Squid at night off Pico Island - photo by Justin Hart
Our divemasters have extensive local experience and have been diving the coasts of Pico and Faial for many years.
Until now they have been keeping a secret, some local knowledge you might never guess.
A Cornetfish (Fistularia petimb) - photo by Justin Hart
To discover this secret is, however, easy. All you need to do to obtain this information is ask these guys what diving they like to do most here.
For sure, some of them will then say that the offshore diving with Blue sharks, Makos and Mobulas are superb. However, what they will also tell you is that, for its adventure and unknown potential, you simply cannot beat night diving by shore in late spring and early summer.
The beautiful anemone Alicia mirabilis that only emerges at night - photo by Justin Hart
With the vast majority of our divers visiting us to dive offshore between July and October, it is perhaps not surprising that this secret has gone undiscovered.
A huge Conger eel (Conger conger) - photo by Justin Hart
Over time, our divemasters have been exploiting this period of quiescence, night diving our waters through April and May to photograph and film what they find.
In so doing, for the first time, they have now revealed some of Pico's otherwise hidden treasures of the night.
To add another super exciting element to the mix, spring is also the Season of the Giants here in Pico - i.e. the time of the year when our Whale Watching tours enjoy very frequent encounters with animals such the Blue whale, Fin whale, Humpback whale and Sei whale.
The freaky appearance of a Monkfish (Lophius piscatorius) - photo by Justin Hart
Life abounds and is especially active after dark, providing our divers with never ending photo and filming opportunities.
Night squids. Photo by Justin Hart
Rays by night are also a spectacle of life, such as the Thornback ray (Raja clavata) and the Round stingray (Taeniura grabata).
Pico Rays. Photo by Justin Hart
With recent sightings of Tope shark, Monkfish, juvenile John Dorys, squids, swimming sea hares, swarming krill and octopus tip-toeing across the sand, here with us you should always expect the unexpected.
A juvenile John Dory (Zeus faber) - photo by Justin Hart
You can also watch a video by Stefano Ulivi here below and see for yourself how exciting it is to explore our waters at night:
Common crustaceans of the night here in Pico include the Narval shrimp (Plesionika narval), Atlantic dancing shrimp (Cinetorhynchus rigens), Spotted bumblebee shrimp (Gnathophyllum elegans), Crawfish (Palinurus elephas), Slipper lobster (Scyllarides latus) and Locust lobster (Scyllarus arctus).
Some of the fabulous crustaceans that can be see in Pico - photo by Justin Hart
Last, but not least, we do also offer Black Water Diving (the equivalent of blue water diving at night, which is diving in the open ocean wit no reference to walls or to the bottom). Critters abund, including some of the most bizarre zooplankton you may ever see.
Bizarre zooplankton, including banded salps, mauve stingers and siphonophores - photo by Justin Hart
Feel free to get in touch with us for any questions you may have and, to learn more, visit our Scuba Diving page.