1st day we reached port blair and travelled to ross island via ferry , the island is situated at a very close distance to port blair and takes some 15 to 20 minutes to reach there. This island was the head quarter of the British colony Andaman , one can still find the ruins of the several buildings belonging to the British era. The island is beautiful with peacocks and deers wandering freely through out . Not much to do here and and once explored the island you have to wait for the ferry to get back to port blair. In the eve we visited the light and sound show at the cellular jail. The show takes place in two slots the first starting at 6 in the eve . The show is indeed a must watch narrating the history of andaman and cellular jail "kala pani" and the torture through which the freedom fighters went through.
Havelock island is the most beautiful among the Andaman archipelago . From port blair it takes almost 1.5 hrs to reach havelock island . One can either take govt ferry or pvt ships , the difference being govt ferry is cheap and open where one can go on the decks while pvt ships (maccruz) is fully air-conditioned and closed no provision of open deck at all. We travelled by maccruz , which leaves from the jetty at 8.15 in the morn. In havelock after checking into our resort we went for scuba diving . Scuba diving experience was very different and out of this world . In Andaman you have an option for a variety of water sports and activities( sea walk , snorkelling , banana boat ride etc) but according to me scuba diving is the best where a trained diver accompanies you into the sea upto the depth of 12 - 15 feet along with an oxygen cylinder an eye gear and water suits . There's brief training session of 10 mins before you enter the water where the divers teach you the diff signs to communicate underwater as one cannot speak underwater. What most people will ask here is if scuba is suitable for those who do not know swimming at all, the ans is hell YES! I don't know swimming and have no prior underwater experience yet I successfully completed the 45 mins diving task . Initially one might panic a bit but the fellow divers were very helpful in building up the confidence . Once inside water It was amazing to see the marine life , fishes swimming around you just like discovery channel. The charges for diving are standard ie 3500 INR per person which includes your underwater photograph as well as Video. After returning from scuba diving we went to the Radha Nagar beach. It is among the most beautiful beaches in Asia , the water is very pristine with grey fine clay like sand . We reached the beach a bit late nearing sunset , the true beauty of the waters of Andaman is in sunlight , one gets to see the true transcending colors of the water. Also sunset in andaman is pretty early around 5.30 sun goes down in october so plan accordingly. what we regret is that we should have given radha nagar beach more time.
To reach elephant beach speed boats are available from have lock jetty and it takes 20 mins to reach . One boat can accommodate max of 5- 6 ppl. Elephant beach island is amazing with fallen tree trunks and clean green emerald waters . The water here is peaceful compared to radha nagar beach , you get a feeling of swimming in a pool rather than a sea. Here we did snorkelling which was nothing compared to scuba diving. After 3 hrs we got out if the water and boarded the same boat in which we arrived . You have to remember the name of your boat as the same boat will bring you back. After returning to havelock jetty we had lunch and boarded our ship ie maccruz to come back to port blair in the eve.
Red skin island is the part of the Mahatma Gandhi national park and so Govt permit is needed to visit this place. There are two main islands part of this park ie Jolly bouy and red skin , when one opens the other remains closed for 6 months(open alternatively) in order to facilitate the growth of the corals. The quality and variety of corals found in this place is among the best in the world. Ferry for red skin island leaves from wandoor jetty which is located at a 40 mins drive from port blair. The road is undulating with greenery all around , at places you can see water small lakes created by the tsunami water entering the land. At wandoor jetty you have to rent water bottles by depositing 100 per bottle caution money which is returned once bottles are submitted excluding 5 rs per bottle. No plastic bottles or packets are allowed to red skin , carry food packets and water as nothing is available at red skin island. This island is not visited b many tourists but is a must visit as its untouched and pure. It takes 20 mins to reach via ferry , the ferry doesn't take you to the island directly as it might harm the corals so passengers are transferred by small glass bottom boats to the island . One can see various marine flora and fauna through the glass bottom of the boat while travelling to the island. However once you reach the island you have an option to go on longer glass bottom boat rides to view more variety of corals , depending on the durations the boat rides were priced at 300 , 600 and 900 INR . Personally I believe that going for a longer duration ride is not worth as they show you the same corals through the glass bottom again and again and looking continuously down into the water while the boat moving causes nausea and made me feel sick. Instead one can enjoy the crystal clear water here . If you are interested in snorkelling red skin or jolly bouy is the best place to do it as the water is like glass here. The island was very secluded with islands all around and thick. There are huge shells dumped onto the beach scattered here and there like sand or stone . By 12.30 the ship starts honking and you have to get into the boats to get back to the ferry.