One of the great things about being out this far out in the Atlantic Ocean is that you are completely surrounded by water. Sure, there might be a few islands, a few rocks, birds, fish, but you are far away from the mainland. Good thing we have advanced technology compared to what the people in the past used to have since the closest distance to civilization from Madeira would be the Canary Islands which are still quite far down to the south of Madeira. That makes Madeira a great place for scuba diving since there should be some great opportunities to see wildlife under the water.
There is a difference in the diving here compared to my diving experience in Canary Islands and in the Azores, wich is the weather and the diving conditions. They are far better since it’s closer to summer than it is to winter so I was able to get some better diving in this time around. Also, due to the waves and weather being more compliant for diving conditions, I was going to be out diving on a boat for the first dive. Finally! Instead of a shore dive which can take some work of carrying and hauling gear and then swimming/diving to the best dive spots – all gone! Just put the gear on the boat, hop on, strap the gear on, and out into the water!
And golly, the first dive was a great one. It required a boat ride of 10-15 minutes but bam! The dive boat was right on top of a sunken Portuguese wreck, a Portuguese Navy corvette vessel called the Afonso Cerqueira.
However, this wreck was intentional with scuba diving in mind because the vessel was stripped for easy access for scuba divers to go in/out of as well as provide the nearby wildlife a refuge, an artificial coral reef as a habitat for them.
The second dive was a shore dive. Imagine that… after I wrote about some of the pains of shore diving, but sometimes the good dive spots are really close so it makes sense not requiring a boat. It’s just there! And sure enough… it’s just there and a not bad one either. Someone had gone earlier in the day and said that they saw a stingray. I looked real hard down there for a living one but only found other types of marine life busily living away.