What is scuba?

SCUBA stands for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. It is the equipment developed by the world-famous underwater explorer and conservationist - Jacques Cousteau together with Emile Gagnan in the mid-forties for the French navy during the Second World War. After the war, diving turned into a recreational sport which has since been taken up by millions of people worldwide.

Why dive?

The only answer to this question is - Why Not? There is truly no greater "high" than an exhilarating dive in crystal clear waters with plenty of colourful coral and fish!! Diving offers different things to different people. Appreciating nature at its colourful best, marine conservation, photography, exploring shipwrecks, observing and studying sea life, navigation, search and rescue, etc. are just some of the reasons people dive. Primarily, diving is a social sport and generally divers tend to be a very easy-going lot who make a lot of friends without hang-ups.

How do I sign up and when can I start?

In a nutshell, we dive every day, so feel free to plan your travel and we’ll schedule your program according to your itinerary.

One thing to note - If you’re signing up for an open water course, please keep in mind that you will need four full days in Havelock (three if you’re doing your theory online. Sometimes the flight and ferry connections don’t work well and you might inadvertently end up having to stay a night in Port Blair, so plan your travel carefully (there’s more information about this on our Trip Planning page).

Isn't diving dangerous?

Definitely - if you are not properly qualified or ignore the rules. If, on the other hand, you are properly qualified, follow all the basic rules and act responsibly, it is much safer than trying to cross the street in most major cities during rush hour!! The only REAL danger of diving is that you get addicted to it!!

What about Sharks?

What about them? Approximately 6 million sharks were killed by humans in 1998 alone - intentionally or unintentionally as opposed to a handful of shark attacks on people in the last decade!! Try and figure out who is more dangerous!! The movie Jaws has portrayed a completely wrong picture of these magnificent creatures which are an extremely important link in the food chain of our oceans. While it would be foolhardy to treat them as docile pets, they should certainly not be thought of as mindless monsters waiting for you to jump in the water!!

What will I see underwater in the Andamans?

Diversity! The Andaman Sea is home to a tremendous number of species. In fact, the high density of fauna that characterises the region makes your dives almost… magical! While large animal (mantas, whale sharks etc.) sightings aren’t extremely common, they can be spotted from time to time, especially toward the open sea.

Clownfish (Nemo!), parrotfish, wrasses,puffer fish, boxfish, lionfish, stonefish, trumpet fish, jacks, damselfish, moray eels, etc. are just some of the usual suspects found around our reefs. There are reef sharks, tuna and stingrays too.

The sea in these parts also hosts many vulnerable species, including dugong, dolphins and four species of sea turtles: Leatherback, Hawksbill, Green turtle and Olive Ridley.

And if you’re looking for macro, the greatest diversity remains definitely in the nudibranchs, seahorses and pipefishes. And, if we consider the number of mangroves and sanctuaries, lovers of all things small will definitely get their satisfaction!

What is the water temperature?

The water temperature ranges between a maximum of 32 degrees and a minimum of 26 degrees Celcius with an average at about 29 degrees C. For most people, 3mm shorty wetsuits or skin suits are fine and this is what we provide. If you are prone to getting cold, it is possible for us to order a full length wetsuit for you. Please email us for details and prices.

How do I reach the dive centre?

We are located at Beach No. 2 in Havelock. All taxis and auto rickshaws know where we are, so all you need to do is ask.

What about accommodation?

We have a partner resort called Green Imperial, located at Beach No. 5. This is a couple of km away, but they can arrange two wheelers for hire and even a taxi service to bring you to the dive centre. Please contact us if you would like us to make a booking on your behalf.

When is the best time to dive in the Andamans?

The “peak” season in the Andamans was traditionally from September until May with optimum diving conditions (for the most discerning divers) seen between January to March. June to August was traditionally considered to be the “off” season because of the monsoon, but over the last few years, the diving industry in India has evolved to accommodate divers who wish to visit during the rains too. The conditions during the monsoons are slightly choppier than the rest of the year, but the underwater marine life more than makes up for the rough ride on the surface. It is definitely a less busy time to visit, so this is when travellers who are looking to stay away from crowds visit. There are some great low season deals on offer too.

Who are the major certification agencies?

Since scuba has become popular, there are plenty of agencies to choose from when it comes to your training. While most of these agencies recognize each other’s training standards, others are more locally specific and you need to choose wisely.Here is a (non-exhaustive) list of some of the more common agencies:

  • AUF (Australian Underwater Federation)
  • BSAC (British Sub Aqua Club)
  • CMAS (ConfédérationMondiale des ActivitésSubaquatiques)
  • NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors)
  • PADI (Professional association of Diving Instructors)
  • SDI (Scuba Diving International)
  • SSI (Scuba Schools International)

Are certification cards recognised all over the world?

Yes, it generally doesn’t matter with which organisation you have learned to dive. So, if a PADI Open Water diver for example wants to dive with an SSI Dive centre, that’s perfectly fine.

What are the prerequisites to be able to dive?

There aren’t many prerequisites. The minimum age to try diving as an experience is eight and the minimum age to get certified is ten. Medical clearance is required if you have any pre-existing conditions. You can see the full medical questionairre here.

Can I dive wearing contact lenses?

Soft contact lenses contain their own percentage of salt water (same concentration as blood, which is much lower than seawater), so a flooded mask is much less of a problem. Our advice is to dive with disposable soft contacts (not permanent ones) because, in the unlikely event of losing one, they're cheap to replace.

We would not, however, recommend any water sports with hard lenses. Hard (gas-permeable) contacts will often float off an open eyeball underwater. So, if you flood your mask, ensure you keep your eyes closed. You will never find a contact lens after it has left the eye since they are essentially invisible under water.

An alternative is prescription masks which optometrists regularly construct. There are very reasonably-priced ones and very unreasonably-priced prescription masks; so do your homework first.

I have done my Open Water Diver course with PADI, can I do my Advanced Course with SSI or the other way around?

Yes, you can cross between PADI and SSI as much as you like for the recreational dive levels. Their levels are quite similar and certification of another dive organisation is totally accepted as all standards are set forth by the RSTC (Recreational Scuba Training Council).

If I forgot to bring my certification card with me, will I still be able to dive?

Most agencies have an online system and since we should be able to look you up using your name and date of birth. If a dive centre is not affiliated with the organization you have done your course with, they can contact them to see if you are in the system. A signed logbook also helps.

If I forgot to bring my certification card with me and I don’t show up in the system, will I still be able to dive?

Afraid not. We need to see proof of certification before we take you on a dive, regardless of training agency or experience level.

Do I need to have a medical before scuba diving?

It is not a pre-requisite to have a medical before scuba diving, however if you have a pre-existing medical condition which affects your ears, sinus, respiratory and circulatory systems, or have had recent surgery it is advisable to consult a Diving Physician before you leave home. Before starting a diving course you must go through a medical questionnaire

What if I cannot complete my dive course?

If you cannot complete your course with us for any reason, we can refund you some money for what needs still to be done. We will give you a "referral form" and you will have a maximum of 12 months to complete it with us or with any other dive school around the world.

How do I confirm my booking?

Pre-booking is highly recommended, especially in the high season. Please contact us and let us know what program you’re interested in signing up for and when you would like to start and we’ll send you details on how you can make a token advance payment to confirm your spot.