Click here for the most recent version: Andaman Islands (Part 3) - Snorkeling
We snorkeled at three locations.
One, Neil's Cove, is easy to get to as it is just around the corner from Beach #7. It is a beautiful little area, good for both swimming and snorkeling. It is best to go there when the tide is low as the tide goes almost up to the tree line when it is high. There is a good variety of fish in smaller numbers and some nice patches of colorful coral. We saw a school of Bump Head Parrot fish each day we snorkeled at Neil's Cove. Very cool. Unfortunately I do not have an underwater camera (although one could be a worthwhile investment), so here's a video link to these fish:
One day we did a snorkel trip and went to South Button and Lighthouse. South Button is a 1 1/2 hour boat ride from the Havelock Jetty. We booked it through Barefoot Adventures and it cost 2500Rp/person. This included snorkeling at two spots and lunch on board the boat. There were 12 of us and 5 crew.
South Button is a tiny island. We jumped in the ocean, put our snorkel masks on and looked beneath the surface. There was a wall of yellow fish - hundreds of them, maybe thousands - it was unbelievable. The water was clear and the coral was magnificent in all shapes and sizes. Alanna tugged on my elbow and we went to the surface, "This is sic!" she said. That's a good sign.
We swam around the island in about fifty minutes. The tide was quite strong so for the first half it swept us along. There were many fish, in numbers and variety, and lots and lots of healthy coral. Of course on the return trip on the other side of the island it was a bit more difficult to swim against the tide.
Once we all got back into the boat we had lunch, a good Indian buffet. We relaxed and enjoyed the ride until we got to our next location: Lighthouse, only about ten minutes from Havelock. Here, there were not nearly so many fish but there were some giant clam shells which were impressive. It was nice to snorkel twice but it certainly was not going to come close to South Button. The kids took to jumping off the top of the boat for fun - sometimes I think that's their favorite part of snorkeling.