10th of February, day 10
As the decision was taken not to stop to sleep, the Young Explorers had now to find the right channel to continue their journey down to the Andaman Strait. The Young Explorers showed some confusion as to the correct path to take and some areas of very shallow water made the progression very slow. Mike decided finally to help our Young Explorers and show them the right way to follow. The Andaman strait was very calm and a light current helped us to navigate down south.
A last section of the river also confused our Young Explorers and Mike had to show them the way once again. On the Young Explorers 'dingy everyone was very silent and one after the other, they started to nod off to sleep for short periods of time. The most constraining part for everyone was surely the couple of hours just before the sunrise. At 5am we started to distinguish the light of the sun and at 6am we could enjoy an amazing sunrise on a beautiful mangrove forest. A light fog on the river gave a mystic ambiance to the scenery.
We passed a couple of small fishing boats and saw our first village on the shore. Local people seemed to be quite curious, watching us motoring down the river with our two dingys. Just before reaching the end of the Andaman Strait, we saw on the side of the channel a small tunnel inside the mangroves. We decided to go and explore it. It was a nice path through the forest, driving us to an old jetty were we found a local fishing boat. Not a sole was around.
At 8 am we finally reached the exit of the Andaman Strait where the river extended into the ocean. Far on the horizon we could see Pangaea sailing in our direction. The timing was perfect and we met at the planned anchor spot. Our Young Explorers were more than happy to get back on Pangaea. As usual,
Cathy had prepared an excellent breakfast that they quickly ate. before sleep overcame them once and for all. It was time now to head back to Port Blair. On the way we had a quick diving and snorkelling stop. The marine life was quite dense and we saw lots of sea cucumbers. Most of the corals and fish were standing in between 3 and 5 meters which gave us the possibility to stay for 50 minutes under the water.
We arrived in Port Blair just for the sunset. A final clean-up and rinsing of the diving equipment took most of our time before having dinner. At 10pm all our Young Explorers were sleeping, as usual on their mattresses
on the deck of Pangaea.