Aquarium is an expanse of patch reefs that lie parallel to the main fringe reef off the eastern part of this island. This site resembles an underwater playground not just for fish but divers too. This shallow and easy site has immense scope for exploration on its rocky patches that are home to bright and colourful coral and fish.
Busy Burro (busy old man) is located in the channel between Havelock and Neil island. It’s a beautiful natural plateau where one can expect mild to strong currents around spring tide. Thanks to the hunting trevally and tuna, huge schools of colourful fish prefer to hang around divers for refuge and present awesome photo opportunities (wink).
Bus stop is the merging point for not just the reef fish but different diving experiences rolled into one. Made of small scattered rock patches on a sandy bottom, this reef extends on all four sides from the mooring line with every direction offering a completely different adventure.
This beautiful little site begins with rock formations bejewelled with beautifully coloured soft coral. Since it is a relatively deep site that lies between 28-34 metres with strong eastward currents, time is precious but never spent better. Scuba diving here can involve examining unusual macro creatures, exploring crevasses for lobsters and rays, spooking lionfish that hide under rocks.
The most popular reef for novice divers on Neil Island is the Lighthouse. It’s an easy, circular reef that’s formed around a small lighthouse about 500m from the main jetty. Despite its small size, one can find a spectacular variety of Andaman reef fish here. Large schools of unicorn fish, fusiliers, jacks, trigger fish, puffer fish, eel, octopus can be sighted here.
Manta Point is a long picture-perfect fringing reef that leads towards the shallows of Havelock. Here, one can see healthy regeneration of stag-horn and table coral post the tsunami that hit these islands in 2004. A timed afternoon visit to the west side of the main reef can lead to sightings of spotted rays, eagle rays, torpedo rays, devil rays and sometimes mantas.
This is one of three most popular dive sites located between Havelock and Neil Island. Margarita’s mischief is a long chain of rock mounds extending southward and is known for a particular variety of sea grass that dugongs love. If you aren’t lucky enough to be invited to brunch with the dugongs you can explore the cavities between rocky outcrops and catch moray eels, octopus, lobsters and shrimps taking a siesta.
The Nursery is the perfect place to see the diverse ecosystem of the Andamans. Right from the shallow inter-tidal zone, all the way to the deeper end that extends to the west of this long fringing reef. Nursery makes for a very comfortable site for both snorkelers and divers because of its sloping topography.
Rockys is relatively larger as compared to Busy Burro and houses twin reefs. It is situated in the channel between Havelock and Neil Island. As the name suggests, the landscape is largely undulating and rocky but tucks away some interesting secrets.