Last weekend, we went to North Passage island that contains one of the most beautiful beaches of Andamans – Merk Bay beach.
|Merk Bay Beach from a distance|
North Passage island comes under the area of Middle Andaman. It is situated near to Strait Island (abode of Great Andamanese tribe), Guitar Island and Long Island. On the way to the island, one can see Strait island on the right and Guitar island on the left. Near to the North Passage island, one can also see three small islands on the opposite side that are said to be the North, Middle and South islands.
We hired a boat (dunghi) from Long Island jetty and it took us about an hour’s time to finally reach Merk Bay. The journey goes through vast creeks but mostly through open sea which gets a little risky in rough weather. While the boat ride is enjoyable to some extent with sun on the head and clear, dark blue water beneath, in rough weather the high waves may make the journey a little difficult to traverse. When we took the ride, it was a smooth sail initially but later, our dunghi started dancing on the waves (not literally) and it did give some quick heart beats to us.
|Merk bay beach|
But when we reached the beach, we could not stop ourselves from exclaiming ‘what a beautiful place!’ and we immediately forgot the highs and lows of the boat ride. The beach is indeed one of the most beautiful beaches I have seen in Andamans. Fine, white sand in contrast with the blue water makes the perfect setting for a day out.
|Merk bay beach, North Passage Island|
When we reached the beach, it was high of a high tide time and half of the beach was engulfed in the water but that is normally not the case. In normal times, the beach is a vast, long stretched area that offers an awesome view and a great scope for beach walking. The beach is safe for bathing and is said to offer good snorkeling options though I could not do snorkeling at the beach.
|Uninhabited North Passage Island|
North Passage island is an uninhabited island which means that no one stays on the island except a few of Forest Department’s staff. 95% of the island is ‘reserved forest’. The island is now on my MUST-VISIT list. The pleasure of being on a beach that is so calm and serene is a treat in itself.
How to go there: Hire a boat from Long Island jetty. It is better to start early in the morning, lets say around 6 am and be back by afternoon. Also, you must carry your food along as you may not find anything to eat there except coconuts. Best time to visit is ofcourse from November to March.
Where to stay: There are no possibilities to stay in North Passage island as it is an uninhabited island. You can instead spend the night in Long Island.