We are taking a second shot on Cape Verde and its gifted Atlantic Ocean surroundings.
Did you know that there is the third biggest in the world population of Loggerhead Turtle, after the first one in Masirah Island in Oman and second in southeast USA, mainly in Florida?
Adult males reach about one meter in shell length and weigh about 113 kilograms, but even larger specimens of more than 454 kilograms have been found! Loggerheads are the most common turtle in the Mediterranean and US, but their population is still decreasing as a result of illegal hunting, degradation of nesting beaches, collection of eggs and meat for consumption, climate change and pollution. For this reason many of non-profit organizations for loggerhead turtles protection were created, some of them in Boa Vista. They aim to protect this specie throughout special programs and regional projects devoted to the conservation of marine turtles.
Nests are spread between all the islands of Cape Verde, however about 90% of them are built every year in Boa Vista mostly on the east coast beaches. Every summer, between June and late October, from 12.000 to 14.000 females nest and lay from 40 to 190 eggs per clutch. Loggerhead turtle can be seen all year around underwater and it’s a regular enjoyment for divers to spot up to three or even four individual encounters on a single dive.
What about sharks?
You can also be sure that during your underwater adventures in Boa Vista you will encounter different species of sharks! Don’t hesitate to swim through caves and overhangs as they are the most favorite hideouts for nurse sharks. These calm creatures, if not disturbed, won’t mind to pose for a photo. Another rare, but still possible to spot, is a sand tiger shark, which despite its name is not related to the tiger shark, however it is a cousin of the great white shark. Although it has fearsome appearance and strong swimming ability, it is a relatively placid and slow-moving shark with no confirmed human fatalities. You can expect them close to shelter near rocks, overhangs, caves and reefs often at relatively shallow depths below 20 meters.
More about Mantas
By ones called “devilfish” because of their horn-shaped cephalic fins, by others considerate as underwater angel thanks to majestic moves full of glance. In both cases we talk about manta rays, which are frequently passing through waters of Cape Verdean Archipelago during their migration season. If you want to maximize your chance to spot them, you should visit Boa Vista between April and October and stay attentive during your dives, as they can silently pass just in a few meters from you.
By the end of the day you will fall in love with this beautiful country and underwater life.
Special thanks to local expert Juan Blanco, Boavistadiving and ScubaCaribe for the materials for the article.
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