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

Seagate-Atlantis Divers/Recife-Fernando De Noronha, Jan, 2004,

by Harvey Monroe, NM, USA . Report 1261.

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

Weather sunny, rainy Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 80 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Depth Limits (usaully the bottom), 500 psi. Started as a group but latter on was able to follow own profile.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 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
UW Photo Comments 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):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 2 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments 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.

Harvey


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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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