OFFSHORE DIVING TRIPS
OFFSHORE DIVING TRIPS
Formigas Islets / Dollabarat reef
The Formigas Islets, situated 50 miles from Ponta Delgada harbor (São Miguel Island), offers you a wide variety of dive sites. From more shallower dives, along the wall of the islets and also on the reefs to the north which can be done by less experienced divers, to more technical dives such as the ‘Olympia’ shipwreck located on the southwest side of the islets, between 30 and 50 meters of depth.
The Dollabarat Reef is inside a marine reserve near the Formigas islets. The dive begins in a more shallow area with 5 meters deep which quickly decreases to almost 30 meters.
In both, the Formigas islets and Dollabarat Reef, you will be able to see large dusky groupers (Epinephelus marginatus) and island groupers (Mycteroperca fusca) and also large pelagic species, such as skipjack tunas (Katsuwonus pelamis), wahoos (Acanthocybium solandri), large Atlantic bonito (Sarda sarda), yellowmouth barracudas (Sphyraena viridensis) and guelly jack (Pseudocaranx dentex). It is also possible to see manta rays (Mobula tarapacana and Manta birostris) and, more rarely, some shark species such as the smooth hammerhead (Sphyrna zygaena) and the Galapagos shark (Carcharinus galapagensis).
This dive is only recommended for experienced divers due to its remote location and the possibility of strong currents.
Sabrina / Lourenços
Located about 13 miles away from Ponta Delgada harbor, Sabrina and Lourenços Reef are great dives to observe pelagic fish such as the yellowmouth barracudas (Sphyraena viridensis), almaco jacks (Seriola rivoliana) and manta rays (Mobula tarapacana and Manta birostris) during the summer months. There are also several species of moray eels and demersal species, such as the red scorpionfish (Scorpaena scrofa).
The top of the reef can be found at 24 meters of depth where the recreational dives take place, but it is also a great spot for technical dives since the seafloor is located at 60 meters of depth. Due to the possibility of strong currents we only recommend this dives for more experienced divers.
The Ambrósio Reef is a seamount located inside a marine reserve, located about 40 minutes from Vila do Porto harbor, in Santa Maria Island and about 120 minutes from Ponta Delgada harbor.
Although this is a deep dive, with the sea bottom at 50 meters of depth, it can also be done at lower depths, between 5 to 20 meters, being suitable for less experienced divers. In Ambrósio reef you can observe a great diversity of marine life such as big groups of manta rays (Mobula tarapacana and Manta birostris) and also groups of pelagic fishes such as almaco jacks (Seriola rivoliana), yellowmouth barracudas (Sphyraena viridensis), and bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix).
D. João de Castro Bank
The D. João de Castro Bank is a seamount, situated between Terceira and São Miguel Islands, at 55 miles from Ponta Delgada harbor.
The dive is conducted in the ancient caldera of the volcano, between 13 meters and 20 meters of depth, where the hydrothermal vents are more active. There is a great diversity of pelagic species in this diving spot, such as the yellowmouth barracuda (Sphyraena viridensis), wahoo (Acanthocybium solandri), skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelanis), greater amberjack (Seriola dumerili), bermuda sea chub (Kyphosus sectator) and atlantic bonito (Sarda sarda). It is also possible to observe manta rays (Mobula tarapacana and Manta birostris) and sea turtles such as Carreta carreta.
This diving spot is recommended only for experienced divers due to the possibility of strong currents and also due to its remote location.