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 to 26 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 then at Pico.
The blue and mako sharks are missing here, but diving in the offshore pinnacles is spectacular and challenging. In the blue water near Ambrosio or Pedrinha 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 snorkeling in the feeding balls where different Tuna species, Bonito , Barracuda, jacks and even Trigger fish can hunt. These species often hunt together with the whale sharks in feeding balls. Netflix shot a breathtaking episode for 3 months in 2021 with Pico Sport for a new documentary series about the oceans.
Due to the research of Jorge Fontes which is supported by 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 feeding balls of snipe fish and horse Mackarel. That is super exciting because why do these giants travel all the way through the Atlantic. Apparently the warm water and the rich feeding grounds are the indicators that trigger 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 serious research is it possible to determine protection zones for migration trails and ban fishing. Transatlantic shipping should also be managed because 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. European river eels migrate to the Sargasso Sea for reproduction. The Tuna migraties in the Atlantic. The young Atlantic bonitos are born in the Gulf of Mexico and migrate to the western Atlantic. Loggerhead 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.