THE REEFS TEEM WITH FISH AND A KALEIDOSCOPE OF COLOURS IN STUNNING CORAL GARDENS. THE ANDAMANS IS ONE OF THOSE FEW REMAINING DREAM DIVE DESTINATIONS
The Andaman Islands have remained a remote, relatively unspoilt part of the globe. Strong government protection laws have kept the Andamans as a relatively pristine diving environment and one that is still seemingly undiscovered. Much of the Andamans is untouched and unseen. A Japanese flotilla sunk in the Second World War still lies somewhere in the waters of Andamans undisturbed.
DIVE SITES IN THE ANDAMANS
SOUTH BUTTON: 6m to 25m - All levels
This is one of our popular places to dive, however the farthest away but full of fish and coral (soup), also the best place to snorkel, it has something for everyone with a Manta Ray or even the odd little Devil Ray passing by, it’s a great place to see Barracuda watching the Big Eyed Trevally below, Batfish as well as Crocodile Fish, Moray Eels, turtles, Angelfish, Blue Fin Trevally and Nudibranch, these are all on a large list of things that can be seen here, even above the water the sea is alive with Sweepers being chased from below as well as the White Bellied Sea Eagle from above.
THE WALL: 10m to 30m - All levels
A small wall 50 meters long that drops in to the shipping channel near the jetty on Havelock, this is the best local site and is visited by a very large Napoleon Wrasse called Pierre, who’s very friendly to divers. The top of the wall is very colorful with purple, red and yellow soft corals, alone the wall has many beautiful fans with Puffer Fish and Lionfish peering out at you and Nudibranchs trying to race around the wall. We see many octopuses and Scorpion Fish here and even Anglerfish are seen tucked into holes. On the sandy parts Kulhs Rays are spotted with or without their tails.
DIXONS PINNACLE: 18m to 30m - Advanced
Three large pinnacles are surrounded with excitement from all the active feeding frenzy from the pelagics, Barracuda, Giant Trevally, Giant Groupers, Tuna and Mackerel. Beautiful Big Barrel Sponges perch on the edges of the larger pinnacle that is covered with Glass Fish that make it hard at times to look out at the schools of Batfish floating in the currents and then suddenly a shadow appears from the deep, it’s a Manta Ray cruising by to take a look at the commotion. There are many colors here with lots of juvenile Emperor Angelfish and shy Red-Toothed Triggerfish looking for holes to hide from the glares from the Napoleon Wrasse circling the reef.
JOHNNY’S GORGE: 20m to 30m - Advanced
Just 3 minutes from Minerva ledge also visited by dolphin is the famous Johnny’s gorge, divers fight to dive here, its not a big reef but most diver don’t notice the beautiful colored coral because they are surround by a kaleidoscope of swirling Barracuda, giant friendly Grouper, Unicorn Fish and Snappers, not to forget one of the few place to see shark on a regular basis and groups of Eagle Rays often drop in to add to the experience.
LIGHTHOUSE: 6m to 20m - All levels
A sloped reef about 30 minutes away from the dive shop , the coral tends to be better in the shallows with lots of Fusiliers, Lionfish, octopus and if divers are lucky a big gang of Humpback Parrotfish. This site is a great place to do night dives; we see lots of macro life as well as very small Lionfish, sleeping Parrotfish in their bubbles and of course lobsters.
ELEPHANT BEACH: 6m to 25m - All levels
A popular reef for snorkeling and dive training, it’s the only dive site where you can walk straight of the beach. It has a large open sand area with several rocks and coral patches with lots of small macro life, like Pipefish, many different shrimps and porcelain crabs. We’ve also seen young Eagle Rays, Scorpionfish lazing around in the sand. The reef itself has colorful hard coral including Staghorn as well as Feather/Basket/Sea Stars, juvenile Harlequin Sweetlips, Groupers and many more common reef fish busy on their daily routine.
MV MARS: 7m to 15m - All levels
This small wooden local cargo ship went down during a storm 2006, it sits upright and has become a new home to many fish which inhabited the near by reef ten meters away. It a short dive around the wreck, then on to the reef and finish back at the wreck, visibility tends to be not so good but great when it appears through the gloom.
NEIL’S COVE: 12m to 18m - All levels
This site is a extension of another very similar dive site called the aquarium, both gentle slope out to sea with the reef running from a beautiful cove almost Elephant Beach, mainly hard coral and hosts a large array of fish, Stingrays are often spotted in the sand as well as big schools of Blue Stripped Snappers. It’s a great place to find Humpback Parrotfish crunching away at the coral.
7TH HEAVEN: 6m to 12m - All levels
Just 300 meters off Number Seven Beach is a small coral patch that is a great place to see many anemones with several different Damselfish including the famous Nemo (Clown Fish). Also Ornate Ghost Pipefish have been spotted around the mooring line and keep looking out on to the sand so as not to miss the passing stingrays, On rare occasions its possible a Dugong might even pass on his way to graze in his garden.
MINERVA LEDGE: 10m to 18m - All levels
A large plateau of colorful coral, you need more than one dive to cover this place, with abundance of life, we never really know what we see from one dive to the next, With a gentle current (sometimes strong) you could pass by Napoleon Wrasse, Eagle Rays, White Tip Sharks, an uncommon Tiger Shark was recently seen by another dive shop but this is Minerva ledge. Even on the quiet days there’s lots to see.
Barren Island, one of the most easterly of the Andaman Islands is the only active volcano in South Asia and lies 135 km northeast of Port Blair. The first recorded eruption of the volcano dates back to 1787. The volcano still continues to spew smoke and ash.
True to its name, it is a barren area uninhabited by humans, though it has a small population of goats, birds, bats like flying foxes and a few rodent species such as rats known to survive the harsh conditions.
There is a deep endless wall on one side that’s teeming with life, a stunning coral garden to be lost in, vast expanses of black volcanic rocks and sand, colour contrasts that will leave you lost for words and clearly marked tracks or lava channels.
This site offers splendid diving and the chance to see both reef fish and the larger ones as well. Turtles, white tip, black tip and oceanic white tip sharks and Manta rays can be seen in addition to a large school of barracuda, giant sized jacks, kingfish and tuna.
PILOT REEF: 8m to 20m - All levels
The closest dive site to the dive centre, a large reef sister to Minerva ledge. This site has lots of small Reef Fish with Napoleon Wrasse, occasional young Manta Ray and Leopard Shark have been spotted at times alone with big Stingrays, turtles, Scorpionfish, sea snakes and Trevally.
The above sites are just a few of the most visited during the dive season, some of the other sites are: Ghost Reef, i-95, Mystery Mountains, Duncan’s Wreck, Jacobs Table, Guddo’s Garden, and Jackson’s Bar.
Diving around the Andaman’s is limited to mainly Havelock and we’ve barely scratched the surface, new dive sites are being discovered all the time and we find new fish previously not seen before in the Andaman islands every season, it’s a great place to dive, so join us and our team of professional staff in discovering the treasures hidden beneath the sea.
SPECIAL DIVE SITE TRIPS TO BARREN ISLAND
Visit the only active volcano in South Asia as a day trip