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Dive Review of Pico Sport/Jeiroes Do Mar in
General Travel/Other Locations/Pico Island, Azores

Pico Sport/Jeiroes Do Mar, Sep, 2012,

by DAVID SHEM-TOV, NY, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 21 reports with 4 Helpful votes). Report 6708 has 2 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling 3 stars
Value for $$ 2 stars
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments European divers head to Pico or Horta, two mid-atlantic islands of the Azores 3 hrs from Lisbon or 5 hrs from Boston to dive with Blue and Mako sharks or Mobula Rays. Hurricane Nadine, heading in the direction of the islands, shut down diving operations on the third day after we landed. We cut our trip short.
If you plan to go, be warned that conditions are very challenging. Before you can even join an oceanic dive, you will be (quite reasonably) expected to demonstrate your skills at SMB deployment from depth on the check dive. The shark dives take place after a gruelling 90-120minute trip on a zodiac. A further 30-60 minutes is spent on the unanchored zodiac in the blue, chumming the waters. Ropes are then dangled from the zodiac and two divers are expected to suspend from each one while the inquisitive sharks swim nearby. The day I went, conditions once we arrived at the site were deemed too choppy and the dive was aborted. We still had to endure the four hour transit though. My dive buddy did the dive the next day and reported that the trip was an extremely uncomfortable. The dive was spent bobbing up and down in the swell as the boat was unanchored. It was a "once in a lifetime experience." I.e., just once was enough.
During our visit it was impossible to do the dive with the mobulas at Prince Alice Banks, the seamount 40nm from shore, with a 3hr journey time in each direction.
Pico Sport is one of two dive operations on the island. I found them professional. They graciously waived the cost of the failed shark dive (EUR 175 per person) even though the zodiac made the journey to the site and back.
Many Azoreans emigrated to the US, therefore English is widely spoken. Pico is a pleasant volcanic island with no beaches. Our rented apartment in Madalena was conveniently located to the dive centre and very comfortable. There was a supermarket nearby and a couple of good restaurants. Aside from diving one can participate in whale watching trips, swim with wild dolphins, go on a number of hikes, visit whaling museums or climb Mount Pico, the highest in Portugal.
Websites Pico Sport   Jeiroes Do Mar

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving [Unspecified]
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy Seas choppy, surge
Water Temp 21-22°C / 70-72°F Wetsuit Thickness 7
Water Visibility 15-25 M / 49-82 Ft

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions On open ocean dives you had to hold on to rope dangled from zodiac
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 1 stars Tropical Fish 1 stars
Small Critters 1 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics 4 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 1 stars
UW Photo Comments No rinse tank on boat.
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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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