DIVE Site: Tribe Gate
MAX DEPTH: 12 -15 meters depending on diver certification level
AVERAGE DEPTH: 5-8 meters
BOTTOM TIME: 45 – 60 minutes
About the Dive Site: Tribe Gate
Tribe Gate is a small submerged hill surrounded by a bed of sand on all sides. We begin our dive from its foothills, making our way to the top in concentric, shallowing circles.
The reef at Tribe Gate has evidently been built by Porites coral boulders, over hundreds of thousands of years. These brown coral boulders are stacked in shelves, one below the other, through most of the dive site. Well, except in the ruins of the ancient city of Pavona.
This part of the dive site is characterised by a vast field of miniature pillars built during the reign of the erstwhile coral empire Pavona, before their demise during the coral bleaching episode that hit the Indo-Pacific Ocean in 2010, leaving behind an eerily beautiful geological piece of art.
The ancient city is home to moray eels, stonefish, groupers, cardinal fish, flatheads, urchins, nudibranchs, shrimps, among many others. It is also perennially overcast with a cloud of two-spot snappers. You could do your entire dive at tribe gate in this city. ?
Some special residents that we are always on a look out for include the scribbled filefish, yellowtail barracuda, striped surgeonfish, Beaufort’s crocodile flathead, unicornfish, banded sea kraits, Phyllidia and Halgerda slugs and other cool critters.
Tribe Gate is also where we see the most number of Tridacna clams- the largest living clams in the world- and also all five species of anemonefish we see commonly in the Andamans.
We conclude our dive with an extended safety stop, enjoying as the sergeant major damsels and fusiliers school around us, until we surface to a spectacular view of Havelock Island.
Tribe Gate is a great place to fun dive, learn to dive or even do your first ever dive!
Pictures clicked at Dive Site: Tribe Gate, Andamans
Video credit Umeed Mistry