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Brazil day 7 – Ilha Grande and scuba diving

Posted by on July 19, 2011

Conditions for diving, as I found out in the morning when I arrived at the office, were going to be good. There was going to be diving after all! Alright! I couldn’t wait to say that I have gone diving in Brazil! I was directed to walk to the pier where the boat would be staged with all the dive gear. Once I arrived, I got fitted with my dive gear while more people showed up. Once everyone arrived and everything was set, the boat took off to the dive sites.

Penguin/Penguino ship/boat wreck national marine park, sign, Ilha Grande, Big Island, Brasil/BrazilThe first dive was a wreck dive on a ship called Penguino, known as penguin in Portuguese and it also happened to be a marine park for conservation purposes. Wreck dive sites are always great spots to dive on as marine life gathers around the wreck to make it home for themselves and as a result, attract other marine life. That’s the beauty about providing habitat for nature as it will find a way to make the best out of any siutation. Just imagine an octopus using a glass bottle as its home, sea plants using metal debris from a broken boat as a shield from the powerful waves, and crabs using the nooks and crannies of a car or plane as a way to get away from predators. Well-informed and managed governments generally know the benefits of a wreck and therefore make them into protected areas as this wreck site was with the biodiversity and tourism that it can bring.

Bat fish spotted while scuba diving, Ilha Grande, Big Island, Brasil/Brazil

This was one cool-looking bat fish, as I was told what it was; gotta love scuba diving when you can see stuff like this!

White/pearl colored sea urchin, Ilha Grande, Big Island, Brasil/Brazil

Heyyyyyy.. I've eaten these before in Chile! Too bad I couldn't eat this one either; it was settled in the protected area and besides when I scuba dive, I'm generally just looking.

Sea plants on Penguin/Penguino wreck, Ilha Grande, Big Island, Brasil/Brazil

This wasn't an old wreck but already sea plants were growing to long lengths

While moving in and about the wreck, one of the divers spotted a sea horse! It was pretty neat getting up close to it. I’ve seen plenty of them diving in the Caribbean but I could never get a great picture until Brazil.

Vegetation and sea plants sprawling all over ship wreck, Ilha Grande, Big Island, Brasil/Brazil

While diving on the top side of the wreck...

Scuba diver with yellow sea horse, Ilha Grande, Big Island, Brasil/Brazil

...someone spotted this sea horse hanging out!

Yellow sea horse up close and personal, Ilha Grande, Big Island, Brasil/Brazil

The sea horse wayyyy up close

While topside, I saw a ton of fish of various colors with some in groups and others swimming along by themselves. I even saw a turtle but it quickly swam away way before I could get a good picture. The best part of this dive was this sea scallop that started to swim around. The divemaster quickly grabbed it while the scallop showed off its teeth to everyone.

Orange and black spotted sea slug, Ilha Grande, Big Island, Brasil/Brazil

As I was admiring the view of this sea slug...

Sea scallop swimming with scuba diver, Ilha Grande, Big Island, Brasil/Brazil

...there was a sea scallop swimming around! Someone grab that scallop!

Divemaster, scuba diver, holding in his hand a wide open scallop up-close photo, Ilha Grande, Big Island, Brasil/Brazil

And guess who caught the sea scallop? The divemaster... having some fun with it!

It was a great dive in my opinion as I always liked going around in wreck sites underwater. I was ready to go on the second dive after a quick break. In scuba diving, you have to adhere by the rules of resting after a dive in order not to get DCS (decompression sickness). You will learn more about this if you take a scuba diving course.

Diver giving three minute safety stop sign, Ilha Grande, Big Island, Brasil/Brazil

A perfect example of how to give the three minute safety stop sign

The second dive was at a place called Laguna Azul, known as Blue Lagoon. This dive was like a drift dive using the currents to speed up movement, but that was also the problem. Visibility sucked! I couldn’t take any good pictures as I could only see 5-10 feet at times. One great thing to point out was that I managed to see a big sting ray or manta ray or eagle ray (it was difficult to identify in murky waters) that I couldn’t get a picture of as it was going too fast but hey, they were there in Brazil!

Dive charter boat, Ilha Grande, Big Island, Brasil/Brazil

Time to head out of the boat - out of air in my tanks.

Once we got back I told the dive operator that I wanted to dive again the next day and he said, no problem – it was going to be all dependent on the water conditions.

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