The people, the dive, the experience, all of it was beautiful.
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Dive India with Lacadives
Lacadives has pioneered diving in India, setting up the country’s first dive center and (recreational) diver training facility in Kadmat, Lakshadweep in 1995. Since then Lacadives expanded it’s operations to Bangaram and Agatti in the Lakshadweep Islands, and Havelock and Wandoor in the Andaman Islands.
Currently, Lacadives operates dive centers in Wandoor and Chidiya Tapu in the Andaman Islands, with mainland training centers in Mumbai and Bangalore. We also conduct regular, staff-accompanied live-aboard trips to the top dive destinations around the world.
The variety of destinations we offer, our ability to cater to divers of all skill levels and our affiliation with some of the leading island research and conservation organizations ensures that your experience with Lacadives will be exciting, educative and memorable.
Our Dive Centers are located at Wandoor and Chidiya Tapu in the South Andamans. At Wandoor, our shop is located at ANET (Andaman and Nicobar Environmental Team) so as to raise awareness and conservation efforts for our precious ocean and the animals that live in and around that habitat.
At Chidiya Tapu, we have a long range, luxury speedboat, called "Explorer" which is dedicated to taking guests to some of the best and least dived at spots in the Andaman Islands such as Cinque and 'Rutland.
Ashok and I completed our PADI OWD course in the Andamans and made a total of 18 dives over the 10 days of our trip - we were now officially addicted and needless to say are planning our next trip. We were so impressed by the Lacadives Team, there professionalism and enthusiasm made our trip - that we had dive sites to ourselves was spoiling and the experience blew us away
The new dive centre at Chidiya Tapu is situated in the best possible location in South Andaman Islands. They have a state-of-the-art speedboat custom made for scuba diving. No more noisy dungy-boat rides! The team is very warm and hospitable. It also helps that they are one of India's first dive schools and naturally the most qualified and experienced instructors. I knew I was in safe hands.
Unlike Havelock, where most of the divers head to - this place has almost no other dive travelers. The dive sites are fairly unexplored and the coral life is still very alive. The highlight of my week long adventure had to be the Shipwreck at 30 m - just a 10 minute boat ride away.
The visibility was so good that we could see the whole wreck from 12m onwards. Its even more intriguing that there's not much known about the ship yet! We circled around and grinned like boys finding a lost treasure. Schools of Blue Jacks swarmed in and out of the ship as we got closer. A rusty bathtub has home to a giant pufferfish and the giant propeller reminded me of Tintins undersea story.
Yellow Snappers, neon fusiliers and many other local residents gawked at us bubble blowing intruders.
Parrots Rock was where I almost got lost in the drift. But when Sumer dives with you, you are always in safe hands. He has been diving for almost 20 years and it clearly shows. The site itself had a lot of life, tons of purple coral, white fan coral, giant lobsters and many parrot fish.
Tinto's Treasure, where we saw a rusted chest and a canon, off Rutland island is another fairly new divesite. I counted about 30 Lionfish at Lions Lair near Suvar Mundi.
The trips to Cinque Island were spectacular as expected. Great visibility and untouched marine life. I went to cinque 3 years ago on a dungi and it took more than 2 hours. Thanks to the superfast "Explorer" which was clocking 30 knots, we were back for lunch after 2 awesome dives. Bumpheads, Wrasse, Triggerfish, Butterfly fish, Sweetlips, Giant Trevally, Barracuda were the common residents of Chidiya Tapu.
On one of the dives, Rohin (this part human-part fish being) - who is also an instructor, pointed us to Dolphin whistles. We tried to find them but couldn't. On coming back to surface the boat crew (Tinto and Tamlawa) told us that they were circled by a mega pod of about 400 dolphins. The only time I wished we were not under!
Lacadives also has a Marine Biologist on their team. Tara knows about the lifecycle and evolution of every possible creature under the surface and explains it in the sweetest slowest bangalore drawl.
Walk down to Munda Pahar beach for some magnificent snorkeling. Carry a book and leave your phone behind. There is no network here!
Accommodation options are limited to a couple of Rs. 5000/- a day resorts nearby.
I chose to stay at the dive center itself which was basic although more personal. Tagay's Dal Chawal with the Karen touch was pretty interesting. Will surely go back soon.
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