LA SECCA DELLE FORMICHE 6-20mt
“Le Formiche” is one of the beautiful dives Ischia can offer, is made up of a wide, easily identifiable rocky shallow with almost outcropping rocks. the dive site is also easy to spot because of a lighthouse placed to sign to crafts the presence of submerged rocks just a few meters from the surface. “Le Formiche” are composed of a large rocky body panel supporting isolated rocks that create various passes , gorges and spectacular holes. The dive winds along a series of canyons, frequently alternated with arched stone bridges suspended on paths with sandy bottom, on which recline carpets of Posidonia leaves creating amazing light effects. This location gives home to a varied population: in this environment is easy to meet the “pesce ago cavallino” (syngnathus typhle), with its body much like a leaf of sea grass, so that only a keen expert eye can spot. Walls are completely covered with eunicella cavolinii and create an ideal habitat for a crack living population who loves almost dark environments and usually is visible only in deeper dives. In this place in only 15-18mt depth are enormous valuable shellfish such as mantis shrimp (Scyllarides latus) that in summer move to shallow water to spawn. Along the long and wide cave that characterizes this dive site is easy to meet on time huge crabs porter (Dromia Personata), huge scorpion fish (scorpaena scrofa), in cracks a myriad of small shrimps. This dive offers many subjects for macro photography, for the presence of an infinity of sea slugs. Swimming along gullies you can be surrounded by shoals of bream while you’re watching dens of big scorpion fish, octopuses and moray eels; going on you reach a huge natural arch and several vaults covered by hunging parazoanthus axinelle. passing over the vault we start the ascent to the surface, surrounded by an indescribable amount of damselfish. the extraordinary beauty of this dive is accessible to newcomers, due to the maximum depth of no more than 20 meters to that experienced photographers of the environment.
PUNTA PIZZACO 20-60mt
The walls of the southern side of the island of Procida, a few minutes by boat from the port of Ischia, continue their steep ride under the water creating spectacular environments in terms of landscape and biological populations with rich and diverse animal and plant. The dive can begin after a few meters swimming on surface heading to the far end of the promontory and consists of a vertical rock fall adorned with paramurucee, eunicelle, multicolored sponges, yellow carpets of sea daisies, often very rare invertebrates. Pizzaco promontory offers a truly explosive coral, which transforms the rock fall in a real flowered garden. the biotic communities are classic Mediterranean, with large settlements of parazoanthus in the first few meters and forests of red gorgonians which are more dense when the force of the currents is accentuated, increasing the nutrient transported by water. Just a few meters of depth you can meet a step that juts down with a fall almost vertically, the wall ends on the sand to depths varying between 50 and 60 mt and beyond. Down around 20-25mt we meet forests of bright red sea fans who are clinging bunches of eggs dogfish. To find, however, the rare corallium rubrum we have to go deeper, starting from 30 meters is easy to find thick colonies of red coral, even more abundant if you exceed the 50 meters of depht, where swarms of anthias make this’ immersion really wonderful. The landscape is made even more impressive by shreds of old fishing nets that appear below the headlights totally enveloped by an incredible amount of sessile life. Returning to the boat, beginning a gradual ascent meets around 18mt a deep and wide bay that houses the statue of a beautiful Madonna. back under the boat in a small cove before the dive site that offers a comfortable anchoring, we can enjoy the company of horses needle fish, squid and many octopuses will amuse us during this stop before surfacing.
A beautiful wall which descends to about forty meters, interrupted by large stacked boulders. On the lower part, around -35 meters, there is a small cavity between the rocks which hides what is called the cave of shrimps: here are obviously a dense community of shrimp plesionika narval, very quick to hide themselves at the torches lights, so not easy to photograph but wonderful to see. In this dive you won’t see red gorgonians which abound on other walls, but on the other hand are dense “thickets” of big eunicella cavolini (yellow gorgonia) that, thanks to a slight current expand their polyps. To lower dephts, in the -25 meters range, we find some cliffs entirely covered by Parazoanthus colonies, populated by myriad of marine organisms. Around -20 meters then, under some of the ravines created by large boulders are clinging large colonies of yellow and orange sponges. This is a dive where you can observe typical marine animals of a deeper Mediterranean environment, as Scorpion fish, lobster, Mediterranean fanworms, sea urchins and starfishes and that suits both who want to do macro photography and who prefers the environment.
This rocky shoal is located off Punta Caruso along Ischia north-western side. This is a bedrock extended from 15 to 33 meters depth and also characterized by large patches of Posidonia, white gorgonia facies, Eunicella singularis gorgonian and yellow Eunicella cavolinii between 15 to 22 mt depth around. The bench is characterized by strong exposure to the currents that having constant direction and intensity have resulted in substantial difference in populations, depending on exposure. Plentiful and varied is the fish fauna both sedentary and pelagic. It’s not difficult to encounter groupers, snappers, barracuda and saraghi.
The promontory of Sant’Angelo offers one of the most beautiful views of the island, goes towards to open sea from the beach of maronti as a big “panettone” connected to the island by a thin strip of land. underwater wall of punta Sant’Angelo is even more beautiful than the outside, with an impressive fall of vertical rocks covered by a dense forest of red and yellow sea fans. the beauty of this wall is indescribable, from a few meters below the surface of the water the benthic life is vibrant and varied: huge Spirographs With Their fully expanded appendices, frequent yellow sponges (the genus Axinella), many species of slugs, with beautiful specimens of umbraculum mediterraneum. during the descent we can observe a stratification of species at different altitudes. We can observe the astroides and thick parazoanthus that coexist with stunning eunicella singularis cavolinii up to twenty meters, to start then to mingle with the first small red gorgonian branches, that become to be more dense once you go deeper. in fact, passing a series of large boulders around 30 meters, at the southern tip of the promontory of Sant’Angelo we find before us a unique spectacle: large branches of gorgonians (eunicella cavolinii) yellow That mingle with the red ones (paramuricea clavata) forming an intrigue of exceptional colors.From the branches of gorgonians you can see dangling Dogfish’s eggs which, observed to the light reveal the fish embryo pulsating life. the allure of this dive is even increased by the presence of splits, at accessible depths (-45/50 Mt) that protect the precious and rare red coral (Corallium rubrum), bright red, with small white polyps expanded in search of food. but the wonder of this dive is represented by a particular point, about 35 mt deep, where grows the Gerardia Savaglia with intertwined thick branches of a bright yellow color. the wall of punta Sant’Angelo is really one of the most beautiful dive sites of Italy, whose wonderful show ends at unattainable depths, much deeper than 100 meters.
SCOGLIO DELLA NAVE
Beside Punta Imperatore, in sw of Ischia a rock comes out from the sea: watching it from a great distance has the shape of a ship. The legend says that it is the ship on which the feaci accompanied Ulysses in his return to Ithaca and that was turned into rock by Poseidon, in revenge of the aid given by that people to the Homeric hero persecuted so insistently. the most interesting side is the one facing south, where the bottom shows a morphology full of cavities and passages. In fact, there will be possibility to delve in the narrow cavities, the size of a diver at the time, raising his eyes and fulfill them with color parazoanthus axinellae and astroides calycularis; if you are good observers, in holes and crevices can be glimpsed small curious lobsters palinurus elephas peeking with their antennae. Inside them you’ll be able to identify many species of sessile animals, such as branching formations Myriapora truncata, multicolored sponges, as well as small crustaceans and you will then meet some gronco, who finds refuge in the darkest areas. This dive is easy and fun and lends itself, because of the limited depth, as a perfect second dive. This huge outcropping rock is, in fact, a great dive site for divers of all levels, emerging from a depth of -30 meters with a sand bottom that rises gradually to the surface with landslides of rocks, small caves and vertical cliffs and caves to explore. this dive takes us through very impressive tunnels and passages, until you come to a wall covered with beautiful sea fans from where are hanging dogfish eggs, nests of small groupers and forkbeards, also richly inhabited by lobsters, and other species of small crustaceans. Is in this dive, under the wall you can see the shrimp’s cave, thickly inhabited by these organisms.