While Swati was getting ready for her business trip to Las Vegas, I had two options in front of me as usual- either join her or stay back at home. US is not a cheap destination to go, and staying home alone is not fun either 🙁 So I decided to take a week off and go for a Diving Holiday in Andamans (With Swati’s consent of course :P)
Andaman & Nicobar Islands are located off the eastern coast of India in the Bay of Bengal. I had visited the islands in 2012 with my friends already. That’s when I first got exposed to the underwater world and my passion for diving sparked. It was a Discover Scuba program, wherein you are accompanied by a guide and limited to very shallow waters for safety. Now that I have a Basic certification, I can do the Advanced Open Water diver course followed by some fun diving of the beautiful dive sites there. Advanced Open Water course lets you dive deeper sites – as deep as 30m below the surface! The course also makes you more familiar with the Scuba equipment, dive science, underwater conditions and navigation.
I chose Dive India in Havelock for this trip – the first and most experienced Dive Centre in Havelock – with whom I also had my first Discover Scuba experience back in 2012. They had a 6D Dive package, which included Advanced Certification, 8 Fun Dives, Accommodation and return transfers from Port Blair to Havelock, all for Rs. 45000! Getting to Andamands is also easy now as GoAir operates direct flights between Mumbai and Port Blair.
Finally, the day came to leave for Andamans. It was a mixed feeling as I would be staying away from Swati for a week 🙁 So for a change, I boarded a vacation flight with a heavy heart!
The journey from Mumbai to Havelock went smoothly. I was picked up by Dive India person at Port Blair airport and transferred to the Makruzz Ferry just in the nick of time. Once the Ferry reached Havelock, there was a person with a car to transfer me to the Dive Centre on the Island.
The Dive Centre is co-located with Island Vinnies Resort (Accomodation) and a restaurant Full Moon cafe. I checked in, met the instructors, filled the forms and just relaxed in the beautiful Island paradise!
First two days were dedicated to getting the Advanced Certification. Vikas was my instructor. I completed the Navigation, Naturalist, Photography, Deep Water and Night dives to complete the course. The Night dive was a shore dive under the Super Moon – an unforgettable experience.
Once the Course was completed, the remaining days consisted of Fun Dives in the sites around Havelock. Sites I dived include – The Slope, Wall, Dixon’s Pinnacle, Pilot Reef, Nemo Reef, Johny’s Gorge, 2 Fathom Rock, I-95, Wreck of S.S Inchkett, White House Rock and Aquarium. It is difficult to individually descibe each dive, so I’ve made a video for you to get a flavour of the experience! Barring 2 or 3 dives, Visibility was great. However, the sea was a little choppy owing to the effect of the super moon!