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Dive Review of Seagate-Atlantis Divers/Recife-Fernando De Noronha in

January, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by Harvey Monroe, NM, USA
Report Number 1261
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Carribean-Florida,Bahamas,Cuba,Mexico,Honduras,Panama, California North and
South, Lakes, Quarries, French Polynesia, etc.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy  
calm, choppy  
Water Temp
80   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Depth Limits (usaully the bottom), 500 psi. Started as a group but latter
on was able to follow own profile.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  2 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
Assistance with cameras was given but no specific camera tables were
available they were stored in safe location.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
2 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
5 stars    
This was a trip that included several days in Recife, Brazil and seven days
on Fernando de Noronha which is off the N.E. coast of Brazil several
hundred miles.

Recife is a city of over a million people similar in atmosphere to south
Florida.  The diving is open ocean and usually on one of the many wrecks in
the area.  There are many interesting sites including 2 different paddle
wheelers and a german U-boat.  We dove with Seagate Divers which is located
in the old town of Olinda, a good operation.  Most dives leave in the
morning and involve a boat ride of up to 1 1/2 -2 hrs with 2-4ft seas being
common. They asked several times if we were prone to sea sickness. The
water is warm and there is some coral growth but mostly plant life is
found.  There where a good variety of schooling Grunt,Chub,Spade fish, and
jack. We dove two sites, a relatively new tug boat, sunk 2002, Minuamo, at
114'.  The vis. was 50'+-.  The 2nd location was Batelao de Cima, at 85' an
older wreck which was mostly debris.  There was a 6ft Sting Ray that hung
around most of the dive and a nurse shark.  Over all an enjoyable day but
not a destination for a diving holiday.

Fernando de Noronha is a island park which means they charge a park tax for
your stay by the day with the daily rate increasing the longer you stay.
They also limit the number of vistors to island at any one time.  It is a
major destination for the Brazilians who go for the laid back atmosphere,
nature and the ocean.
Therefore, it isn't set up for your average american tourist. This means
that most of the accommodations are in Pousadas (privately owned guest
homes,$40-$60 a night depending on season) or with several higher priced
modest hotels ($150-$250).  You usually go out to one of local cafes or
restaurants. There are enough people around especially with the dive
operators that speak english to get by. A knowledge of Portuguese or
Spanish is helpful. We saw maybe a dozen Americans the whole time. Read the
UC Report and other dive magazine web reports which are fairly accurate.

The diving was overall very good to great with the caveat that it is
different from your typical Carribbean experence. The above and below water
terrain is rocky with large cliffs which extend from above to under the
water.  There was some coral growth with most of the rock coverage coming
from plant life. There was not the diversity of fish as found in the
Carribbean but the quantiy and size was better than most of what I've seen
there. There were turtles on every dive and on several dives there where
dozens and all approachable. Look but don't touch. The marine park status
is strongly reinforced. We saw several smallish reef sharks and nurse
sharks with rays being very common.

The water was 82dF with visiblity being 40'-150',depending if the dive was
on the protected or ocean side of the island. Piedra Seacas 1 and 2 were
particularly good but somewhat limited depending on surge conditions.

We went with Atlantis Divers the whole time. They have 2 cats, the best
boats of the 3 dive operators, which sometimes handle over 20 people. 
Their morning dives are usually for the advanced divers, less full and
often in the open ocean to depths of 60-90 feet. The afternoon dives where
for the novices and limited in depth to around 60 feet. Every group had at
least 1 divemaster with many of the beginer groups having a divemaster for
every 2 people.  My recently certified wife and 12 yr. son benefited from
their attention.  After the first few dives  they got to know me and we
stayed down as long as I wanted usually 10-15 minutes after everyone else
had surfaced.
I was able to dive the Corvetta which was a technical dive to around 200
feet. We used steel 100's and 100% o2 for 10 minutes on the last deco stop.
It was myself, a dutch man and half of the employees (7 divemasters) from
the operation. We all had a great time with the island's spinner dolphin
school giving us a 15 minute show on the way back to the harbour.

All in all it was for us a great experience.  I would recommend Brazil and
FDN for anyone looking for something different an out of the ordinary
adventure.  We may go back in the future.


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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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