at a jetty smaller than the size of the ship itself. The joyful environment also gave us a chance to take a tour inside the cockpit.

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