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Dive Review of MV Infiniti in
India/Andaman Islands

 
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MV Infiniti: "Diving the Andaman Islands of India", Mar, 2016,

by Tom Baker, CA, US (Reviewer Reviewer 6 reports with 8 Helpful votes). Report 8844.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments This was a trip to the Andaman Islands of India, aboard the MV Infiniti, India's only world class liveaboard. This is very different from the "Andaman Sea" trips departing from Thailand. In fact, the Andaman Islands are about 500 miles offshore of Thailand, and roughly 800 miles east of India. Once away from the main island where the airport at Port Blair is located, it is about as remote a dive location as possible.

The diving was unlike any other place I have been in my 52+ years of diving, especially at the northern portion of our itinerary, at Narcondman and Barren Islands. Although both are volcanic (indeed Barren Islands's volcano is active), there were no fringing coral reefs or atolls. In fact, there were no coral reefs anywhere, though corals are found growing on the rocky substrate in many places and can be fairly large in extent. Due to finning, there were no sharks seen on our trip, and only a few mantas, which are also hunted in the area. Other large pelagics were also absent, though whale sharks and marine mammals are often found there.

The most amazing part of diving was at Barren Island, where the constant deposition of volcanic ash has created a striking black sand bottom, that undulates off to the distance like sand dunes. Beautiful corals abounded on the rocks that extend above the black sand, and a good variety of macro subjects live everywhere around them, including in the black sand. Black sand facilitates close up macro photography as it absorbs light. There was also a great diversity and in places abundance of colorful reef fish, dog tooth tuna, yellowfin tuna, and schooling jacks at all the islands we visited. Sea snakes were a regular sight.

At most islands, there were big populations of giant barrel sponges and colorful soft corals on steep walls and on large rocky formations. In places, the soft corals gave the reefs a stunning purple or pink glow.

Overall, it was extremely unique and interesting diving, on a dive boat that only lacks nitrox to be almost perfect, with roomy cabins, terrific Indian food, and terrific crew! All divers were very happy with the trip.
Websites MV Infiniti   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving California, Red Sea, Raja Ampat, Galapagos, NY/NJ Wrecks, Cayman, Great Barrier Reef, Lord Howe Island, Hawaii, French Polynesia, Maldives, Belize, BVI, Roatan, Bonaire, etc.
Closest Airport Port Blair Getting There From either Chennai or Kolkota

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, choppy, surge, currents, no currents
Water Temp 82-85°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Depths up to 132 feet, times up to 60 minutes
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Diving was done from RIB's,so cameras had to be, and were, handled very carefully by the crew, both when lowering them into the water and when retrieving them at the end of a dive. There was secure camera storage on the dive deck, as well as charging stations. There was also a large table in the dining area dedicated to camera work which also had charging stations. Overall very good and secure.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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