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Diving Ustica

The Protected Marine Area of Ustica has given its key contribution during the years, dividing in three aerial zones the body of water around the island for a distance of three miles from the coast. The seabeds of the island are particular thanks to the marine biodiversity that allow us to see a big quantity of animal and vegetal species.

Type: Slope, Landscape, Crack
Certification Requirement: Open/Advanced
Average depth/max: 18/30m
Typical encounters: Grouper, Octopus, Moray eel, Pipefish, Sea star, Nudibranch.
Notes: A dive site for enthusiastic amateurs, who like to search and recognize what the untrained eye struggles to see.

The dive begins in the cove of San Paolo, located on the south side of the island. The beginning of our descent is characterized by a vast seabed of posidonia, where we could often be lucky enough to meet the beautiful and mysterious pipe fish, always camouflaged among the leaves of seagrass. Just below us we will find a large boulder, anchor station for our buoy, which will direct us to a small wreck of 10 m rich in pentagonal starfish.

We now head closer to the landslide that will characterize the rest of our dive. Here we can find among rocks flabelline and cratene, but also other rarer types of nudibranchs. The marine triton is another peculiarity of this site, as well as moray eels, spiny starfish, octopus and brown grouper. Always keep an eye out to the "blue", it is not uncommon in fact be surprised by the passage of some amberjacks.

Tipo di immersione: Landslide, Cabe, Fish
Livello: Advanced
Profondità media/max: 20/25 mt.
Flora e Fauna: Groupers, Murena, Horsefish, Nudibranchs, Parapandalo Shrimp, Mechanical Shrimp.
Note: A dive site characterized by beautiful plays of light and a cave full of inlets.

The dive begins in Cala Galera, but instead of heading north-east we will move southwest. The beginning of our descent is characterized by a vast field of posidonia, where we can often be lucky enogh to meet the beautiful and mysterious pony pipe-fish, always
camouflaged among the leaves of posidonia.

We will begin the navigation alongside the landslide of boulders that we will keep on our right, where we can find groupers, nudibranchs and amberjacks. After about ten minutes we will come across an inlet, more or less at a depth of 23m where we will find the entrance to our cave. It is a bit flattened, but inside the cave widens. The entrance and exit coincide, so we will swim through the cave always keeping the wall on the left. T

he peculiarity of the route is that, as we enter, even if we’ll always see the light from the exit, the depth will decrease. Inside we may encounter mechanical shrimps, parapandali and, if we are lucky, also in the conger fish. Back at the exit, we will take you to a depth of about 20m to retrace the dive site back to the creek of Cala Galera.

 

Type: Sandy bottom, Pinnacles, Landscape Dive
Certification Requirement: Open
Average depth/max: 18/20m
Typical encounters: Novacula Fish, Grouper; Flying Gurnard, Sole.
Notes: Good visibility, possible weak current

This dive site not far from the harbor, located on the north side of the island at the base of Rocca Falconiera near the coast characterized by a huge overhang and flat rocks emerging.

Our dive starts right above one of these rocks. Descending to a depth of 10 m and keeping the wall to the right we will sail towards the tip of the bay. We will soon realize that this dive site is not like all the others that characterize our beautiful island. This one has SAND! Yes, Cala Giacone is the only dive site in Ustica where we can find sandy bottom, which allows us to make quite unusual encounters. If we are lucky, we can come across the beautiful Flying Gurnard. It is not uncommon to also meet the frantic Novacula Fish, those who have an eye will spot dozens in the distance. About "having an eye", pay attention to the bottom! Rumor has it that something flat moves quietly under your fins...

Type: Reef, Passages, Environment, Shoal

Certification Requirement: Open/Advanced

Average depth/max: 18/30m

Typical encounters: Raven fish, Magnose; Sea Bream, Grouper, Salpe.

Notes: Good visibility, possible weak current

We are located in one of the few dive sites off the coast of Ustica. Secca d'Africa is located on the border between zone B and zone C, a few meters from the west lighthouse of the island.

The dive begins by referring to the highest pinnacle of the shoal. Taking us to an initial depth of 10/12m we will move on the slope between the shoal and the island thus starting our navigation. The dive develops towards a mass of boulders that gradually descend towards the blue increasing in depth.

We will head north, swimming until we reach the ridge of the shoal. This area, at different depths, is characterized by beautiful colored ravine and cracks in the rock that offer shelter to the beautiful and elegant Raven fish. Slightly away from the wall, in direction of the coast, we can meet a scenic arch that often offers hiding places to groupers and nudibranchs.

Finally, the large rocky conformation is surrounded by a vast mantle of posidonia, which offers the ideal habitat for crustaceans and which is often "flown over" by clouds of chestnut trees creating a breathtaking landscape.

Kind of dive: Wall, Swim-throughs, Open caves
Experience: Open Water
Maximum depth: 20/25m
Average depth: 10.00 mt
Notes: really few current; entrance at board 50/55 min.

You can dive in one of the most beautiful mortise of the island, considered an unmissable dive for photography lovers. This site is characterized by spectacular colors because there are a lot of crevices and passages covered by yellow cluster and orange corals, known as Parazoanthus axinellae and Astroides calycularis.

When we arrive in a mortise, we start to wear the equipment and we start the dive after a short briefing; the slow descent into the water and following the anchor line take us at initial depth of 9 mt, following step by step the bathymetrical line we see the seabed that slopes gently in a succession of Posidonia e big rocks.

Continuing our dive we carry in the blue until the maximum depth of twenty-five meters  where it is possible to meet big amberjacks and big sea breams.

A small canyon leads to some crevices made by a part of the rocky wall above it: there it is possible to observe a beautiful amphitheater and several fragments of amphorae, some of which stratified inside the rock.

Different are the species of nudibranch that we can find as pink Flabellina (Flabellina pedata), leopard slug (Discodoris atromaculata) and pilgrim hervia (Cratena peregrina).

Kind of dive: Wall, Swim-throughs, Deep
Experience: Advanced/Deep Diver
Maximum depth: 30/35m
Average depth: 16.00mt
Notes: middle current, excellent visibility, duration 50/55 min.

The dive site’s name comes from the geography shaped musical instrument and it is in the southern part of the island.

Is a dive along the coast: there is a cliff made of volcanic rocks, formed by the crash of the rocks that was on the surface, and a wall that goes vertically down on a sandy bottom of 35mt. The Posidonia follow the descent of the scuba divers until two solitary big rocks at -40 mt where there are the most beautiful red gorgonians of the island, sea anemones, yellow gorgonians, orange corals, sponges and calcareous algae.

Taking the cameras and going down in this site it’s possible to have different and wonderful meetings: sea anemones, yellow gorgonians, orange corals, sponges, calcareous algae and unique for beauty red gorgonians.

From -7mt to -15mt this dive is a unique place for underwater photography lovers because there are a lot of hollows full of false corals and different kind of other Mediterranean corals.

Kind of dive: landslide/rocks
Experience: all levels
Maximum depth: 28.00mt
Average depth: 8.00mt
Notes: excellent visibility, low current, for every levels of dives

Notes: excellent visibility, low current, for every levels of dives
This dive site is characterized by a particular rocky cliff that starts from the mountain above and goes down in the crystal-clear waters; this one makes a rocky spit on land on the surface that seems like an old roman ship, the Galera.
Thanks to the volcanic origin of the isle, there are two caves and a lot of passages that give exciting light-plays.
It’s a real natural swimming pool, a dive site suitable for every kind and level of dives, and is particularly indicated for introductory dives or for the first certificated dives thanks to two easily accessible mortise.

The dive goes through an irregular seabed, rocks and fissures and is really fitted for underwater photography. It is possible to find Posidonia, octopuses, anthias, salemas, saddled seabreams, sea breams, groupers, amberjacks, barracudas and morays.

Kind of dive: Swim-throughs/Rocky bottom, Canyons
Experience: Deep Diver
Maximum depth: 20/25m
Average depth: 18.00 mt
Notes:
Deep dive

This dive site is just for advanced certified divers: a series of caves and passages leads to around 15 mt deep until 45 meters down. The access at these areas is difficult due to the presence of big rocks, but when the canyon is overpassed , it’s possible to arrive to breathtaking landscapes thanks also to the crystal sea water and to the great visibility.

The shortage of marine fauna is balanced by the beauty of the ambient, in fact at 45 meters deep there is the entry of a cave, in which there are shrimps and forkbeards, that bring us back to the zone through a chimney.
Another choice, but longer, is to continue the dive through another tunnel that arrives to another cave, more extensive and impressive, with the ceiling full of Mediterranean slipper lobsters, shrimps and forkbeards; inside the cave there are usually 2 or 3 really big groupers.

Kind of dive: Wall/Cave/Swim-throughs
Experience: Open Water
Maximum depth: 20/25m
Average depth: 7.00 mt
Flora and Fauna: Seabream, Grouper, Pony Pipe-fish
Notes: no current

“Grotta della Pastizza” is one of the most charming dives of Ustica, and it’s also located near  the harbor; it’s a cave with the entry above the surface that make possible the entrance just with mask and fins. The dive site is named like this for the rock visible above the water that locals called “Pastizza” that means “pasty”.

We jump in a plateau deep no more than 8 mt, full of mortise that give repairs to small morays and groupers,  and take us to a vertical cliff characterized by the richness of colors.

The Pastizza’s cave is actually a communicant system of caves: in the first part two air-chambers meet each other on the sea level, in the first chamber is possible to admire the vault of the cave and the statue of the saint patron of the island, Saint Bartolicchio.

The seabed is made of lava rock , full of crevices that made the dive site advisable for cave lovers. Going outside by the cave the dive continues following the wall where is easy to find forkbeards, octopuses, groupers and colored sponges.

Kind of dive: Reef, Swim-throughs, Open Caves
Experience: Advanced Diver
Maximum depth: 25/35m
Average depth: 30.00 mt
Flora and Fauna:
barracuda, amberjack, groupers, clouds of castagnole, salpa, boghe
Notes:
probable current;  duration 50/55 min.

This dive site is considered one of the most spectacular of Mediterranean sea; its name comes from a dialectical adaptation from the original “Scoglio Omerico” that means Omeric Rock.

The site shows a rock visible above the water at a few tens of meters to the total reserved marine zone, where it’s possible to have many different dives, all characterized by crystal-clear waters and by the huge quantity of fish.

The richness of Mediterranean coral reef make this dive site as one of the most beautiful of all the Mediterranean sea.

Its crystal-clear waters  hide one of the richest and variegated seabeds that give a extraordinary presence of fish and an incredibly indented ambient where a series of wonderful passages bring  us at a canyon that goes vertically down until -30mt from surface. Unforgettable are the light-plays that characterize the first part of the dive and give later space to a big quantity of amberjacks and barracudas that swim in the blue; sea breams, salemas and brown meagres are with the scuba divers for the full tour of the rock.

If you want to change dive tour it’s possible to make the “closed” one ; at -18 mt deep we find the entry of a cave called “the whale” that goes across the rock and bring us until -26mt after ten minutes of navigation.

This dive is available for every type of scuba diver, from more expert one to Open Water just certified, because there are infinite possibilities of choose the dive tours.

scoglio medico web

Kind of dive: wall/cave/ mixed dive
Experience: all levels
Profondità massima: 35.00 mt
Average depth: 24:00 mt
Notes: low current,  duration 50/55 min.

Punta Falconiera is situated in the eastern part of the island, at a short distance to the harbor; is characterized by a rocky wall with bright colors that gives a wonderful spectacular effect.

Sailing along a colorful cliff, we can find shrimps and calcareous sponges on the sandy bottom.  The dive site is really full of marine flora and fauna: in this waters there is the endemic shrimp of Ustica, the Parapandalus, and also forkbeards, octopuses and groupers.

Kind of dive: wreck in current  wall rock deep
Experience: Open Water/Advanced
Maximum depth: 35.00 mt
Average depth: 20.00 mt
Notes: current is possible

For sure is one of the most beautiful dives of the island and of the entire Mediterranean sea. The tour its until 40 mt down.

We start at the top of the shoal at 3 mt, but after few meters we arrive at the drop-off , after which are left speechless in front of a vertical wall of columnar basaltic that goes until 30 mt on the first plateau.

Later we arrive at the upper part of plateau, the blue in front of us is wonderful, and there we see the benthic fish, seabreams and snappers.

ITA motorship is a tourist destination for the wrecks, with Panamanian flag, that shipped a marble load, held in 21 February  2005 in the northern part of the island, close to the Secca della Colombara.

Between majestic and peaceful brown grouper, it’s possible to come across shoals of barracudas; the damselfishes, the saddled seabreams and the goldline fish follows us during all the dive e frame at the wonderful landscape  of the shoal.

colombara web geo

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