Baixa do Norte
10 minutes do Porto da Madalena
Baixa do Norte
Located about 1 nautical mile north of the Madalena Islets in the Pico-Faial Channel, the Baixa do Norte (North Reef) is one of three reefs regularly visited by divers here. Like the other two reefs, it is reserved for the most experienced divers, with strong currents and depths up to 45 metres.
The top of the reef, 17 metres deep, has a 150-metre long platform which is usually populated with various species, including blue jack mackerels. These in turn attract many predators; schools of Almaco jacks (Seriola rivoliana), yellowmouth barracudas (Sphyraena viridensis), skipjack tunas (Katsuwonus pelamis) and Atlantic bonitos (Sarda sarda).
You will also find other species that use the blocks of rock as shelter, including territorial dusky groupers (Epinephelus marginatus), several species of moray eels, colourful barred hogfish (Pseudolepidaplois scrofa), island groupers (Mycteroperca fusca), red scorpionfish (Scorpaena scrofa) and shy forkbeards (Phycis phycis).
At 35 metres you will discover many other species and landscapes that are typical of these depths. The bustle and movement of the shallower waters gives way to calmness, with white and yellow stretches of coral (Antipathella wollastoni), swallowtail seaperches (Anthias anthias) and sometimes slow and curious ocean sunfish (Mola mola). You may even spot devil rays (Mobula tarapacana) gliding serenely in the water column.