Love to go scuba diving? Goa has a few great spots for both, the beginner and the scuba diving expert. The clear blue waters, underwater coral, and a few known shipwrecks are great attractions for those who love scuba diving. One of the best locations for Scuba diving is Grande Island, off the Margao/Vasco coast.
Beware though that the island goes by many different names – Grand, Grande, Grandi Island, and Ilha Grao are some of the more popular variations. The Eastern part of the island is sometimes tagged on the map as ‘Mortar Island.’ The island is also strategically located, very close to the Naval airport, so for obvious state and national security reasons, the Navy keeps a sharp eye on tourists and everyone else visiting the island.
You can hire a boat and go there yourself, or you can make a booking with one of the many tour operators who will be happy to take you there – with your own gear, or with their own gear, which they hire out at reasonable rates.
Once there, you’ll love scuba diving in the clear blue waters. The depth of the water, close to the shore, ranges from about 7 meters, which is great for beginners…to a full 20 meters – the kind of depth that professionals prefer.
What are some of the better-known scuba diving spots in the waters nearby?
Suzy’s wreck is a British ship that went down there in the 1930’s. It was carrying a cargo of wooden railway sleepers when it got caught in a powerful storm, hit the rocks lying around the island, got wrecked and sank. Fortunately, only one crew member died. The others went ashore. The shipwreck lies at between 5-15 meters depth of clear waters that allow you to clearly see some of the cargo that still lies down there, even today.
Some of the other popular shipwrecks and diving sites are: ‘Davy Jones Lockers’ at around 15m depth, ‘Sail Rock’ at a full 20 meters, ‘Turbo Tunnel’ closer to shore at about 7 meters (ideal for beginners), ‘Surge City’ and ‘Bounty Bay’ – also not very deep at 9 meters, and finally, there’s ‘Uma Guma’ Reef at 15 meters. This particular reef is a popular spot for sightseeing aquatic wildlife such as Lobsters, sea cucumbers, sharks…and needlefish.
Along with scuba diving, most tour operators also organize a dolphin watch cruise and a delicious barbecue for their patrons. It’s their way of ensuring you get action both underwater and above the water too.
Snorkelling and fishing are some of the other activities that some tour operators offer as a bonus.
Atlantis Watersports offers scuba diving equipment and even takes you to Grande Island.