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THE USP OF ANDAMANS

Diving in Andamans is an unique lifetime experience. The coastal water surrounding these islands is the abode of one of the richest coral reef ecosystem in the world. The specialty is that, here the coral reefs and underwater formation are undamaged by human activity.

The best season for diving is from December to April.

DIVING IN andaman WATERS

For adventure lovers there is no greater adventure than diving. Whether one is a novice or one had been diving to fathoms, there is always something new, fascinating or challenging about venturing into the water world. Your mind could be mesmerized by clouds of colorful fishes, your curiosity aroused by the mysterious remains of sunken ships or your creativity invoked by the art of underwater photography. One's diving interest may range from a casual pastime pursued on vacation to a constant passion or even a professional career. Diving offers something unique to everyone.

Diving in Andaman and Nicobar islands is exceptional. The costal belt surrounding these islands is the abode of one of the richest coral reef ecosystems in the world. The distinction is that here the coral reefs and underwater formations are untouched by human activities. The best season for diving is considered between December and April.

Many of the islands are surrounded by reef fringes, often several hundred meters wide and separated from the shore by a lagoon of even width.

 

diving images from andamans

school of fish seen while diving in andamans
diving with gaint grouper
scuba diving in andamans
Twin magnificent slug
gaint grouper
western clown fish

Dive Sites to look out for

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Near South Andaman Islands
Cinque Island

One of the best dive destinations in the island, it has clear emerald water with a visibility of up to 80 feet. The deep dive offers a terrific variety of marine life, including black coral, sighting of sharks and is ideal for the experienced diver.

North Point

This site at Cinque Island is mostly highlighted by sponges and small corals and diversity of fish species.

Southeast Reef at Cinque Island

It is a good site for novices. The southeast part of the reef consists of hard and soft corals and very dense on the rocks of about 16 m (53 ft.)

Corruption Rock

Corruption Rock sticks out between Chidiyatappu and Rutland Island. The dive site is on the western side of the rock and is made up of big underwater boulders. The corals are not brilliant but the craggy undersea landscape of boulders is stunning along with a wonderland of gullies, channels, ridges and canyons. Look out for giant Napoleons and Eagle rays, huge snappers, schooling fusiliers, banner and unicorn fish.Dolphins, tuna and reef sharks have also been sighted here.

Rutland Island

The shallow waters near the island have a good representation of fishes and coral. It is a good place for training open-water divers. There is a ship-wreck site also.

Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, Wandoor

Hundreds of colourful varieties of coral reef fishes can be seen in the park. Some of these are clown fish, butterfly fish, surgeon fish, angel fish, parrot fish, bat fish and groupers. White tip shark, hammer-headed shark, manta ray and blue fin jack are also occasionally seen. More than 50 types of corals are found in the fringing coral reefs in the park. Some important coral varieties found here are Acropora, Pocillopora, Montipora, Leptosereis, Fungia, Portis, Tubipora and Gorgonians.

Other Dive Spots Fish Rock

This is near Passage Island. It offers an extremely colourful dive. The topography consists of rocky slopes, boulders and drop-offs featuring large fan of corals and plenty of sponges. Below 25m, the rocks are covered in small bushy soft corals in numerous hues. Hard corals are not so evident. Grey and white tip reef Sharks are always in the vicinity as are Nurse Sharks. Among the rest of the marine life are Eagle rays, Potato Cod, large Coral Groupers, and Fusilier, Suitlips, turtles, batfish, parrotfish, squirrelfish, surgeonfish, curious and friendly oriental sweet lips, yellow tangs, triggerfish, tuna, rainbow runners and many spices of trevally.

Bala Reef

On the western side of little Andaman, Bala Reef spreads over 4-5 sq. kms and is said to be one of the best sites in the Andaman for coral of vibrant colours.

 

Near Havelock Island

Some of the best dive spots near Havelock are Mac Point Mostly hard corals usually with good visibility. Dugongs have been spotted here.

Aquarium

Is a fringing reef with lots of ‘fish traffic'. The site usually has a good visibility. Mostly hard corals are found here.

Barracuda City

This site has tons of fishes and sometimes turtles. Mostly hard corals are seen here. Rather suitable for experienced divers.

Turtle Bay

This is an easy and pleasant dive site not exceeding 14 meters. Ray is found in the sand and with luck, turtles.

Seduction Point

A huge rock with different kind of aquatic life. Napoleons can be sighted here. The shallow part is full with stag horn corals and its inhabitants

Lighthouse

It is a huge dive site, suitable for any kind of dives. Huge variety of soft and hard coral grounds are here. Perfect for night dives.The Wall it is a submerged rock. The wall drops down to a maximum of 55 meters and is full with life. Huge forests of soft corals plus schools of fish circling you, makes it always a memorable dive.

Pilot Reef

Near to Havelock is a huge block of pristine hard corals. At the bottom (max 24 mts.) ‘canyons' are stretching out. Leopard and White Tip.Sharks can also be sighted.

Minerva ledge

Minerva ledge at Havelock is even bigger block of hard corals. It has tons of fish and bigger block of hard corals. Usually with good visibility and the possibility of seeing sharks makes it one of the top dive sites..

Campbell Shoal off North Button Island

The bottom of this site is covered with mainly hard corals, with sporadic sandy patches. It also hosts a multitude of reef animals. The marine life includes White tip Reef Sharks, and a host of colourful reef fish.

 

Tips for Dive Tourists

The best season for diving is from December to April.

Dive only in the areas opened and permitted for Scuba Diving by the A&N Administration.

Do not dive with unqualified or unregistered dive operators as it may be perilous to your life. Avail the services of Scuba Dive instructors with certification of International Organizations such as PADI, CMAS, NAUI, BSAC or SSI.

A Decompression chamber facility is available at Clearance Diving Unit, Navy, Port Blair, Tel: 232871. Another  decompression chamber is almost ready  in the Government G. B. Pant Hospital-Port Blair. (Tel:232564,234941)

Do not stand or walk on coral reefs.

  • Do not break live coral or collect dead corals.

Do not enter the National Parks without valid permission.

  • Any person committing a breach of any of the above laid down regulation of the Wildlife Protection Act shall be liable for punishment as per law.

Responsible Diving

Avoid Careless anchoring: Responsible divers anchor only when there are no permanent mooring buoys to tie to.  Never drop anchor onto, or even close to, living corals.  Careful anchoring means placing the anchor in sand patches or channels or other low impact areas.  Anchor chains and ropes can crush corals as the boat swings with shifts in current and wind. An anchor which drags over a reef can cause severe damage.  Divers and snorkelers should always check the anchor, moving it to a suitable area and securing it properly on arrival if necessary.

Avoid Standing on corals: Many divers seem unaware of the fragile nature of corals and the problems caused when a diver stands, kneels or sits on corals.  This either kills coral polyps or causes wounds in the delicate tissue making the coral vulnerable to infection.  Infections can spread quickly and kill the entire coral colony. Find a patch of sand before standing up.

Dangling equipment: Badly trained divers drag their console and octopus regulator across of reef which snags coral in its path.  When they get stuck, they are often pulled free breaking off chunks of coral.  Careless use of fins also results in damage to corals.  On no account should divers or snorkelers collect live corals, shells or fish.

Buoyancy control: Good diving technique is also important over reefs, for your own safety and comfort and well being of the corals. Do not dive with too many weights and make sure you maintain good buoyancy control. Good buoyancy control is the easiest way to prevent damage to the reef. Badly trained divers tend to overweigh themselves and compensate by inflating their buoyancy control devices (BCDs).They swim in the overweighed (head-high, legs down) attitude that causes their fins to mow down the corals as they swim over the reef.
Photography: Even touching corals can wipe off the thin layer of mucus which protects them from bacterial infection.  If you do have to steady yourself while taking underwater photography, think carefully about what you hold onto. 

 

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Havelock island

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Neil island

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Little Andaman

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