Diving points – Santa Catarina

22 04 2010


Santa Catarina
has incredible potential for diving. Its coastline is beautiful, with crystal-clear waters and teeming with marine life.

Highlights
Bombinhas/Florianópolis
– Despite political restrictions, there are incredible, not to be missed dives.

Florianópolis and the town of Bombinhas, sixty kilometers away, are the starting-points for the region’s most important dives. When the Arvoredo Biological Reserve was closed again in 2003, Bombinhas was most severely affected. The town lost its main points on Galé Island and tourists ignored the town.

Local diving  operators now take over two hours to sail to the permitted area in the south of Arvoredo. They have to share the acess points with those of Florianópolis.

Parcel do Boi

One of the best dives on the southern end of Arvoredo. The reef begins roughly ten meters deep and the mounds rise to seven meters above the surface. At its deepest aprt, to the southwest, there is a scattered wreckage and a great variety of sea life. Large schools of open water fish such as amberjack and anchovies. Turtles are also often found.

Saco do Capim

This saco or cove gets its name from the characteristic grass growing in this part of the island, one of the best know locations. The bottom is overgrown by zoanthids. In the most sheltered part lie the debris of the Granada, an old wooden-hulled fishing vessel that sank after engine failure. Seahorses and green turtles are often found.

Saco do Batismo

The most sought-after site for those about to make their first dive, and yet one that can surprise even the most experienced divers. The rocky seabed makes cavers where angelfish and crevasse-dwelling shoals are found. Turtles can be seen at rest, in the direction os Saco do Capim.

Baía das Tartarugas

The seabed is made up of several ledges. This is one the best place on Arvoredo for observing turtles. Divers will sometimes also find large schools of sea bass. One of the region’s most interesting caverns lies between this bay and Engenho Bay.

Baía do Engenho

There was a sugar mill here once, and the bay also was a refuge for fishermen. It has since become an ideal training area for all levels of divers. There is a shallower part, some eight meters deep, where the rocks meet the sand. It gets as deep as eighteen meters toward the light house, and larger fish can be found there. Take care, however, with the strong current that drags the diver toward the lighthouse.

Baía do Farol

Facing the Navy supply-base for the lighthouse. The seabed is almost entirely rocky and overgrown with soft coral (sea fans), and very large Atlantic and common Groupers can be seen.

Ponta do Farol

This is the deepest dive in the reserve. The currents are often very strong, but the view is well worth it. A huge rock face, teeming with enormous open water fish. Be careful, though: the speed of the currents is often proportional to the beauty of the rock formation.

Source: Brazil Diving Guide

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Scuba Diving in Salvador

2 12 2009



Salvador has roughly islands and boasts Brazil’s largest bay. The city is symbolized by its beautiful beaches and the catchy rhythms of its music.

You will still find the wreckage of sunkenships, the aftermath of battles fought centuries ago. Bottles, cannon, Chinese porcelain, Portuguese faience, these and other historical items have been brought up from the shipwrecks. Salvador is bathed by the Brazil Current, wich brings in ocean waters and ensures great visibility.

From november to march the average temperature is 26 degrees centigrade. However, diver should beware of possible currents.

On dry land there is a history lesson on every street corner: Salvador was the first capital of Brazil, and dates back to 1554, when Thomé de Souza came to the then Vila do Porto da Barra.

Salvador’s historical center is today recognized as Latin America’s most important concentration of colonial architecture. The Pelourinho neighborhood, the center of local cultural life, contrasts with the city’s major town planning projects.

Guarajuba
Guarajuba Beach has some excellent spots for scuba diving. The seabed is made up of rocks and corals, sheltering large fish such as Mackerel, Greater Amberjack, and Groupers. Rays can be seen. The beach is famous for having the region’s clearest waters.

Salvador
This shipwreck allows you to observe the lush sea life swarming among what remains of the metal structure. The Salvador, a paddle steamer, lies off Juá beach.
Galeão Sacramento
This flagship foundered on the Santo Antônio Bank and sank in 1668. Divers can still find many cannons and anchors in its wreckage. The place is also a great nursey for fishes, lobsters and molusks.

Cavo Artemidi
Divers see this wreck as a kind of sanctuary: the ship is 160 meters long and is undoubtedly one of the largest wrecks in Brazilian waters. The Greek cargo ship foundered on the Santo Antônio Banks in 1980. The ship has become an enormous aquarium, sheltering large fishes such as Atlantic Goliath groupers, nurse sharks, rays, barracuda and mackerel.

Germânia
Early twenthieth-century German cargo vessel. This shipwreck is recommended for night diving and for free diving, and is acessible from the beach. Schools of doctor fish, Rio de la Plata one sided live bearers, and Yellowtail Amberjacks are commonly found, as well as lobsters, crabs and other mollusks.
Ho Mei III
A recently – shipwreck fishing vessel. The ship is now home to schools of red snappers, lane snappers, grunts, Spanish mackerel and spadefish. Visibility is ussualy around 15 meters. The ship is 30 meters long, without any superstructure.

Quebra – Mar
This is one of Salvador’s best options for sheltered diving. The rock wall is home to a multitude of corals, sponges and sea fans. Divers can easily view morays, batfish, seahorses, wrasse, surgeonfish, angelfish, Rock Beauty and French Angelfish.

Blackadder
This steel-built Norwegian coal transport vessel is 50 meters long, and lies close to the reef, listing to starboard. The bow is the best-preserved section, and divers can swim in and out of it. The wreckage has been colonized by a vast array of sponges, corals, fishes and other sea animal.

Source: Brazil Diving Guide