Planning a trip to Lakshadweep in Oct 2010

#1 Jul 8th, 2010, 12:53
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  • Chandrali Chandra is offline
#1
Planning a trip to Lakshadweep in Oct 2010

Hi Friends,

I have received a good help from IndiaMike.com in planning my Kinnaur Spiti Trip in June 2010 . Now I wanted to go to Lakshadweep in this Durga Puja vacation. I am waiting eagerly for SPORTS to publish their package rates soon. I know few of IMs have already taken the services of SPORTS, and can answer my few queries:

1) I thought of taking the tour “Coral Reef” of SPORTS. I wanted to get the feedback of :
a) Tourist Class – are the toilets used common? As it has sitting arrangement, will it be hectic for 4 nights journey?
b) First Class – Do we get cabin and does it have attached toilet?
2) At what time the ships leave & return to Cochin – according to that we have to book our train tickets to & from Kolkata?
3) What is the distance from Ernakulum Station to the dock where the ship leaves?
4) Will it be very hot in October?
5) Which is the best island in Lakshadweep ( I mean for seeing colourful corals & blue sea)

Thank you in advance.

Regards,
#2 Jul 13th, 2010, 18:41
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  • theyyamdancer is offline
#2
Hi Chandra,
Have you read this report about the Lakshadweep islands?

http://www.indiamike.com/india/other...report-t19378/
#3 Jul 13th, 2010, 19:35
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  • Chandrali Chandra is offline
#3

Help on Lakshadweep Package

Many thanks for your reply.

I have recently gone through the above report and also the very informative trip report by akshaykakkar.
http://www.indiamike.com/india/keral...eport-t101769/

Most of my queries are answered in these two reports.

I don't think I can travel in October, since SPORTS starts their package from Nov onwards. I have to wait for Nov/Dec.
#4 Jul 13th, 2010, 19:36
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#4
Some of your questions wil depend on the ship you are booked on. The Tipu Sultan in the above trip report is I believe no longer used and has been replaced by the more modern MV Arabian Sea. I have traveled on MV Amindivi which is a smaller ship with only tourist class. The toilets are used by all and there isa comon seating area. It was not hectic but was cold due to an over excessive A/C - I slept on deck. The food was basic but O.K. The MV Kavaratti is more modern with first class cabins that have their own toilet and shower. The food was excellent with both veg and non veg.
The times of departure and return to Koch I depend on the ship you are on and can vary. On both journeys I have taken the ship left at 12 noon but can be delayed due to late arrivals.
Ernakulam Station to Willingdon Island (where the ferries leave) takes about 20 minutes by auto rickshaw.
Not being Indian I have only been to Kadmat and Bangaram (Bangaram I beleive is not a SPORTS destination. I love Kadmat and from what I have heard all the islands have clear blue and warm waters similar to Kadmat.
The temperature in October will be about 29-30 degrees. It can rain sometimes at this time of year as it is near the end of the monsoon season. Also, as I have discovered to my cost, at the end of the monsoon season some of the islands have a lot of sand flies that do bite and can be very iritating.
The lakshadweep islands are really worth a visit and SPORTS do arrange a lot of water activities, kayaking, snorkelling, scuba diving etc.
I hope this helps but suggest you contact SPORTS for more details about ferry departure times. From my experience the ferry schedules are not set in tablets of stone until 1-2 weeks of departure.
#5 Jul 14th, 2010, 12:41
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#5
Dear CliveG,

Thank you a lot for your valued information. Now most of my queries are answered. I spoke to SPORTS people and they are saying that their trip will start from November onwards, so I am planning for December trip and I think by that time the beach will be ok - free from sand flies & insects.

The SPORTS people also mentioned that they have not yet decided which ship will work on this season. Last year only M.V Kavaratti was working and not MV Arabian Sea.

One more query is that can we take coral photos on scuba driving? Actually I want to take some good photos of corals. Can you please help me which will be the best option for taking coral photos.
#6 Jul 14th, 2010, 16:36
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Hi Chandrali,
The quality of underwater photos can depend on the type of camera you have or wish to buy. There are some simple digital underwater cameras from about Rs3500 but you can spend more than Rs75000 if you have the money and are going to use it regularly. As you probably know the deeper you go when diving the more difficult it is to get good photos as you lose the red and green colurs so that your pictures will be be predominantly blue. To get over this you really need a strobe flash light and for best results one that is not housed in the camera itself. Having a strobe that is even a few inches away from the lens helps avoid getting a speckled effect that comes the light bouncing off the small particles in the water.
I use a Sea & Sea 35mm film camera with an external strobe. It is getting old but is reliable. The only problem is not knowing if the photos are good or bad until the films are developed.
Have a look at my photos that were taken on the reefs in the Lakshadweeps Islands. The coral around the Lakshadweeps Islands was badly damaged by the last two El Ninos but is now showing signs of regeneration.
Around some of the islands there are coral heads close to the shore that are only a few metres below the surface. You might get good results using a cheaper camera if you snorkel or dive at these coral heads as the colours will be more realistic.
#7 Jul 14th, 2010, 17:48
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  • Chandrali Chandra is offline
#7
Dear CliveG,

I have just gone through your wonderful underwater photos of Lakshadweep. Really lovely pictures.... I kept on watching those photos a number of times.

I have not done scuba driving earlier but I know swimming, will it be any problem for me to do scuba driving? I do not know the camera which you have used will be available in Indian market or not. What is the price of those cameras in INR?
#8 Jul 14th, 2010, 19:51
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#8
Hi,
I am not sure what SPORTS offer on the Reef tour but if you are not a scuba diver then usually you can do a resort course where you are taken into the lagoon to get used to the equipment and shown how to cope with difficulties. If you are then confident you will go on a reef dive.
To be honest if you are a beginner then taking a camera on your first dives is not a good idea as you have enough to think about and it takes time to feel confident about using the equipment.
If you want to take photos while snorkelling i would suggest you look on line for cameras ot find a camera shop near where you live.
The Sea & Sea MX10 which is the one I use may be discontinued. For snorkellling where light is not a problem a cheapish underwater camera will do - here in the U.K. that would cost between Rs3500-7000.
#9 Jul 15th, 2010, 16:51
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#9
Dear Clive,

Thanks once again for your kind suggestions and advise. I think beginner like us, should use camera while snorkeling instead of scuba driving.
#10 Jul 15th, 2010, 17:26
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You are welcome. I hope you enjoy your trip. I have visited the Lakshadweep Islands for 8 years now and never get tired of the scenery, the incredible colour of the sea and the chance to see some spectacluar marine life.

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