Above and Below the World

DIVING AT CERBICALE ISLANDS I

Summary:

  • Date & place: 23/08/2020 | Cerbicale Islands, Mediterran sea
  • Level: Advanced
  • External & underwater conditions: strong wind | Good, without currents
  • Duration, visibility & water Tª: 53 min | Very good (+20 m) | 25 ºC
  • Max. depth & Gas: 27 m | Air
  • Surface time:  –  (1st dive)

Activity type:

Categoria de buceo - diving activity

Profile/Map:

Location:

Located less than 5 km from the coast near Porto-Vecchio, the Cerbicale Islands archipelago consists of 6 rocky islets: Pietricaggiosa Island, Forana Island, Maestro María Island or Isla Plana, Vacca Rock, Toro Island, the most far away from the coast, at 7 km in the sea and Isla Piana. With a total area of ​​36 ha. They are small islands (the largest, Piana, is only 700 meters long!) and not very high (Forana is 35 meters, being the largest and Maestro María, the smallest, 5 meters)

They have been a natural reserve since 1981. As they have never been inhabited by humans, they are an excellent refuge for wildlife, in fact both fishing and hunting are prohibited and represent an important home for a great variety of flora and fauna, including birds. They are of special interest to the Mediterranean crested cormorant, gray shearwater, stormy petrel and Audouin’s gull, among others.

The marine environment is frequented by numerous pelagic birds and in its rocky and poseidonea bottoms we will find a rich biodiversity frequented by groupers, conger eels, amberjacks, moray eels, …

Therefore the dives here offer a multitude of possibilities with plenty of live across underwater canyons. There is also the possibility of diving through the reck of the Pecorella, a cement ship that sank in 1967. And if we are lucky we will also be able to see loggerhead turtles!

First dive of the day: VACCA Island

Located on the beach of Palombaggia, a beautiful natural beach south of Porto Vechio that we highly recommend visiting, we arrived at the Kallister club at 7:30 am (it is a wooden hut on the beach).

Sarif, a very nice young man, attends us. We get ready and around 8/8:15 a.m. we take the two 12L aluminum bottles and transport them to the boat as well as the equipment (here each one has to transport their equipment and bottles from the club to the boat) and we go to the Cervical Islands. During the trip Sarif gives us the brifing for the immersion of the ‘vacca’ in English for us, as he does not speak Spanish and we do not speak French.

Palombaggia beach

Preparing the equipment at Kallister club, at Palombaggia beach

We have a very calm dive, we see a lot of posidonia on the rock bottom. In this area there is plenty of macro life, flabellina type of nudibranchs and many ‘vaquitas’ (‘cows’).

Castanet and Nudibranch flabellina type

Nudibranch flabellina type

Nudibranch ‘cow’ or vaquita type

We also see many groupers, dentex, salps, bream, and other fishes and some nacras although dead (it is not surprising, since the mortality of the nacras in the Mediterranean sea is now very high).

Grouper looking curious

Dead Nacra

It has been an entertaining and pleasant dive, being a group of 4 + the guide, Sarif who takes care of us very well.

We go up to the surface and rest on the boat having a hot drink and some cookies that they offer us, and soon we will go to the second dive point, for the second dive of the day!

More information about Kallister club:

  • Club twinned with Bonifaccio Plongeé club
  • Good access by car (parking behind the beach)
  • Equipment can be cleaned with fresh water but there are no showers or changing rooms
  • Link to Website
  • We recommend in the area:
    • Visit the beautiful Palombaggia beach (and other natural beaches nearby) where you can practice snorkeling and paddle surfing (Kallister club also rents boards)

For more information on other Corsican dive sites, read our DIVING GUIDE IN CORSICA

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