The undisputed home of diving is Havelock Island, the most popular of the Andaman Islands. No wonder - while the archipelago comprises hundreds of islands, only a dozen or so are open to tourists - the Indian government is well aware of what a mankind is capable of so to prevent any damage before it's too late, they have come up with an environmentally conscious eco-tourism that protects most of the area - for example the Nicobar Islands are strictly off limits to tourists, as are the tribal areas. Hopefully, it'll stay this way, we don't need to do our nature more harm than we already have.
Although to obtain a visa permit is easy and without hassle, it's surprising that, given its superb diving, the area is still quite unexplored. Perhaps the long travel distance plays a significant part in choosing where to go next for some. This might however be an advantage for those, who don't mind travelling half the planet to dive the world’s most unspoiled waters - the diver impact is minimal and you’ll always see more fish than divers here. Speaking of fish, the remote Andaman Islands boast not only vibrant coral reefs and steeply slopping walls but rays, barracuda, tuna, huge schools of jack fish, trigger fish, revally and many more.
One of the handful scuba centers of Havelock, the Andaman Bubbles, a friendly local operator that cater for both: novice as well as advanced divers. Whether you want to have just fun or take it seriously right from the start (they offer almost all SSI and PADI courses from recreational diving to professional diving), Andaman Bubbles provide great service whatever your ability is. Surrounded by pristine environment and crystal-clear sea, Andaman staff have developed a strong passion for the island that accord with their services.
Located at the Wild Orchid Resort, a top-class friendly beachfront site nestled in greenery, the Beach #5 has been AB's home office since 2008 and apart from various scuba equipment available also to rent, Andaman Bubbles also prove accommodation. Knowing that not every traveler want a luxury and elegance, apart from Wild Orchid, guys at Andaman Bubbles also offer accommodation at 2 affiliated resorts designed to suit all budgets. And that is certainly a plus.
There are tons of dive spots to choose from so here are a few examples of those worth (according to our opinion) to visit:
South Button has something for everyone: an astonishing variety of marine life of every color can be found at South Button Island national park. 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. A perfect snorkeling and beginner site.
This deep dive site (20-30 meters) named after an Andaman local, who discovered the dive site many years ago is for more experienced divers. This world-class dive site is home not only to a beautiful colored coral but a few reef sharks that can be seen on a regular basis here as well as groups of Eagle Rays often drop in to add to the experience.
Last but not least is Dixon's, one of the most breathtaking dive sites, full of life. 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. Do you need more?
The season there is about to start (the months of December through April, in particular, are the best times to visit) so to find out more about what Andamann Bubbles have to offer, check out their official website.
Photos: © AB