The Aquatic Zone
Welcome to the pelagic environment, inhabited by pelagic fauna such as barracudas and amberjacks.
You'll love to plunge into the clear blue around shoals and vertical walls. In no other places in the Mediterranean you can easily swim with schools of fishes around you, heedless of your presence as you were part of them. July and September seem to be the best months to experience breathtaking encounters, as amberjacks are in their spawning period and tuna-fishes are in the midst of their migratory journey, while barracudas becoming adults gather in big groups searching for food in shallow waters.
August instead doesn't appear to be to be the best period for any of them: probably the high season with a greater presence of tourists by boat leads them to prefer to stay deeper.
Here is a selection of dive spots where you likely might encounter such species and experience the "Dive into the Blue" feeling.
You need some experience to manage your buoyancy control as these spots are obviously subject to currents. You mostly don't need to be a Deep Diver, but if you want to go for a Deep Adventure Dive, these spots are the favourite. Or even more, if you're qualified as a Deep Deco Diver you can also aim to take part to an exclusive dive spot.
Secca della Colombara
It's one of the favourite dive spots for the lovers of Ustica, although not the most visited, because of the frequent currents and distance from the coastline.
It's situated about 600 metres far on the northern side of the island. We use to call it our "Tropical Dive Site" for its specific features: it's a shoal
, similar to a coral reef, with vertical walls of basaltic rocks
on one side and a large plateau on the other, with a peak at 3,5 metres
, where usually the dive starts and ends. You can imagine how much this environment can attract pelagic fishes! While the dusky groupers dominate the plateau
hiding in its cracks, barracudas and amberjacks swim around its perimeter in constant search of their prey. There are at least 3 different itineraries to be followed but even if you repeat the same route every time it's just a different dive.
another special feature of this dive spot is the only wreck present on the island, and a modern one: a cargo ship sank in 2005 and broken in two parts, sliding on the slopes ending on a bottom between 25 and 30 metres. Nothing special for itself, but vegetation did a great job of decorating!
Scoglio del Medico
MEDICO ROCK - Σκοπελος ομηρικοι
A little island in the island, holding all three environments - aquatic, benthic and cave zone
. Here we're focused on its pelagic feature. As an emerging rock not too far from the coast but far enough to be surrounded by deep seabeds and currents, it is an oasis of life. While dusky groupers
have their homes in the rocky ravines, mottled and Gold-blotch groupers
enjoy their time lingering in the ocean blue. When you go for the "Pelagic Tour of Scoglio del Medico" you may encounter several schools of barracudas that appear to have their favourite places depending on the season. And when amberjacks decide to come to visit, they just make your day - they reach the shallow waters so much so that also a snorkeller may admire their acrobatic performances.
The plunge into the blue par excellence. Its name does it no justice. With its peak at 25 metres
, it has always been regarded as a difficult dive, limited only to the experts, as it's a rocky complex that emerges from a seafloor 60 meters deep, with gorgeous corals and fish silhouettes that attract towards the depths. But when you realise that it's during your ascend from the depth that you encounter the biggest specimens of amberjacks and the most numerous school of barracudas
, whizzing between groups of mottled groupers and huge black sea-breams, you regret going deeper and you think you could have stopped at 25 meters. So that's where we decide to go! You need to be and advanced diver with good skills of buoyancy control and drift diving
but you don't need to be a deep diver, nor deco.
We have specific dive procedures and standards that allow you to enjoy this dive safely and at its best, based on optimal weather conditions.
It happens just three times a season to lead divers on this site. It's one of those places that are more times than you can go there because of the prohibitive weather conditions and also because here you do need to be and expert and qualified deep deco diver.
It's a large plateau with its peak at 38 metres
: on one side it's covered by a field of oarweed, on the other you can admire a high drop-off that plunges down to 70 metres or more. Red and yellow gorgonians
decorated by sea lillies (crinoids) are the unforgettable scenery you keep in mind when you surface.
As for its depth and width, bottom time can't be extended so you really need to dive vertically on a specific point, otherwise you just swim over the plateau. And if there are currents, it can be difficult to reach the bottom.
If you're thinking that more the depth, more the fish, you're wrong: they prefer warm and nutrient shallow waters so you won't miss the pelagic if you don't see Apollo!
Nevertheless, if you're lucky with the sea conditions and are an expert diver, you can ask for a Deco Top Dive
with your qualified buddy and experience one of the most thrilling and impressive deep dives of the island.
We offer it only on request and arrange it with specific procedures and safety standards (exclusive boat and surface assistance, bailout tanks and reserved dive guide).