Chart of the Andaman Islands India (this chart can be downloaded below)
Click on the chart for a larger version
Satellite Imagery of the Andaman Islands India
Click on the satellite image for a larger version (this image can be downloaded below)
Andaman Islands Detailed Charts in this Guide
Here is a complete list of the charts in this Andaman Islands Yacht Charter Guide:
Detailed charts and satellite imagery can be downloaded below. These charts are drawn in the same style as Navionics Marine cartography and are intended to be used with Navionics charts to provide greatly improved chart and satellite detail of specific islands. These electronic charts and satellite images are georeferenced so they be used as direct overlays with a range of navigational software such as OpenCPN.
These charts are based on personal observations, recorded depths and classified Indian Navy Charts. While every effort has been taken to ensure the content and accuracy of these charts, no liability is accepted whatsoever for the use of these charts
|Download a georeferenced overview chart of the Andaman Islands.|
|Download a georeferenced satellite image of the Andaman Islands.|
Andaman Islands (India) Yacht Charter Guide
Floating in splendid isolation in the middle of the Bay of Bengal are the Andaman Islands. Administered by India, these 300 or so islands are the highest peaks of a submerged mountain range that stretches from Sumatra in the south to the Irawaddy delta in the north.
The Andaman Islands have everything you could desire from an adventurous yachting destination. There are literally hundreds of deserted islands to explore, each one seemingly more spectacular than the last. The beaches are magnificently pristine although sadly, oceanic plastic rubbish has dramatically increased on beaches in the Andaman Islands over the past few years – mainly arriving from Thailand and Malaysia.
There is a live volcano, thousands of square miles of untouched jungle, exotic and thriving wildlife and primitive hunter-gatherer tribes. The fishing is amongst the best in the world. Sections of the Andaman Islands were declared a World Heritage Site in 2002. The Nicobar Islands are closed to all except Indian Nationals.
Snorkeling and Scuba Diving in the Andaman Islands
The snorkelling and scuba diving are superb with a largely untouched marine ecosystem. The more offshore reefs and islands provide the best scuba diving and snorkeling. Large pelagics such as manta rays, whale sharks and whales are seen regularly. The Andaman Islands also has a substantial population of hawksbill and leatherback turtles which can be seen mating and going onto beaches to lay eggs during January, February and March of each year.
The best months for scuba diving and snorkelling are March and April which are hot and still with flat seas. The flat conditions result in exceptionally clear water and fabulous underwater visibility that oftern exceeds 40m. These are also the months when migratory whales visit the Andaman Islands.
Andaman Islands Surfing
The Andamans is also starting to develop a superb reputation as a frontier surfing destination where the reef breaks have never been surfed before. March and April are the best months for surfing in the Andaman Islands with large swell from the southwest that gives spectacular breaks along the south and west facing coastlines.
Andaman Islands Indian Visas
You will require Indian visas to visit the Andaman Islands. The visa
regulations that apply to the Andaman Islands are hopelessly muddled
and confused with many Indian embassies issuing contradictory advice.
You need to apply a standard "Indian Tourist Visa" to visit the
Andaman Islands. You do not require (or want) an
Andaman Islands endorsement to your standard Indian visa. This
"Andaman Islands Endorsement" was made obsolete over 10 years ago and
can be interpreted to restrict your stay in Andaman Islands for 14
days instead of the standard 30 days.
At the end of 2015, Indian regulations have changed, making it (unintentionally) extremely difficult for visitors on yachts to obtain visas. It is now effectively impossible to apply for Indian visas in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia or Vietnam – unless you happen to be a national of one of those countries or you hold a work permit. It is still possible to obtain Indian visas in Myanmar, Cambodia and Brunei but you will frequently find that you are required to fly back to your "home country" in order to obtain a visa to visit India. Plan ahead if you intend to visit the Andaman Islands.
On arrival in the Andaman Islands by yacht you will be issued with a "Restricted Area Permit" by immigration which is basically a list of where you are allowed to go and where you are not allowed to go. This list is very open to interpretation - what it says and what it means are 2 very different things. Here is an up to date list of where you are actually permitted to go: Andaman Islands List of Permitted Islands
Port Blair is the only Port of Entry into the Andaman Islands.
Andaman Islands Entry Procedures
The administration in the Andamans is unbelievably bureaucratic.
However onerous this may be, if you want to go to the Andamans
you need to comply with the local rules and regulations,
even if they seem onerous. If you break the
rules, expect to be fined and deported.
On arrival in Port Blair you will require clearance by immigration, customs, quarantine, coastguard and sometimes the Indian Navy. Clearance can be arranged with Port Control by VHF channel 16 (working channel 12) or by contracting the services of an agent in Port Blair. Using the services of an agent will save days of time and frustration.
On arrival in Port Blair you will need to provide a written itinerary for your cruise around the islands detailing each overnight anchorage – so some advance research is a good idea. For a list of the islands you are permitted to visit, see Andaman Islands List of Permitted Islands or simply use the anchorages listed in this guide.
During your cruise around the islands you are required to report your position twice daily to Port Blair Port Radio on either 6224kHz or 8294kHz. If you only have VHF you will have to restrict your visit to only Port Blair and Havelock Island. Due to recent regulatory changes, it is now illegal to use a satellite phone in India – even in emergency situations.
Andaman Islands Weather and When to Visit
It is essential to be aware of the weather and the forecast in the Andamans – this is especially the case if you are coming from benign Phuket. Weather forecasts are given daily by Port Blair Port Radio on 6224kHz and 8294kHz at 04:00 GMT and 10:30GMT.
If you have Internet access, there are excellent regional forecasts at: https://www.weather.gov.sg/weather-marine-surface-wind
Plan to visit the Andamans between December and May. Mid December to the end of February is the best time with warm, sunny conditions and a reliable 20 knots of wind every day.
|High season. Pleasant NE winds, hot and sunny, cool overnight. Great sailing. Great fishing.||Very hot - no wind. Great diving. Superb surfing.||Effectively closed with heavy rain, strong winds, rough seas and hurricanes.|
From May to December the Andamans is effectively closed with strong winds, very rough sea conditions and near continuous torrential rain. There are hurricanes from May to July and again from September to December.
Andaman Islands Marine Charts
The best charts of the Andaman Islands are the British Admiralty series (which CMAP and other electronic charts are based on). These charts are based on surverys carried out during the late 1800's with many areas improperly surveryed. These charts need to be used with care, particularly in the many "improperly surveyed" areas. While there are better Indian Navy charts of the Andaman Islands, these are subject to the Indian Official Secrets act and are not for sale.
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands were very hard hit by the earthquake that caused the Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004. As a result of the earthquake, South and Middle Andaman Islands are now 2m lower than they were previously – so the water in these areas is now 2m deeper than charted. Little Andaman is approximately 1.5m shallower than charted.
If you are using a GPS or chartplotter in the Andaman Islands then the WGS84 datum is out by nearly half a mile. You will need to apply a correction of 0.092’S, 0.106’E to make everything line up.
Environmentally-friendly Yachting in the Andaman IslandsThe Andaman Islands is a unique, pristine wilderness area. Help preserve it during your visit so that others can enjoy it in the future.
• Do not anchor on coral
• Take your rubbish away with you
• Do not collect any shells or coral from the beaches
• Enjoy great fishing but be sensible (keep only a few fish that you will eat)
• Stay away from the restricted tribal areas (your germs could wipe an entire tribe out)
Here is a complete list of the charts in this Andaman Islands Yacht Charter Guide:
©Boat Yacht Charters 2016