The Barren Island

sunderban, bakkhali, west benga

It’s been over three years now that I have personally conducted the flagship tour of our company, the Crossindia Pirates Party, which goes through the Southern part of Sunderbans (where there are no tigers) and out into the open seas of the Bay of Bengal where we camp at a white sand island that we fondly call ‘The Barren Island’. The adventure sailing tour with the theme of the pirates and the Barren Island has been loved by everyone, without exception, who has come on board. The response has been so overwhelming that the programme shot us currently in No. 2 position in Trip Advisor (Crossindia Travel to Adventure) in top things to do around Sunderbans. Justina from New York wrote, “I have travelled quite a bit in my 55 years and I would have to say without hesitation that the night spent on Barren Beach was one of the best of my life.”

sunderban, bakkhali, west bengal, barren island

Other reviews also read as, ‘weekend trip to remember’, ‘hidden gem of a trip’ and ‘I could almost touch the stars’.There is one secret about Barren Island, however, which until now I have not told anyone except to a handful core team members in office; the secret that the ‘Barren Island’ Disappears. I found this about two years back when I was still on recce with my crew in the attempt to add more points of interest on the already existing forest boat tour. Upon arriving at 11 pm on a night that was without moon but filled with stars, the island that we had seen about a week back was not there anymore. It literally vanished! Surprised, stunned and shocked, I asked my crew, who are locals from the village nearby, “Where is the Island?” They walked up to the bow of the boat dropped the 5 kg mushroom anchor and said, ‘Sir its right below you!’

Do You Know About the Goa of the East? Read More to Find Out. 

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It didn’t take me long to figure out. High tides in full moon and no moon days are higher than usual. It was interesting yet perplexing, obvious yet dubious and captivating but yet annoying. How can I bring people to this serene white sand barren island with so many variables? Even the almost perfect presumptions of tide levels by our experienced crew, who have been boatmen for more than 35 years, runs into approximation. The hunt was on to find solution to the challenge and the answer came from the expert, a friend and the captain of one of the most expensive and luxurious yacht in the Hooghly river, Kolkata. He shared with me a satellite based application source, that gives precise, real time and forecasted information on the tide level readings in meters with exact timings beside wind directions, wind speed and other updated weather. That information was a goldmine for me. Not only could I time our arrival at the Barren Island precisely at low mark tides to purposely run aground for few hours but the local fishermen started asking me for the updated and precise satellite based information system to help them navigate, fish and battle adverse weathers. Moreover, I was further relieved to know that during the months of our operations the strength of the respective tides reduces because of the change in the position of the moon and the whole island doesn’t come under water. This was more than a sigh of relief from my end.

sunderban, crossindia, weekend destination, bakkhali, barren island
Exotic fishes at the Barren Island

With the ammunition of this information we could sail to Barren Island safely in and out, unknown to the guests about the various variables that are involved in the operation. And although time and tide waits for none, we on the other hand didn’t have to wait for time and tide either.

You Can Also Travel to this Magical Island. Click Here. 

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