Diving spots

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Starting off from Marina Cala Bitta – which is private Marina near to Baja Sardinia – we can reach every dive spots with 15/ 20these minutes. Generally speaking, these dive spots are all sheltered from waves and strong currents. Here all divers of every level can enjoy the dive as we have always good conditions, we can observe many corals, a lot of varies of Gorgonia and a complete range of fish, from the small Anthias to the large Grouper, and from the multicoloured Scorpionfish to the predator schools of Barracuda.

PUNTA THAITI
The dive spot is situated not far from Tahiti beach (it’s the most popular bay in Caprera Island, it’s called “Tahiti” because of the beautiful colour of its water). The mooring point can change according to diving experience and conditions of the sea. For Advanced divers the dive begins swimming, keeping the east direction, in the blue (12-15 meters) for a few minutes. We cross some Canyon to visit a big rock covered from red gorgonian at a depth of 40 meters. On the bottom we can find some Anchors of the ship. It’s easy to find some lobsters into little caves. We startto go up to explore the Canyon to find groupers and Scorpionfishes. Here the rock is colonized by a large population of sea Anemones and multicoloured corals. During the final part of the dive is possible to see some bullets on the sand.

IL FIORDINO
The classic dive is a drift one, both northwards and southwards, depending on the direction of the current. we descend to the edge of the drop-of situated at a depth of about 15 meters from here begins a vertical wall that goesdown about 45 meters. We usually dive by keeping the wall to our left and at a average depth of about 20-25 meters, as this is where we will see the largest concentration of fish (groupers and snappers ). Moving to the northern part of the dive, we cross an area with a lot of pinnacles that follow one another in sequence. If we light into the someshelters and splits is easy to see conger and morays. The dive finishes when your pressure is about 50 bar, so we will do the safety stop at 5 meters and the boat will come to pick up us.

PUNTA COTICCIO
It is the most famous dive point of Caprera island. The dive runs around two underwater mountains. The environment is varied and suggested. Swimming through little canyons and big channels (recovered by orange coral), we arrive to the vertical wall of the second peak (recovered by yellow gorgonia). On the bottom we can find a lot of rocks which are musdee, scorpionfishes and groupers’ holes. According to season and current it’s possible to swim in the blue water to watch pelagic fish and rays. At the end of the vertical wall we can swim under a big rock where there are interesting crevices with giant moray. The dive usually ends circumnavigating the higher part of one peak , swimming back to the R.I.B. to ascent along anchor chain.

CALA INGLESE
The dive spot is wide and fans out in northwesterly direction. After mooring the boat into a sheltered bay, we begin the dive. We find some Canyons, at different depth, that run parallel to the coast. Crossing these Canyons we can make different itinerary. According to the period ( swimming into the blue) , it is possible to observe the schools of Barracuda and if we are lucky the Eagle rays. Usually we go to visit the deepest part first (30-35 meters), where it’s possible to observe some groupers and sciaena umbra. Swimming back to the boat we go to explore the highest part of the dive spot (about 12 meters ), here it’s possible to find a lot of octopus and small sea anemones. It is a easy diving in a sheltered spot, with mixed reef and pelagic fauna. Suitable for all diving levels.

GROTTINO DI S. FRANCESCO
we start the dive descending for 7 meters, we go to cross a little bay in southeast direction. After few minutes, we will immediately see the entrance to the Cave, which penetrates the rock for about 15 meters and has a wide exit hole at 6 meters. The landscape inside , has spectacular light effects and walls recovered by soft coral, coloured sponges and nudibranchs, it is perfect for taking photos. Outside the cave, the marine environment is made by channels and granitic pinnacles which rise from the sandy bottom (25-30 meters, where there are some yellow gorgonians ) to the depth of about 15 meters. These pinnacles are the favourite haunt of abundant and varied reef fauna, especially Anthias and snappers. In the crevices along the walls of the pinnacles we will see Scorpionfishes and lobsters while along the sandy bottom there are moray and Octopus.

SECCA DI MAESTRALE
This dive site is situated in the open water to the north-west of Monaci island. The spot consists on a big underwater granitic formation. After descending for about 12 meters we can find the top of the rock. Here it is possible to find a lot of crevices populated by crabs, sponges and fishes. After passing this point, we swim to the north direction where we will see the drop-off. We explore the wall on our right which is rich in red gorgonians, shelters and caves swarming with corals as yellow gorgonians and parazoanthus. On the bottom we find a lot of rocks of different size populated by groupers and morays. Continuing along the bottom we enter an extremely small cave (situated at a depth of about 27 meters) that has a large fissure through which light filters. From this opening we can exit to begin the ascend following the rock profile . If we see in the blue it is to observe the big school of Diplodus.

SPACCA DELLE CORVINE
The spot is situated about 1 mile east from Monaci island. It is a beautiful site and consists of a granitic formation oriented in a northwest-southeast direction, cut through by two channels. We begin to descend about 10 meters’ depth to follow the main channel. Looking at the blue we will easily spot schools of Barracuda that sometimes swim in a circle formation. At the corner of the channel at 27/30 meters’ depth we can always find manysciaena umbra. From this point, if we have a good pressure reserve, keeping the wall to our left we go to visit the southeaster part of the area. It is renowned for the extraordinary proliferation of red gorgonians and colonies of parazoanthus that create a veritable forest. Here the current could be strong and for this reason we can admire in the blue the pelagic fauna (tuna and jackfishes). We start to ascend but we do not miss to explore the spectacular wide split that begins at the depth of 20 meters and narrows toward the surface, becoming a smaller passage. In these recesses we will see the typical dwellers of gullies and crevices such as Scorpionfishes, moray crabs and nudibranches.

LA MEDA
It is situated in open water, the area is marked by a beacon situated about 1 mile east from Monaci island. The boat is moored on rock at 5 meters’ depth. The classic dive runs through some large granitic formation that rise from the sandy bottom. We follow the first canyon keeping the wall to our right at the depth of 30 meters where we can see many ceriantidi, soft corals, sponges and coloured crabs. We go on swimming in south direction at 35 meters, to find an old anchor covered by multicoloured sponges. We go to explore a second Canyon with its beautiful walls populated by lobsters and scorpionfishes, we swim reaching the underwater base of the beacon (about 15 meters). During the final part of the dive we will swim among many rocks populated by morays, crabs and thousands anthias fish.

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Protected diving spots (PIP)
The National Marine Park authority has established in 2011 a list of ‘’protected diving spots’ called PIP (Punti di immersione protetti) in the sites of Secca di Spargi (Secca di Washington), Secca di Spargiotto,  Punta Coticcio, Grottino di S. Francesco. The purpose is to preserve sea bottom from anchorages, and to garantee the safety of divers in the sites, beside the saveguard of the natural habitat and the evolutionary process of the whole marine area of the Park. The access to PIP is allowed exclusively to authorized dive centers. During the dive an alphanumeric flag that identify the authorized operator must be showed; the crafts must be anchored to the buoy installed from the park authority. Each operator will be allowed to escort – maximum two operators per time per dive site -  a maximum of 12 people with at least 2 dive guide, while the free divers can dive in PIP only if escorted by authorized divers. Sportive and professional fishing, night dives and removal of any animal and vegetal speciies is forbidden and the maximum speed allowed to the operator’s boats in the above listed areas is 3 knots.

ALL RECOMMENDED SPOTS

Bonifacio Strait

Strong currents characterize the Strait of Bocche di Bonifacio transporting great quantities of nutrient material every day, this supplies a great deal of food to the corals and hence to the reef fish, which are eaten by the large pelagic predators such as Barracuda, Dentici, Tuna, which are always present in this zone. Consequently, scuba divers in the water of Bonifacio are sure to see not only a big number of corals but also a rich fauna, both reef and pelagic. However, we must always be careful of the wind and currents here, as they can condition the time, place and type of dive.

The Bonifacio Strait is a wide, shallow area. The waters between the islands are no deeper than 70 metres. Such an extension of shallow and well lit seabed, swept by currents, represent a perfect cradle for rich and diversified marine life. Most of the sedimentary seabed within 40 metres are covered with prairies of Posidonia Oceanica, a superior plant with flowers and fruits. The Posidonia Oceanica are huge nurseries to different species of fishes, crustaceans and molluscs. Among those prairies, you will dive along enormous granite rocks, drop offs, overhangs, swim through, caves all covered by spectacular marine life, sea fans, sponges, tube worms. Those incredible landscapes offer habitats to a large variety of fishes, molluscs and crustaceans like moray eel, stone fish, dorados, conger, barracudas, groupers, octopus, crabs, lobster and lots of nudibranchs. For the wreck lovers there is the 'Angelika', a cargo ship lying in between 12 and 21 metres and a Second World War plane engine covered with beautiful sponge at 21 metres.

SECCA DEL PILONE

The dive spot is situated to the south-west of La Maddalena Island, it is marked by a pillar which points out the danger of the underwater rocks. The dives runs along a big granitic formation which rises up from the sandy bottom (about 18metrs). It offers an interesting underwater landscape, even if sometimes visibility may be limited, here, more than ever , we can meet eagle ray swimming along the bottom, this dive offers a wide variety of flora and fauna. During the dive we follow the main rock keeping the wall to our right. We can observe little colonies of yellow gorgonians, sponges and soft coral. Swimming through shoals of diplodus, we leave the main wall, and we cross a sandy channel to go to visit a small rocky formation, where we find some beautiful red gorgonians (at 30 meters’ depth) octopus and torpedo ray. We swim around these rocks, then we come back toward the main wall to start to ascend. This dive allows us to observe many species of coral, and a wide rage of reef fauna.

SPARGIOTTELLO

We are in the west side of Spargi island about 5 hundred meters from its coast. Diving begins from the boat moored on the top of underwater rock at 6 meters’ depth. We descend onto a sandy plateau ( at about 15-20 meters) that is bordered on a series of stones populated by sciaena, we swim keeping the wall to our left to visit the peak of a rock to observe a school of barracuda. After passing this point, we go to explore westward the numerous gullies by crossing a narrow passageway between two granitic formations inhabited by groupers, morays and recovered by yellow gorgonian. For the Advanced divers there is the opportunity to visit the deeper part of the dive (about 30-35 meters) to observe the pinnacles recovered by red gorgonian. From this point we begins to ascent going back the main rock. Here, keeping the wall on our right we visit some crevices rich in parazoanthus and nudibranchias.

WASHINGTON ROCK

This site lies in the middle of the channel that divides Spargi and Budelli islands. It is one of the most famous and interesting site of the area. The spot is wide so the dives we can take here can be varied at will, depending on various factors (weather conditions, speed and direction of the current, technical level of the divers). The most classic and complete dive will allow you to visit the deeper zone and many granitic pinnacles. The dive begins at 7 meters’ depth on a large balcony over the blue. We circumnavigate the main rock until we will reach a small passage full of red gorgonians on its walls. Keeping the wall to our left, we go to visit an area rich in crevices and caves. A varied fauna have colonized this part as groupers, multicoloured sponges, and corals. The overall effect is a magnificent enviroment that is unique in its kind. Continue along the wall until reach some pinnacles populated by morays and groupers. We can often meet here schools of barracuda. The dive usually ends, after we have finished exploring this area, but if we still have some air left we can enter an extremely beautiful passage that has a large fissure through which light filter from this opening we can exit, to find the mooring point of our boat.

BUDELLI

the dive spot is situated to the south-west of Budelli island. It consists in long granitic formations alternated by sandy channels. Diving difficulty varies according to conditions of the sea, currents may become very strong. We start the dive exploring the north-western side where we find the beginning of the cannels bordered by granitic walls full of many species of sponges. Red gorgonians have found their ideal life conditions at 35 meters’ depth where currents are often present. We go on crossing upon the wall and ascending to 20 meters’ depth here the big stones we find (fully colonized by soft coral and sponges) are the perfect habitat for scorpion fishes, morays and groupers. This part of the dive with its spectacular marine environment it’s perfect for underwater photography.

BARETTINELLI

This site is situated on the northern most part in “La Maddalena” national park. We moor the boat in the area, between the lighthouse and a rock which appears from the blue water. The classic dive is a descent in north direction to 30-35 meters. Here , among numerous granitic pinnacle covered with red gorgonians, there are several reef fauna as lobsters and scorpion fishes. If we observe the blue it will be easy to see some predator fish, like tuna and snappers. From this point, we can return keeping the wall to our right at a depth of 15 meters we can explore the gorges, in some small crevices populated by conger and sciaena. If we have a good air reserve we can visit the plateau at 10-12 meters rich in fauna, as anthias swimming among the stones, perfect habitat for many species of nudibranchs.

LAVEZZI

This is one of the most beautiful dive spot of all. We are in the French marine park, the spot is easy to find as it’s situated under a red-black lighthouse. It still conserve the typical Mediterranean marine environment. For its positions, this dive can be done only with perfect weather and sea conditions, currents here may be strong. There are many dives we can take here –all of which should be drift dived – and they can be varied at will, depending on various factors (weather conditions, speed and direction of the current). The environment consists in rocky formations (maximum depth about 18meters) swimming among them we will be admire a host of Mediterranean fauna, from big groupers to sciaena, everpresent anthias fishes, and beautiful moray that lives in the gorges of the pinnacles especially in eastern most part of the dive.

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<p>Two new fantastic dives at the Island of the Bull in the Archipelago of the Cerbicali in Corsica will astonish also the most exacting divers... Finally a valid alternative to the very well known City of the Groupers! The dive at the Arcades (Secca dell&#39;Arco) of the Bull (Secca del Toro)&nbsp;is a wonderful shoal, 2Km north of the Island of the Bull, in open sea, with its top at 17m and its bottom at 38m. The name comes from two suggestive arcades at the depth of about 30m, completely covered by giant red gorgons. The second dive is the Shore of the Bull, 700m far away from the homonymous island. Its top is at 3m, while the maximum depth at 35m. It&#39;s an ideal dive also for beginners, especially because in the first 15m it is possible to see all typical Mediterranean flora and fauna. Two dives at the top and extremely full of fish ad colours, known and attended by very few divers, absolutely not to miss!</p> <p><strong>SEE THE DIVING REGULATIONS DOC IN &quot;RULES / REGULATIONS&quot; AREA</strong></p>

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Towards north, to the Bonifacio Strait, there is a dozen of dive spots between Corsica, with its Marine Park of Lavezzi, and Sardinia, with its Marine Park of the Archipelago de La Maddalena. The dives in the Corsic area are characterized by a huge quantity of fish. At the "City of the Groupers" of Lavezzi, famous all over the world, giant groupers approach the divers in search of food. On the shoals of "Ponente", "Pilone", "Banco", "Ostro" and "Sperduti" you'll be sure to see a lot of typical lair fishes like groupers, shadefish, breams, rocklings and morays, as well as free water fishes like amberjacks, dentexes and barracudas. All these dives have a maximum depth of 30 meters, with an average of nearly 18 meters. Therefore they are appropriate for Open Water Divers too.
On the other side, the Sardinian area is characterized by the beauty of its underwater paths. The shoals of "Spargi", "Mezzogiorno", "Budelli" and "Razzoli" have a highly spectacular morphology, with castles of granite raising up from the sandy ground, in vertical walls of 20-30 meters, covered by the greatest red gorgons of the Mediterranean already at the depth of 15 meters. In this zone there is also a well known and unique dive spot, strictly reserved to the more expert divers: the deep dive at the "Shoal of the Black Coral", (the largest living branch of the Mediterranean Sea).

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