Southeast Asia Pilot by Bill O’Leary & Andy Dowden

Incorporating the Andaman Sea, Gulf of Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia… and more

Southeast Asia Pilot by Bill O’Leary & Andy Dowden

India: The Andaman Islands

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 and the snorkelling and scuba diving are amongst the best in the world, with an almost untouched marine ecosystem.

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.

The Andamans is also starting to develop a superb reputation as a frontier surfing destination where the reef breaks have never been surfed before.

Andaman Islands MapThe Andaman Islands were declared a World Heritage Site in 2002. The Nicobar Islands are closed to all except Indian Nationals.

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.

March and April have little wind and are the best months for diving and snorkelling – this is also the time of year when the migratory whales visit the Andamans.

April is the best month for surfing with large swell from the southwest that gives spectacular breaks along the west coast. 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

Spectacular active volcano on Barren Island, Photo by Paul Johnson
Barren West Bay anchorage - Photo by Paul Johnson
Anchorages in The Andaman Islands
Below, we list the main anchorage locations for The Andaman Islands that are featured in the book – together with one sample anchorage. For a complete list of all 533 anchorage locations, go to Southeast Asia Pilot index
Photo by ©,

Port Blair & the surrounding area

Port Blair is the main town and the only Port of Entry in the Andaman Islands. It is a quaint, dirty, crowded and friendly Indian town that looks as though it has been ripped out of the colonial 1930s and dropped into the 21st century. Port Blair has an airport with around five daily connecting flights to...

Photo by ©,

Richie’s Archipelago

  • Havelock & The Surrounding Area
  • Charka Juru & Inglis
  • The Button Islands
  • Maya Bandar & Austen Strait
Photo by Paul Johnson

Homfray Strait & Interview Island

Navigating Homfray Strait on a yacht is a unique experience, the narrow waterway dwarfed by the towering trees on either bank. Anchoring overnight along the strait is fascinating with...

  • interview island
  • north reef island
See sample India anchorage
Interview Island
Photo by Paul Johnson

MacPherson Strait to Little Andaman Island

MacPherson Strait is easily navigable, even by a deep draft vessel. The ends of the strait, Wandoor in the west and...

Photo by Paul Johnson

Barren & Narcondam Islands

Barren Island is a spectacular active volcano that last erupted during the earthquake that caused the 2004 tsunami. It is still very active: it howls and screams, throws volcanic ash into the air and has dramatic lava flows into the sea...

  • Narcondam Island
Racer Marina, Hua Hin, Thailand Phuket Tide Tables Sailing Yacht Asia IMAGE asia

While every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in this book is accurate, the charts of anchorages are based on personal experience and satellite imagery and are intended as a guide only. They should not be used for navigation. Please refer to Official Hydrographic Charts of the respective countries.

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