Scuba Diving at Andaman & Nicobar Islands
It was never intentionally decided to indulge in at least one adventure activity every year, but in my case it just happened. 2016 saw me doing Paragliding and Giant swing, 2017 saw me doing Bungee Jumping and it seems 2018 was reserved for Scuba Diving. I did have the options like Malvan/ Tarkarli or Pondicherry, but I decided to leave mainland India for my first scuba dive.
SCUBA DIVING AT HAVELOCK ISLAND
So I arrived in Havelock Island on 27th November 2018 along with my friends and our Scuba dive was scheduled next day. We were asked to report to Barefoot Scuba’s office (at Beach number 3 or Govind Nagar beach) at 7:30 am to be able to dive with the first batch. Please note that Barefoot Scuba is a PADI certified diving operator so you are in safe hands. The initial briefing consisted of a short description of scuba diving, breathing techniques, hand signals, etc. Since none of us had any medical ailments, we didn’t have to submit any medical certificate. As soon as we were done with the documentation part, we changed to the wet-suits and left for the diving site which was about a mile away from their office.
When we reached the diving site, it was already flooded with participants who must have registered with other dive operators. Nevertheless, the place wasn’t that crowded. And trust me, you wouldn’t be bothered about people around when you have a beautiful view of white sandy beach and crystal clear water right before you.
Every participant was assigned a separate instructor or a buddy. Before diving, we were asked to wear our diving gear (oxygen tank, mask, regulator, etc.). The instructors explained to us the hand signals viz. okay, up, down, safety stop, I have a problem, etc. and checked if we remembered when to use them. You can have a look at my article on the Scuba Diving Basics which could be helpful for your D-day.
SCUBA DIVING SITES ON HAVELOCK ISLAND
There are about 20 diving sites in Havelock, almost all requiring Easy/ basic diving skills. Barefoot Scuba generally takes its clients to the site called Nemo’s Reef which is located at Beach number 2. The site has a depth of 1-11 mt and difficulty level of Easy grade. It is a delight for first timers with a shallow sandy patch bordered by lively reefs starting just of a mangrove beach.
It has a presence of many colorful parrot-fishes, Damsel fishes and all kinds of Anemone-fishes (or Nemos). Then there are pipe-fishes, seahorses, sweetlips, scorpion-fishes and crocodile-fishes as well. Although we didn’t get to see all of these fishes during the 30 minute session, the entire experience was magical.
COST OF SCUBA DIVING WITH BAREFOOT SCUBA
Barefoot Scuba has a fixed pricing for Snorkeling and Scuba Diving. However, if you are planning to have a stay at their resort, then you might get some discount on the overall package. Since we had not opted for the stay, we had to pay Rs. 5,250 + 18% GST per person per dive for a Discover Scuba Dive.
Watch the entire experience here:
BEST TIME TO VISIT HAVELOCK ISLAND/ SWARAJ DWEEP
Ideally October to mid-April but there’s a possibility of retreating monsoon or winter monsoon till mid-November.
HOW TO REACH HAVELOCK ISLAND/ SWARAJ DWEEP
There are only two ways to reach Andaman Islands.
Air: Veer Savarkar International Airport/ Port Blair Airport has air connectivity with all four metro cities. Flights are also available from Bengaluru, Vishakhapatnam and Hyderabad.
Sea: There are 3-4 sailings from Kolkata and Chennai and a single sailing from Vishakhapatnam every month. The voyage takes about 60-70 hours to reach Port Blair.
From Port Blair one can reach Havelock Islands only by a ferry (either Government or Private).
ACCOMMODATION IN HAVELOCK ISLAND/ SWARAJ DWEEP
- Barefoot Resort
- Symphony Palms Beach Resort
- Dolphin Resort
- El Dorado Beach Resort
- Wild Orchid
- Cross Bill Beach Resort
- Eco Villa Palm Beach Resort
- Emerald Gecko
- Neha Lodge
RESTAURANTS IN HAVELOCK ISLAND/ SWARAJ DWEEP
- Dakshin by Barefoot
- Something Different – A Beachside Cafe
- Red Snapper
- Full Moon Cafe
- Squids Restaurant
- Anju Coco
- Barefoot Bayside Brasserie (B3)
Drop your queries and suggestions in the comments section below and I would be more than happy to address them.
Till then…Happy Travelizing!!!