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Diving Santa Maria

Santa Maria is an underwater paradise with 60 areas of all levels of difficulty. The mild climate with a year-round water temperature of 17 to 23 degrees and visibility of up to 40 meters ensure ideal diving conditions from June to October. Due to the higher water temperatures compared to Pico, other species can be observed while diving than at Pico. The blue and mako sharks are missing here, but diving in the offshore shallows is spectacular and challenging. In the blue water near Ambrosias or Pedrina you can often see devil rays. In recent years, however, it has been the majestic whale sharks that can be regularly observed here from mid-July. There are also encounters with schools of barracuda and sardines as well as large jacks. A special highlight is diving in schools of the rare Bluefin Tuna, Big Eye or Yellow Fin Tuna. These often hunt together with the whale sharks in feeding balls. Netflix shot a breathtaking episode for 3 months with Pico Sport for a new documentary series about the oceans.

Due to the research of Jorge Fontes which supports our Megalodon project, we now know a little about the migration routes of the whale sharks. Every year these animals give us puzzles because they can be found again and again in the same shallows. Initial research has shown that it is probably animals that migrate on the thermal line of the Atlantic and come from Suriname, the Gulf of Mexico and the Sargasso Sea while other animals take the West African coast all the way from St. Helena to eat here. From mid-July onwards, they form huge goblets made of snipe fish and horse marrow fish. That is super exciting because why do these giants wander all the way through the Atlantic. Apparently what is warm water and the rich feeding greens is the indicator that triggers the migration. The animals seem to know that from August onwards, huge schools of fish can be found on the deep sea mountains around Santa Maria. Mobulas always give us great puzzles because it was found out that these animals migrate in water depths of over 1000 along the seamountains. Now we want to know how far these animals move around in the Atlantic.

Only through well-founded research is it possible to determine protection zones for hiking trails in which there is no fishing. Transatlantic shipping should also be managed accordingly. After all, a lot of animal species migrate on these routes. Humpback whales migrate from the Silverbanks to Norway and the Barents Sea. The Norwegian researcher and nature photographer Auduum Richardson was able to prove this with the help of a satellite tag. Our rivers migrate to the Sargasso Sea for reproduction. The Tuna migration routes in the Atlantic are also huge, so the young Atlantic bonitos migrate from the Gulf of Mexico to the western Atlantic. Turtles lay their eggs in the Bahamas and then travel in the Gulf Stream that passes the Azores. Therefore it is time to document all of this and to regulate the protected areas and fishing quotas in the Atlantic.
We offer different formats to explore the diving areas around the island of Santa Maria. We only accept participants who have at least one advanced course and are therefore allowed to dive 30m deep.

Diving cruises on the Papaschillingi with a maximum of 6 divers or the Seagull with a maximum of 8 people on fixed dates. Weekly programs with day trips on the offshore boat Joselisa and a cozy hotel